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Your affiliate relationship is on the rocks. Your customers are screaming about your bad service. Your relationship with a key partner is going south. What's happening?

Well, if you're like most people you have a tendency to believe the fault lies with your affiliate, customers and partners. Of course, that's not true, but why are you always right and someone else is wrong?

To answer this (and better diagnose what's really going on), we offer you a handy idea called the "Fundamental Attribution Error."

The fundamental attribution error (or FAE for short) has long been known by social psychologists and researchers in consumer behavior. This is essentially a bias people have towards assigning responsibility for behavior. It goes something like this:

If something bad happens to me, it's due to somebody or something else; If something good happens to me, well, it's because of me!

This is something that is hardwired in our brains (you see it plainly with young children), and remains throughout our life.

Now, you might think of this as a cute scientific finding that has little relevance to marketing or anything. If you think this way, you're wrong. It has everything to do with marketing, sales, service, alliances and marketing relationships. We'll go even further...it has an effect on your own personal relationships as well.

BAD SERVICE, OR WHY YOU'RE ALWAYS AT FAULT

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Allen Weiss

Allen Weiss is the CEO and founder of MarketingProfs. He's also a longtime marketing professor and mentor at the University of Southern California, where he leads Mindful USC, its mindfulness center.