Personality and Situations

Earlier we discussed how research shows heredity is more important than the environment in developing our personalities. The environment is not irrelevant, though. Some personality traits, such as the Big Five, tend to be effective in almost any environment or situation. However, we are learning that the effect of particular traits on behavior depends on the situation. Two theoretical frameworks, situation strength and trait activation, help explain how this works.

Situation Strength Theory

Imagine you are in a meeting with your department. How likely are you to walk out, shout at a colleague, or turn your back on everyone? Probably highly unlikely. Now imagine working from home. You might work in your pajamas, listen ...

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