Janehas alwaysbeena prolificsalespersonforpinnaclesolutions,andshehas always beenableto surpassher target.Whenwemetlast week, Janewasallgloomanddoomafter recordingverylowmarksin the continuous assessment testin marketing.At thedoorsof pinnaclesolutions,a companythat sellsmicrochips her persuasiveandprowessin marketingthecompany’sproductshavebeenunsurpassed. Early this month Jane called me to vent her frustrationwith the lecturer in the marketing class after she scored 5 out of 30in her assessment test. She feels this might have a huge impact onher final grades at the forthcoming exam in April. In her room shesaid to me’’ my lecturer in this module got it all wrong, I hatehim and I believe I deserved better marks than this, I possess allthe requisite marketing skills to pass in the continuous assessmenttest’’. She sought my advice on whether she should lodge acomplaint with the examination board, but after a look at her papersI told her that she her argument was frail and lacked substance andthat is why she got low marks. Shebelievedthatshedeservedbettermarksbecauseshehaddone well in the rest of the tests.’’ how could I pass in all theother assessments and fail in this one, this is impossible’’ sheenthused. Sheapportionedblameto thetutorwhomsheaccusedof beingbiasedandunfair.
Janecould not acceptthefactthatshefailedin one paper becausesheneverworkedhardenough,butcontinuously blamedthetutorforher poorgradesin thetest.Thisself-servingbiashas completelydevastatedand sparked feelings of hatred and resented towards the lecturersinceshe believes she possessesthequality andskillsnecessary to helpher passmarketingexaminationtests.Her successas a salespersonhas clouded her judgmentandpreventedher from learningfrom her mistake.
Janebehaviorcan be explainedby theattribution theoryandcognitive theory.Jane selfservingbiasis a formof attribution biasthat is peggedon theattribution theory.Attribution theoryexplainsthereasonsbehind thewaypeoplededucemeaningfrom their ownandother’sbehavior.Itexemplifieshowpeopleuseinformationavailablein their socialsurroundingto constructcasualexplanationforvariousphenomena.Thistheoryoffersexplanationswhydifferentindividualshavea differentinterpretationof a similareventandelementsthat leadto self-servingbias.Iobserved that thecauseof the poor marks in her test was failureto demonstrateeffectivemarketingskillsin that specific testJane feelsshewasentitledto passher testbecauseshe had succeeded intherest of the papers, and because she possessed excellentmarketing skillsin therealworld.
Inconclusion, peopleexhibitself serving biasbecauseof their desireto succeed.Thisformof biasis alsocognitiveandittendsto boosttheselfconfidenceandegoof an individualthrough a multiplicity of practices.Individuals,just like Jane will give themselves credit once theyexcelin doingsomething thatbooststheir selfesteem,andtheyimploreout of responsibilityforfailures.As observed in Jane successisassociatedwith thepersonalityandcharacterof an individualwhilefailureis attributedto externalfactors.I think this bias isbasedon a personalbeliefthatonecan achievebetterresultsin fieldsthat are importantto a person’sself-esteem.Thismaindisadvantageof selfservingbiasis thatitcouldderaileffortsto improvethecurrentstatus.