In the nearly fifteen years that I've known Adam Thierer, the opportunity to get him going on one of his favorite soapboxes has been fairly regular. Lucky for me, they are usually quite interesting and always provocative.
This morning Greg Mankiw posts on one of Adam's favorite topics: attribution error. In particular, Mankiw highlights the intersection of behavioral psychology and economics. People tend to overestimate the importance of personal characteristics and underestimate the importance of the situation when evaluating others. When we evaluate ourselves, the reverse is true. We overestimate the importance of our own personal characteristics and underestimate the importance of circumstances. The idea shows up in the literature on management, particularly in human resources and leadership studies.
Want more? Would you like to see it applied to media regulation and censorship? Try chapter 5 of Adam's latest book, Media Myths (pp. 119-123).
Hat tip to Marginal Revolution.