Interactionism and the Person × Situation Debate

A Theoretical Perspective
  • Michael E. Hyland


Although largely a methodological debate, the person × situation issue is predicated on assumed theoretical differences. A review of the literature provides no evidence that personologism exists as a theoretical position. The label of situationism is often applied to radical behaviorism; yet a correct interpretation of radical behaviorism (Skinner, 1938, 1963, 1972) is quite different from the assumed theoretical position of situationism. Personologism and situationism are methodological, not theoretical positions.


Person Variable Theoretical Term Theoretical Position Radical Behaviorism Theoretical Entity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adorno, T. W., Frenkel-Brunswik, E., Levinson, D. J., & Sanford, R. N. The authoritarian personality. New York: Harper & Row, 1950.Google Scholar
  2. Alker, H. A. Beyond ANOVA psychology in the study of person-situation interactions. In D. Magnusson & N. S. Endler (Eds.), Personality at the crossroads. New York: Wiley, 1977.Google Scholar
  3. Allport, G. W. Personality: A psychological interpretation. New York: Holt, 1937.Google Scholar
  4. Allport, G. W. Traits revisited. American Psychologist, 1966, 21, 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Argyle, M., Furnham, A., & Graham, J. A. Social situations. London: Cambridge University Press, 1981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bandura, A. Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 1977.Google Scholar
  7. Bateson, G. Mind and nature. London: Fontana, 1980.Google Scholar
  8. Bern, D. J., & Allen, A. On predicting some of the people some of the time: The search for cross-situational consistencies in behavior. Psychological Review, 1974, 81, 506–520.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bern, D. J., & Funder, D. C. Predicting more of the people more of the time: Assessing the personality of situations. Psychological Review, 1978, 85, 485–501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Block, J. Advancing the psychology of personality: Paradigmatic shift or improving the quality of research. In D. Magnusson & N. S. Endler (Eds.), Personality at the crossroads. Hillsdale, N. J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1977.Google Scholar
  11. Bowers, K. S. Situationism in psychology: An analysis and a critique. Psychological Review, 1973, 80, 307–336.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bowers, K. S. There’s more to lago than meets the eye: A clinical account of personal consistency. In D. Magnusson & N. S. Endler (Eds.), Personality at the crossroads. Hillsdale, N. J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1977.Google Scholar
  13. Bridgman, P. W. The logic of modern physics. London: Macmillan, 1928.Google Scholar
  14. Brownell, P. The effects of personality-situation congruence in a managerial context: Locus of control and budgetary participation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1982, 42, 753–763.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cattell, R. B. The scientific analysis of personality. Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books, 1965.Google Scholar
  16. Chalmers, A. F. What is this thing called science? Milton Keynes, U. K.: Open University Press, 1978.Google Scholar
  17. Claxton, G. Cognitive psychology: A suitable case for what sort of treatment? In G. Claxton (Ed.), Cognitive psychology. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980.Google Scholar
  18. Craig, W. Replacement of auxilary expressions. Philosophical Review, 1956, 65, 38–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ekehammar, B. Interactionism in personality from a historical perspective. Psychological Bulletin, 1974, 81, 1026–1048.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Endler, N. S. The person versus the situation—A pseudo issue? A response to Alker. Journal of Personality, 1973, 41, 287–303.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Endler, N. S., & Magnusson, D. Toward an interactional psychology of personality. Psychological Bulletin, 1976, 83, 957–974.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Epstein, S. Traits are alive and well. In D. Magnusson & N. S. Endler (Eds.), Personality at the crossroads. Hillsdale, N. J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1977.Google Scholar
  23. Epstein, S. The stability of behavior: 1. On predicting most of the people much of the time. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1979, 37, 1097–1126. (a)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Epstein, S. Explorations in personality today and tomorrow: A tribute to H. A. Murray. American Psychologist, 1979, 34, 649–653. (b)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Erkut, S., Jaquette, D. S., & Staub, E. Moral judgment-situation interaction as a basis for predicting pro-social behavior. Journal of Personality, 1981, 49, 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Fiske, D. W. Personologies, abstractions, and interactions. In D. Magnusson, & N. S. Endler (Eds.), Personality at the crossroads. Hillsdale, N. J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1977.Google Scholar
