Studies have shown that if a reader is unhappy, they are more likely to fall prey to the fundamental attribution error (Forgas, 1998). The practical implications of this study show that the inferences made about an individual play a key role in everyday life, and understanding why people act the way they do is central in both achieving one’s goals and “making coordinated social action possible” (Forgas, 1998).

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An understanding of the reasons why individuals act the way that they do allows for the argument that the shooting of Martin Luther King was a beneficial act, not because of what was done, but because it served to shift the public mood regarding the topics that he so fervently discussed, based on the change in public mood, and serving to become the catalyst for public social action to occur, allowing the coordination of social action and spurring forward the civil rights movement far more quickly than would have otherwise occurred.

Through an understanding of how mood works to affect bias, and an understanding of the fundamental attribution error it is possible to see how different events may work to spur a change in social action resulting in beneficial behaviors for society overall, and, as in the case of Martin Luther King, work to spur along his efforts in a manner that would only have occurred with a catalyst of that type of magnitude.