In what is amounting to a waking nightmare, today I found a 52 page Word document called “Notes to Think About.”

February 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

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Crystal Palace fans reacted to Wayne Rooney’s new £300,000 per week contract with chants of “you fat greedy bastard.”

Sadly, Mr Rooney did not respond in the manner of one of his celebrated predecessors. But he should have, because the chant is wrong. Mr Rooney is not getting £300,000 a week because he is unusually greedy: in the improbable event of being offered such money, who among us would turn it down? He is getting it because he is unusually powerful – a power which is not entirely due merely to his exceptional skill.

Palace fans, then, are committing the fundamental attribution error – they are blaming Rooney’s salary upon his personal character rather than upon his situation.

Although Palace fans are – with the odd exception – not famous for their powers of thought, this error is a common one: “greedy bankers” is a cliche, “overly powerful bankers”, whilst true, is not.  read more

PHOTOGRAPH: Anita Sto

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