Interactionism in personality and social psychology: An integrated approach to understanding the mind and behaviour



In both personality psychology and social psychology there is a trajectory of theory and research that has its roots in Gestalt psychology and interactionism. This work is outlined in this paper along with an exploration of the hitherto neglected points of connection it offers these two fields. In personality psychology the focus is on dynamic interactionism and in social psychology, mainly through social identity theory and self-categorization theory, it is on the interaction between the individual (‘I’) and group (‘we’) and how the environment (that includes the perceiver) is given meaning. What emerges is an understanding of the person and behaviour that is more integrated, dynamic and situated. The aim of the paper is to stimulate new lines of theory and research consistent with this view of the person. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.