Situationism

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  • Situationism
    • Rotter's SLT
      • interaction of the indv w/the env
      • personality is not independent of the env, behaviour is not an automatic response to objective stimuli
      • People are positive and goal-oriented, seeking to maximize reinforcement, not simply avoiding punishment
      • need to focus on both the individual and their environment
    • The 'Locus of Control'
      • Externals: Believe that the locus of control is external to them; reinforcement depends on powerful others, luck, god, zodiac sign, but not their behaviour
        • less successful, feel powerless
      •   Internals: Believe their behaviour makes a difference to the outcome (i.e., they have internal locus of control)
        • generally more successful
      • Rotter demonstrated that LoC is a stable personality characteristic, devised the IE scale
        • a continuum, most cluster in the middle
    • Mischel
      • questions the stability of personality traits across situations
        • argues traits are not good predictors of behaviour
        • points out the personality coefficient  is low (0.2-0.3) - between traits and behaviour
      • behavioural consistencies
        • behavioural consistency (type 1) traits that generally describe the indiivudal
        • behavioural signature of personality (type 2) distinctive patterns of behaviour across similar situations
      • Summer camp study (Shoda, Mischel & Wright, 1994)
        • 84 children observed for 150 hours
        • analyzed aggressive behaviours, concluded that every child was characterized by a distinctive behavioural personality signature
        • focused on 5 situations (‘peer teased’, ‘adult warned’, ‘adult punished’, ‘adult praised’, ‘peer approached prosocially’)
    • Intetractionism - a solution?
      • traits and situations interact to influence behaviour

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