The actor/observer bias states that all of us unconsciously assume others to be more responsible for their negative actions than their environment, and for ourselves to be less responsible for our negative actions than our environment.
For example, if you are at an intersection and someone runs through the red light and almost hits you, you think, “Wow, what a shitty driver. That guy is an idiot.” But when it’s YOU who runs the red light and almost hits somebody, you think, “It’s not my fault. The guy in front of me was driving slow and the light changed too quickly for me to stop.”
When it’s us, it’s not our fault. When it’s someone else, they’re a shitty person.
From the Department of Unresolved Inner 5-yr Olds: the impetus for learning how to think. From the Department of Travis Corrigan: some solutions.