Taking Situations Seriously
David Funder, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
University of California, Riverside
Monday, October 29th
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The Lewinian insight that behavior is a function of the person and situation implies a need for assessment of all three terms. However, while many methods are available for assessing persons, and fewer but some methods for assessing behavior, a technology for the assessment of situations has been virtually nonexistent -- until now. I will describe the Riverside Situational Q-sort and demonstrate its usefulness in three domains: the analysis of behavioral consistency, testing implications of psychological theory (evolutionary psychology), and assessment of cross-cultural differences. A technology for situational assessment opens up whole new domains of research that were not previously empirically accessible.