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Abstract

This study starts from a cognitive-social-learning conceptualization of the contribution of static person by situation interaction to overt behaviour variance. Individual differences in the relation between, on the one hand, situational variation in behaviour and, on the other hand, situational variation in objective situational characteristics, situational variation in construed situational characteristics, and situational variation in goals-in-situations were systematically investigated. Thirty-six first-year psychology students had to freely generate and briefly describe 20 interpersonal situations that they had encountered during the last year. Afterwards, they had to rate each situation for four basic behavioural continua, eight supplied objective situational characteristics, eight supplied constructs, and eight supplied goals. Correlational analysis revealed many stable individual differences, not only in degree, but also in direction (sign) of situation-behaviour, construct–behaviour, and goal–behaviour relations. These relational variables could be reduced to seven relational factorial dimensions. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.