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Beyond déjà vu in the search for cross-situational consistency

Beyond déjà vu in the search for cross-situational consistency Recent efforts to resolve the debate regarding the consistency of social behavior are critically analyzed and reviewed in the light of new data from 63 college students. Even with reliable measures, based on multiple behavior observations aggregated over occasions, mean cross-situational consistency coefficients were of modest magnitude; in contrast, impressive temporal stability was found. Although aggregation of measures over occasions is a useful step in establishing reliability, aggregation of measures over situations bypasses rather than resolves the problem of cross-situational consistency. Congruent with a cognitive prototype approach, it is proposed and demonstrated that the judgment of trait consistency is strongly related to the temporal stability of highly prototypic behaviors. In contrast, the global impression of consistency may not be strongly related to highly generalized cross-situational consistency, even in prototypic behaviors. Thus, the perception and organization of personality consistencies seem to depend more on the temporal stability of key features than on the observation of cross-situational behavioral consistency, and the former may be easily interpreted as if it were the latter. (65 ref) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Psychological Review American Psychological Association

Beyond déjà vu in the search for cross-situational consistency

Psychological Review , Volume 89 (6): 26 – Nov 1, 1982

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References (68)

Publisher
American Psychological Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1982 American Psychological Association
ISSN
0033-295x
eISSN
1939-1471
DOI
10.1037/0033-295X.89.6.730
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Recent efforts to resolve the debate regarding the consistency of social behavior are critically analyzed and reviewed in the light of new data from 63 college students. Even with reliable measures, based on multiple behavior observations aggregated over occasions, mean cross-situational consistency coefficients were of modest magnitude; in contrast, impressive temporal stability was found. Although aggregation of measures over occasions is a useful step in establishing reliability, aggregation of measures over situations bypasses rather than resolves the problem of cross-situational consistency. Congruent with a cognitive prototype approach, it is proposed and demonstrated that the judgment of trait consistency is strongly related to the temporal stability of highly prototypic behaviors. In contrast, the global impression of consistency may not be strongly related to highly generalized cross-situational consistency, even in prototypic behaviors. Thus, the perception and organization of personality consistencies seem to depend more on the temporal stability of key features than on the observation of cross-situational behavioral consistency, and the former may be easily interpreted as if it were the latter. (65 ref)

Journal

Psychological ReviewAmerican Psychological Association

Published: Nov 1, 1982

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