The Fundamental Attribution Error is the tendency we have to attribute causes of other people’s behavior to their character rather than to situational factors.
We all tend to take circumstances into account in judging our own behavior, but tend not to do so when judging other people’s behavior. So when we hear about other people who have made ethical mistakes, perhaps the best thing we can do is put ourselves in their shoes and try to understand why they made the mistakes they made.
We must avoid automatically assuming that we are better people than those who made an ethical misstep. If we can be humble about our own morality and learn from the mistakes of others, perhaps we can guard against making those same mistakes ourselves.