I just called it giving someone “the benefit of the doubt.” As in, if you don’t KNOW that they meant to be late, assume it was accidental, unless they are late so frequently that it’s a well-established pattern.
In any case, Mixing Memory calls it “motivated cognition” in this fine post:
Mixing Memory: Motivated Cognition in Relationships, or How Motivated Cognition Can Save Your Marriage.
I wrote a nice long post about motivated cognition in multi-partner and blended family relationships, and my computer crashed. So you’ll just have to imagine what I might have said, as I’m sure you’re going to go read the fine article for yourself and tell me what you thought about it.
I’m going to be rebuilding my PC.