Toward a Psychology of Situations: An Interactional Perspective

Toward a Psychology of Situations: An Interactional Perspective

Toward a Psychology of Situations: An Interactional Perspective

Toward a Psychology of Situations: An Interactional Perspective

Excerpt

The environment has become a focus of interest in many areas of psychology during recent years. In the field of personality, intense theoretical discussion and comprehensive empirical research have drawn attention to the environment, and especially to that part of it that is immediately available to us on every occasion, i.e., to the situation. A necessary consequence of an interactionistic position, which has drawn so much attention both in theorizing and in empirical research during the seventies, is an increased interest in the situations and situational conditions with which an individual is involved in a continuously ongoing, reciprocal interaction process. In this context, many researchers have emphasized that more sophisticated theorizing and more effective and systematic empirical research on situations are prerequisites for a more functional and effective psychology, both in theory and in applied areas.

In 1975 the first international conference on Interactional Psychology was organized in Stockholm (by D. Magnusson and N. S. Endler), resulting in the book Personality at the Crossroads: Current Issues in Interactional Psychology. The natural emphasis at that conference was on the person side of person- situation interactions. In the light of what has happened since, an equally natural theme for the second Stockholm conference on Interactional Psychology, held June 16-22, 1979, was "The Situation in Psychological Theory and Research." All 22 papers presented at the symposium are included in this volume. The introductory chapters constituting Part I were written especially for this book. The main aims of these two chapters are to discuss some basic conceptual and methodological problems in analyses of situations and environments, and to suggest some lines for future research. It should be underlined that the introductory chapters do not attempt to summarize major points of the papers presented at . . .

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