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Winning Works LLC, (winningworks.com) a trial consulting firm composed of Gregory Cusimano, David Bossart, and Ed Lazarus instructs lawyers not to make a Fundamental Attribution Error. The Fundamental Attribution Error (FAE) is part of the Jury Bias Modeltm developed by Cusimano and Wenner. What does FAE mean? It means we judge behavior and conduct on appearance, and internal traits such as personality, abilities and motives often in error. In fact most conduct and behavior results from circumstance or situation rather than internal factors.

Lee Ross, a social scientist and professor at Stanford University first used the term “fundamental attribution error.” What does FAE have to do with Susan Boyle? People presume a persons abilities and talent relates to their appearance. The Boyle phenomena probably would not have occurred if she looked and acted like their perception of what a great singer would look and act like. Susan Boyle is a perfect example of FAE. Trial Lawyers should recognize the effect of FAE and use it if it helps their case and reverse it if it hurts it.

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