Fundamental attribution error — a micro-VCoL starter set from Lectica

I’ve written quite a bit about micro-VCoLing™ and its many benefits. In this article, I describe a set of micro-VCoLs that my colleagues and I use to introduce people to micro-VCoLing. It’s one of our “micro-VCoL™ starter sets.” (I know, so creative!) This starter set includes micro-VCoLs designed to foster situation awareness, skill awareness, and skill emulation. It’s designed to help people learn how to micro-VCoL to get the most out of everyday learning opportunities. It also happens to build skills for avoiding fundamental attribution error.

  • focus on the most fundamental VCoLing skills—skills used in all VCoLing, and
  • are stripped down to the essentials to reduce what curriculum developers call cognitive load, so practitioners can focus on the basics.

The awareness micro-VCoLs

As of this writing, there are two kinds of awareness micro-VCoLs — the situation-awareness micro-VCoL and the skill-awareness micro-VCoL. These VCoLs typically make up the first two VCoLs in a micro-VCoL starter set and are followed by an emulation micro-VCoL. The starter set introduced here delivers situation-awareness, skill-awareness, and emulation micro-VCoLs, in this order.

  • Keep it simple. Some people initially have a tendency to make micro-VCoLing more complicated than it actually is. If you suspect that you may be complexifying your micro-VCoL, check in with your coach or instructor.
  • Check-in with yourself to make sure you aren’t turning an awareness micro-VCoL into a self-criticism exercise. If you think this may be happening, check out my article about the active observer. If the problem persists, you may want to seek professional help.

Situation awareness micro-VCoL

We often begin a VCoL set with situation-awareness because it’s the most fundamental VCoLing skill—one that you’ll use every time you work any VCoL. Why? Because before we begin the process of building a new skill or fine-tuning an existing skill, we need to be able to quickly recognize opportunities for practicing that skill.

AS 1 Fundamental attribution error

Skill awareness

Once we are aware of opportunities to practice a skill, it is useful to observe how people engage the skill. There are two primary reasons for this.

  • where we think we fit in that variety, and
  • whether or not there are individuals whose skills we admire — individuals we can emulate or recruit as mentors.
AS 2 Fundamental attribution error

Skills for avoiding Fundamental Attribution Error (FAE)

Here is a list of skills for avoiding FAE that you might want to keep handy when practicing this micro-VCoL. As you will see, some of these skills are observable and some are not.

  • Skills for identifying and questioning personal assumptions (partially observable)
  • Skills for identifying and questioning knee-jerk judgments (partially observable)
  • Skills for reacting non-judgmentally (partially observable)
  • Skills for recognizing one’s own FAE triggers (not observable)
  • Skills for avoiding labeling (not observable)

Emulation micro-VCoLs

As noted above, the third VCoL in a micro-VCoL starter set is called an emulation VCoL. Emulation VCoLs allow us to leverage skills displayed by individuals or groups in our environment—by putting our mirror neurons to work.

AS 3 Fundamental attribution error

Summing up

Situation, skill, and emulation micro-VCoLs help individuals build the most basic micro-VCoLing skills, setting the stage for the eventual habituation of VCoLing as a lifelong practice.

ViP info | ViP rationale

Award-winning educator, scholar, & consultant, Dr. Theo Dawson, discusses a wide range of topics related to learning and development.

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