sept 23 2011
People are inconsistent
-behave differently in different situations.
-numerous exceptions to general behaviour.
-older people are more consistent in their personality than younger people.
Walter Mischel(situationist): Person- Situation Debate.
-traits are poor predictors of behaviour
-situation is much better predictor
-personality assessments and intuitions about personality are fundamentally flawed.
No consistent differences between personality; situation is the only predictor.
Predictability: personality traits are useful if they can be used to predict behaviour
– personality traits and behaviour correlate at .40(situationist view)
– Mischel only focused on a few studies that obtained dissapointing results. (methodological
– however, the studies were still able to find correlations
– We can do better! - better studies, better research.
-focus on behavioural trends instead of single actions
– .40 is not small! - a prediction of behaviour based on a personality trait score is likely to be
accurate 70% of the time.
-can be compared to a relative standard.
Funder and Ozer (1983)
– compared prominent examples from social psych of the power ot situations to shape behaviour.
-Festinger and Carlsmith (1959): Cognitive Dissonance; r = -.36
-Darley and Latane (1968): Bystander intervention; r = -.38 and r = -.39
-Milgram (1975): Obedience; r = .42, r = .36
– all these correlations are around .40, so