  27. Gibson, J. J. The ecological approach to visual perception. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1979.Google Scholar
  28. Goldberg, L. R. Some recent trends in personality assessment. Journal of Personality Assessment, 1972, 36, 547–560.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Golding, S. L. Flies in the ointment: Some methodological problems in the analysis of the percentage variance due to persons and situations. Psychological Review, 1975, 82, 278–288.Google Scholar
  30. Hanson, N. R. Patterns of discovery: An inquiry into the conceptual foundations of science. London: Cambridge University Press, 1959.Google Scholar
  31. Harré, R., & Secord, P. F. The explanation of social behaviour. Oxford: Blackwell, 1972.Google Scholar
  32. Hartshorne, H., & May, M. A. Studies in the nature of character. Vol. 1. Studies in deceit. New York: Macmillan, 1928.Google Scholar
  33. Hartshorne, H., & May, M. A. Studies in the nature of character. Vol. 2. Studies in service and self-control. New York: Macmillan, 1929.Google Scholar
  34. Hartshorne, H., May, M. A., & Shuttleworth, F. K. Studies in the nature of character. Vol. 3. Studies in the organization of character. New York: Macmillan, 1930.Google Scholar
  35. Heilizer, F. Psychodigms of theory in personality and social psychology. Psychological Reports, 1980, 46, 63–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hempel, C.G. The theoretician’s dilemma. A study of the logic of theory construction. In H. Feigl, M. Scriven, & G. Maxwell (Eds.), Minnesota studies in the philosophy of science (Vol. 2). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1958.Google Scholar
  37. Hyland, M. E. Introduction to theoretical psychology. London: Macmillan, 1981.Google Scholar
  38. Hyland, M. E., & Foot, H. C. Group data, individual behavior: A methodological note. British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 1974, 13, 93–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Ittelson, W. H., Proshansky, H. M., Rivlin, L. G., & Winkel, G. H. An introduction to environmental psychology. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1974.Google Scholar
  40. Kelly, G. A. A theory of personality. New York: Norton, 1955Google Scholar
  41. Kenrick, D. T., & Braver, S. L. Personality: Idiographic and nomothetic! A rejoinder. Psychological Review, 1982, 89, 182–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kenrick, D. T., & Stringfield, D. O. Personality traits and the eye of the beholder: Crossing some traditional philosophical boundaries in the search for consistency in all people. Psychological Review, 1980, 87, 88–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Koffka, K. Principles of gestalt psychology. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1935.Google Scholar
  44. Krauskopf, C. J. Comment on Endler and Magnusson’s attempt to redefine personality. Psychological Bulletin, 1978, 85, 280–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Kuhn, T. The structure of scientific revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970.Google Scholar
  46. Lakatos, I. History of science and its rational reconstruction. In R. C. Buck & R. S. Cohen (Eds.), Boston studies in the philosophy of science (Vol. 8). Dordecht, Holland: Reidel, 1971.Google Scholar
  47. Lehman, H. C., & Witty, P. A. Faculty psychology and personality traits. American Journal of Psychology, 1934, 44, 490.Google Scholar
  48. Lewin, K. A dynamic theory of personality. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1935.Google Scholar
  49. Lewin, K. The conceptual representation and the measurement of psychological forces. Durham, N. C.: Duke University Press, 1938.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Lord, C. G. Predicting behavioural consistency from an individual’s perception of situational similarities. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1982, 42, 1076–1088.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. MacCorquodale, K., & Meehl, P. E. On a distinction between hypothetical constructs and intervening variables. Psychological Review, 1948, 55, 95–107.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Magnusson, D., & Endler, N. S. Interactional psychology: Present status and future prospects. In D. Magnusson & N. S. Endler (Eds.), Personality at the crossroads. Hillsdale, N. J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1977.Google Scholar
  53. Maxwell, G. The ontological status of theoretical entities. In H. Feigl & G. Maxwell (Eds.), Minnesota studies in the philosophy of science (Vol. 3). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1962.Google Scholar
