A personality perspective on situations

Joshua Wilt, William Revelle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


Personality is the unique patterning of affect, behavior, cognition, and desire across different situations, and therefore the study of situations is integral to the science of personality. This chapter reviews the role of personality factors in situational choice and situational experience and shows how the concepts of latency and persistence help facilitate a dynamic understanding of these topics. Situational choice is influenced by trait-consistency, expected and desired affect, and higher-order goals. Choices to engage in different situations over time have potential developmental implications for personality stability and change. Personality traits influence situational experience in terms of cognitive construal, affect, and state manifestations of personality. The distinction between nomothetic and idiographic approaches adds another level of nuance to the study of situational experience. The chapter concludes with a graphical demonstration of the relations between personality and affect across different situations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Psychological Situations
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780190263348
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Latency
  • Nomothetic-idiographic
  • Persistence
  • Personality
  • Situational choice
  • Situational experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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