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Lee D. Ross is a professor of social psychology at Stanford University, who has studied attribution theory, attributional biases, decision making and conflict resolution. Studying with Stanley Schachter, he earned his Ph.D. in social psychology at Columbia University in 1969.

He first coined the term "fundamental attribution error" to explain the effects of a study by Edward E. Jones and Victor Harris, in which people were overly ready to see another person's behavior as revealing a particular attitude even though the person's behavior was a response to situational demands. With Robert Vallone and Mark Lepper he authored the first study to describe the hostile media effect. He has also collaborated with Richard Nisbett in books on human judgment (1980) and the relation between social situations and personality (1991).

See also



Book Chapters


  • Ross, L. (1977). The intuitive psychologist and his shortcomings: Distortions in the attribution process. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (vol. 10). New York: Academic Press.

Ross, L., Amabile, T. and Steinmentz, J. (1977) Social rules, social control, and biases in social perception processes, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 35: 485-94. Ross, L., Lepper, M. and Hubbard, M. (1975) Perseverance in self-perception and social perception: biased attributional processes in the debriefing paradigm, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 32: 880-92.