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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1994 Oct;67(4):674-87.

Intraindividual stability in the organization and patterning of behavior: incorporating psychological situations into the idiographic analysis of personality.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027.


In nomothetic analyses, the cross-situational consistency of individual differences in social behavior, assessed in vivo in a camp setting, dependent on the similarity in the psychological features of situations. As predicted by the social-cognitive theory of personality, idiographic analyses revealed that individuals were characterized by stable profiles of if ... then ...,situation-behavior relationships that formed "behavioral signatures" of personality (e.g., he aggresses when warned by adults but complies when threatened by peers. Thus, the intraindividual organization of behavior variation across situations was enduring but discriminatively patterned, visible as distinctive profiles of situation-behavior relationships. Implications were examined for an idiographic reconceptualization of personality coherence and its behavioral expressions in relation to the psychological ingredients of situations.

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