In 1972, sociologists Richard Nisbett and Edward Jones hypothesized that perceptual asymmetry lay at the heart of most conflicts. They further suggested that bridging this asymmetry would assist in most conflict resolutions. They were right. Their key observation was this: People view their own behaviors as originating from amendable, situational constraints, but they view other people’s behaviors as originating from inherent, immutable personality traits. The classic example is the job candidate who arrives late for an interview. The candidate ascribes his tardiness to situations beyond his control (being caught in traffic). The interviewer ascribes his tardiness to personal responsibility (not taking traffic into account). One invokes a situational constraint to explain being late. The other invokes an insult.
John Medina – Brain Rules for Baby