Assignment 3 – Situationism

I have chosen to look at situationism, after researching the Standford Prison Experiments for Assignment 2.

Situationism in psychology refers to an approach to personality that holds that people are more influenced by external, situational factors than by internal traits or motivations.



  • Sulzberger A.G(2010) Questions Surround a Delay in Help for a Dying Man. New York Times.

An article which I found to be baffling. A Homeless immigrant, Hugo Alfredo Tax Yale, was stabbed repeatedly whilst trying to intervene in a robbery this year in Queens, New York. Whilst dying on the pavement, nearly 25 people walk by him without the time of day, one ‘Samaritan’ shook him to see if he was alright. Turned him over noticed the blood and walked away… How is that for irony. Mr Tax Yale went to the aid of a fellow human being, and whilst he was dying in the gutter no one came to his. Situationism and it’s effect on people’s judgements can be sickening at times.

  • Krueger. J, I(2009) A componential model of situation effects, person effects, and situation-by-person interaction effects on social behavior . Volume 43, Issue 2, Journal of Research in Personality, Pages 127-136.

A in-depth Journal entry, which identifies three different types of effects which may help to pin point the factors which affect our judgement calls in social scenarios. I found this entry to be very confusing and academic. I had to really read and read to get the ideas behind it.

  • Zimbardo. P (2007) The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil. New York: Random House.

This book is from the man behind the Stanford Prison Experiments. The book looks into what Zimbardo calls the ‘Lucifer Effect’ and why seemingly ordinary people have  unusual, or aberrant behavior, focusing not only on the inner factors, but mainly the exterior factors  which may contribute to the unusual. I found this source to be fascinating and extremely eye-opening.

  • Bowers. K,S (2007)Situationism in psychology: An analysis and a critique. Psychological Review. Volume 80, Issue 5. Pages 307-336

The journal entry argues the point that, irrationale behaviour is more to do with the situation than was previously considered by trait theory.

  • Krahe, B. (1993) Personality and Social Psychology: Towards a Synthesis. London: Sage.

The textbook outlines the background to the main controversies to the ‘Social Situation’. Krahe looks at the results of various challenges to traditional personality theory and explores new methods in measuring the reaction of people’s personality in the Social Situatuion.