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July 23rd, 2009 by umwpsych

I actually don’t remember when I started taking responsibility for everything that went smoothly in my life and started to attribute my failures to situational factors that I thought were beyond my control. For some reason getting through sixth grade was probably of the most difficult times of my life because of Mrs. Demek. Mrs. Demek was my sixth grade teacher who I still blame to this day for ruining sixth grade for me. Like I have mentioned before I have a very strict mother who considers a “C” grade to be equal to a “F” grade. When I got my first “C” on my progress report in sixth grade my mom did not talk to me for a whole week, and that entire week I told my mom about all the horrible things that Mrs. Demek does to all her students. The reason why I would mention my friends in my stories to my mom was because then she would realize that I was not just complaining for myself alone but for an entire class of students. I would tell my mother that Mrs. Demek just doesn’t like me because I am Muslim and she is prejudice, and 9/11 had actually occurred just a week before school anyways so perfect timing. I even told my mom about the time when Mrs. Demek threw a book at Evan Middleton, an African boy because he did not have his book and he asked her for a spare one. When I told my mom about that she decided to have a meeting with her and at that moment I started to regret everything I had said because even though Mrs. Demek was cruel she actually was fair with her grading and I realized that once I received an “O” for outstanding because in elementary school there was no such thing as an “A”. I still can’t forget how much I complained and blamed Mrs. Demek for almost everything that went wrong that year in school whether she was tied to the story or not, I would say, “of course, it is Mrs. Demek’s fault because she is just a hater”. The self-serving bias can be seen in the common human tendency to take credit for success but to deny responsibility for failure, like I did.  Even though after Mrs. Demek I never tried to blame a teacher for my failures again I still always end up blaming something, which always ends up being the assignment. Last year when I would do well on an Anatomy test, which were usually very difficult and nerve-racking then I would be so proud of myself for my hard work, but if I ever did poorly on any of the test it was the test to blame. When someone strategically strives to facilitate external causes for their poor performance so that they could avoid from blaming themselves then they are playing a self-serving bias. Even if deep down you know that no one is responsible for your failures, the self-serving bias procedure tends to occur to people very naturally.

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