Situationism (psychology)

Situationism in psychology refers to an approach to personality that holds that people are more influenced by external, situational factors than by internal traits or motivations.

It therefore challenges the position of trait theorists, such as Hans Eysenck or Raymond B. Cattell. The term is popularly associated with Walter Mischel, although he himself does not appear to like the term. Empirical evidence upon which situationists base their claims take the form of cross-situational measures of traits such as extraversion, in which only low correlations of the same trait taken in different situations have been found. However, in response to such evidence, Hans Eysenck has pointed out that the correlations, while low, are typically still high enough to reach statistical significance. A midrange position, which holds that personality is best understood as resulting from subtle interplay of internal and external factors, is known as "interactionism".

Some notable situationist studies include: Zimbardo's Stanford prison experiment, Bystander experiments, Obedience experiments like Milgram experiment and Heat and Aggression experiments.


*Krahe, B. (1993) "Personality and Social Psychology: Towards a Synthesis." London: Sage.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Situationism — may refer to:* The ideas of Situationist International, an international political and artistic movement of the 1960s * Situationism (psychology), which holds that personality is more influenced by external factors than by internal traits or… …   Wikipedia

  • Moral psychology — is a field of study in both philosophy and psychology. Some use the term moral psychology relatively narrowly to refer to the study of moral development.[1] However, others tend to use the term more broadly to include any topics at the… …   Wikipedia

  • Hypostatic model of personality — Concepts Personality aspect (hypostasis) Personality dimension Personality axis Intrapersonal relation Interpersonal relation Originators Charles Sanders Peirce William James Aaron Rosanoff …   Wikipedia

  • Cognitive-affective personality system — Cognitive Affective Processing System Concepts Cognitive affective unit Self perception Situation Person situation interaction Proponents Walter Mischel Yuichi Shoda Relevant works A cognitive affective system theory of personality …   Wikipedia

  • Status quo bias — The status quo bias is a cognitive bias for the status quo; in other words, people tend not to change an established behaviour unless the incentive to change is compelling. The finding has been observed in many fields, including political science …   Wikipedia

  • Character education — is an umbrella term loosely used to describe the teaching of children in a manner that will help them develop variously as moral, civic, good, mannered, behaved, non bullying, healthy, critical, successful, traditional, compliant and/ or socially …   Wikipedia

  • MILGRAM, STANLEY — (1933–1984), U.S. social psychologist. Born in New York City, Milgram attended public schools in the Bronx, then earned a bachelor s degree in political science at Queens College in 1954. Convinced by an advisor to change his field of study to… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Self monitoring — This article is about self monitoring theory. Self monitoring can also refer to monitoring competence or emotional self regulation.Self monitoring theory is a contribution to the psychology of personality, proposed by Mark Snyder in 1974. The… …   Wikipedia

  • Dispositionist — is a term in psychology used to describe those that believe people s actions are conditioned by some internal factor, such as beliefs, values, personality traits, or abilities, rather than the situation they find themselves in. (See also:… …   Wikipedia

  • List of topics in social and political philosophy — * And theory of conservatism * A Conflict of Visions * A Few Words on Non Intervention * A Vindication of the Rights of Men * Accountability * Action theory * Actual Idealism * Adam Müller * Adamites * Agency (philosophy) * Aggravation of class… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.