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Traits and Situations

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Jennifer Passey

Personality 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) (personality response) – Mischel only focused on a few studies that obtained dissapointing results. (methodological flaws) – 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
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