• Heinz Heckhausen


Chapters 4 and 5 have dealt with the situational influences which affect motivation and behavior. Individual differences in their degree of influence — e.g., in the perception of the situation or in the incentive value of a goal object — were ignored (Chapter 4) or mostly left unexplained (Chapter 5; an exception is the risk-taking model). Until the late 1940s experimental research in motivation had largely overlooked the problem of individual differences. It was primarily focused on transitory motive states but not on motives as dispositional variables. It was part of one of the “two disciplines of scientific psychology” (Cronbach, 1957), namely experimental but not differential psychology. Its investigators carried out an experimental analysis by systematically varying situational factors and observing intraindividual not interindividual changes in behavior (cf. Chapter 1; Figure 1.1). The change came in the early 1950s. For the first time the gap between the two disciplines was bridged. Manipulation of situational variables became combined with questions about individual differences in order to explain both intraindividual and interindividual variation in behavior.


Test Anxiety Personality Disposition Eyelid Response Attention Hypothesis Cognitive Interference 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heinz Heckhausen
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für psychologische ForschungMünchen 40Germany

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