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A Free-Response Description Approach to the Analysis of Person-Situation Interaction

Pervin, Lawrence A.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Rutgers University Research Council, Behavioral Science Research, Factor Analysis, Interaction Process Analysis, Personality Studies, Responses


A report on the utilization of a free-response description approach to address the following question: In what ways does an individual remain stable and in what ways vary as a function of which situational characteristics? Each of four subjects generated a list of situations in his/hers current life which he or she then rated on lists of situation traits, feelings, and behaviors which also were generated by the individual subject. For each subject the data were factor analyzed to determine groups of situations which were distinctive in terms of the feelings and behaviors associated with them. It was suggested that the personality of each individual could be understood in terms of the pattern of stability and change, in feelings and behaviors, in relation to defined groups of situations. It was also suggested that the approach utilized might serve as the basis for the future development of a taxonomy of situations and behaviors in situations. (27pp.)

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