The aspect of chapter two that I will be focusing on is the Self-Serving Bias. This effect essentially is that human beings tend to take credit for successes while blaming others for failures. Furthermore, it is a tendency to generally view situations of which we are a part in such a way that we look better to ourselves and others than perhaps we really are.
I again will illustrate this effect using the example of politics, namely with the current President of the United States. I will preface my words by saying that what I write is not a political statement, and similar remarks could be made about any President of the United States, as they all reflect this principle to some degree; that is simply the nature of politics. I will isolate my example to two events: one good, one bad. The first is the killing of Usama Bin Laden, the terrorist mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks. The Obama administration has been touting this event as a major success of President Obama. Whether or not the credit should be as liberally applied to the president is its own discussion, but the point is that he is quick to apply the credit to himself. As for an example of a bad happening, our economy has been in recession for some time. While Obama is often criticized by many as one who has no handle on our very-slowly recovering economy, Obama has been quick to blame the republican-controlled congress for not passing much of his legislation that, according to him, would have led to significant growth and success for our country economically.
I take no stance in this blog post as to how credible Obama is on these points. And again, similar illustrations could be made with any other president. My point is to show that when something good happens (the killing of Bin Laden), a person generally has no problem being the responsible one who answers for what happened. While on the other hand, when something bad happens (our struggling economy), responsibility suddenly falls elsewhere, leaving the person without any blame for such things.