  54. Mischel, W. Personality and assessment. New York: Wiley, 1968.Google Scholar
  55. Mischel, W. Toward a cognitive social learning conceptualization of personality. Psychological Review, 1973, 80, 252–283.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Mischel, W., Jeffery, K. M., & Patterson, C. J. The layman’s use of trait and behavioural information to predict behaviour. Journal of Research in Personality, 1974, 8, 231–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. McClelland, D. C. Personality. New York: Sloane, 1951.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Murray, H. A. Explorations in personality. New York: Oxford University Press, 1938.Google Scholar
  59. Neisser, U. Cognition and reality. San Francisco: Freeman, 1976.Google Scholar
  60. Nygard, R. Toward an interactional psychology: Models from achievement motivation research. Journal of Personality, 1981, 49, 263–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Olweus, D. A critical analysis of the. A critical analysis of the “modern” interactionist position. In D. Magnusson & N. S. Endler (Eds.), Personality at the crossroads. Hillsdale, N. J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1977.Google Scholar
  62. Overton, W. F., & Reese, H. W. Models of development: Methodological implications. In J. R. Nesselroade & H. W. Reese (Eds.), Life span and developmental psychology: Methodological issues. New York: Academic Press, 1973.Google Scholar
  63. Pervin, L. A. Performance and satisfaction as a function of individual-environment fit. Psychological Bulletin, 1968, 69, 56–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Pervin, L. A., & Lewis, M. Overview of the internal-external issue. In L. A. Pervin & M. Lewis (Eds.), Perspectives in interactional psychology. New York: Plenum Press, 1978.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Peterson, D. R. The clinical study of social behavior. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1968.Google Scholar
  66. Popper, K. R. Conjectures and refutations. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1963.Google Scholar
  67. Powers, W. T. Quantitative analysis of purposive systems: Some spadework at the foundations of scientific psychology. Psychological Review, 1978, 85, 417–435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Ramsey, F. P. The foundations of mathematics. New York: Humanities, 1931.Google Scholar
  69. Rausch, H. L. Paradox levels, and junctures in person-situation systems. In D. Magnusson & N. S. Endler (Eds.), Personality at the crossroads. Hillsdale, N. J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1977.Google Scholar
  70. Riegel, K. F. & Meacham, J. A. Dialectics, transaction, and Piagefs theory. In L. A. Pervin & M. Lewis (Eds.), Perspectives in interactional psychology. New York: Plenum Press, 1978.Google Scholar
  71. Rushton J. P., Jackson, D. N., & Pannonen, S. V. Personality: Nomothetic or idiographic? A response to Kenrick & Stringfield. Psychological Review, 1981, 88, 582–589.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Sarason, I. G., Smith, R. E., & Diener, E. Personality research: Components of variance attributable to the person and the situation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1975, 32, 199–204.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Schuster, S., Murrel, S. A., & Cook, W. A. Person, setting, and interaction contributions to nursery school social behavior patterns. Journal of Personality, 1980, 48, 24–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Skinner, B. F. The behavior of organisms. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1938.Google Scholar
  75. Skinner, B. F. Behaviorism at fifty. Science, 1963, 140, 951–958.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Skinner, B. F. Beyond freedom and dignity. London: Jonathon Cape, 1972.Google Scholar
  77. Tolman, E. C. Purposive behavior in animals and men. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1932.Google Scholar
  78. Underwood, B. J. Individual differences and theory construction. American Psychologist, 1975, 30, 128–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Vernon, P. E. Personality assessment: A critical survey. New York: Wiley, 1964.Google Scholar
  80. Wallach, M. A., & Leggett, M. I. Testing the hypothesis that a person will be consistent: Stylistic consistency vs. situational specificity in size of children’s drawing. Journal of Personality, 1972, 40, 309–330.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Zlotowicz, M. Situations, interactions, and comparative psychology. In D. Magnusson & N. S. Endler (Eds.), Personality at the crossroads. Hillsdale, N. J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1977.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael E. Hyland
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyPlymouth PolytechnicPlymouth, DevonEngland

Personalised recommendations