Updated: Jun 29
Hostile attribution bias is a cognitive bias that causes people to interpret the behavior of others as hostile or aggressive, even when it is not. This bias can lead to misunderstandings and conflict in relationships and can have a negative impact on mental health.
If someone bumps into you, you might interpret this as a hostile act ("They pushed me on purpose!") even if it was simply an accident. Or, if a friend doesn't reply to your text immediately, you might assume they're intentionally ignoring you, instead of considering other reasons (like they're busy or haven't seen the message).
The effects of hostile attribution bias can be far-reaching. It can lead to misunderstandings and conflict in relationships, as well as feelings of anxiety and depression. It can also lead to a person feeling isolated and disconnected from others. In extreme cases, hostile attribution bias can lead to aggressive behavior and even violence.
Hostile attribution bias is a cognitive bias that can have a negative impact on mental health and relationships. It is important to be aware of this bias and to try to recognize it in yourself and others. By understanding the definition, examples, and effects of hostile attribution bias, we can work to reduce its impact and create healthier relationships.
Do you want to expand your knowledge on this topic? Read our full in-depth article on cognitive biases.
Do you have extra 15 minutes today? Take our fun and interactive quiz to learn which of 16 reasoning styles you use, your overall level of rationality, and what you can do now to improve your rationality skills.