Incorporating If . . . Then . . . Signatures in Person Perception: Beyond the Person-Situation Dichotomy
Coauthor(s): Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, Walter Mischel.
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Three studies investigated conditions in which perceivers view dispositions and situations as interactive, rather than independent, causal forces when making judgments about another's personality. Study 1 showed that perceivers associated 5 common trait terms (e.g., friendly and shy) with characteristic if . . . then . . . (if situation a, then the person does x, but if situation b, then the person does y) personality signatures. Study 2 demonstrated that perceivers used information about a target's stable if . . . then . . . signature to infer the target's motives and traits; dispositional judgments were mediated by inferences about the target's motivations. Study 3 tested whether perceivers draw on if . . . then . . . signatures when making judgments about Big Five trait dimensions. Together, the findings indicate that perceivers take account of person-situation interactions (reflected in if . . . then . . . signatures in everyday explanations of social behavior and personality dispositions. Boundary conditions are also discussed.
Source: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Kammrath, Lara, Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, and Walter Mischel. "Incorporating If . . . Then . . . Signatures in Person Perception: Beyond the Person-Situation Dichotomy." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 88, no. 4 (April 2005): 605-18.