The influence of individuals on situations: Implications for understanding the links between personality and social behavior

Authors

  • Mark Snyder

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Minnesota
      with Mark Snyder and requests for reprints should be addressed to Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, 75 East River Road, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455.
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  • This research and the preparation of this manuscript have been supported in part by National Science Foundation Grant BNS 82-07632 to Mark Snyder. For their helpful comments on the manuscript, thanks go to Steve Gangestad, Richard Lippa, Jeffry A. Simpson, Dave Smith, Stephen G. West, and one reader who chose to offer suggestions in anonymity.

with Mark Snyder and requests for reprints should be addressed to Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, 75 East River Road, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455.

Abstract

In an analysis of the nature and origins of predictability in social behavior, two propositions are considered: (1) There exist categories of individuals whose social behavior is readily predictable from measures of personal attributes such as attitudes, traits, and dispositions as well as categories of individuals whose social behavior is readily predictable from situational and interpersonal specifications of behavioral appropriateness; (2) underlying these differences in predictability are systematic choices to enter and to spend time in social settings and interpersonal contexts that promote and facilitate one or other of these characteristic behavioral orientations. The implications of these propositions for the study of personality and social behavior are considered in the specific case of the psychological construct of self-monitoring and in the general case of understanding the reciprocal influences of individuals and their social worlds.

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