The Role of Situational Demands and Cognitive Competencies in Behavior Organization and Personality Coherence

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Abstract

Consistency in the natural organization of aggressive and prosocial (constructive) behavior, assessed repeatedly in vivo over a summer in a residential camp for children, was predicted from situational and personal characteristics. Similarity of situations in the types of competencies they demand in part predicted cross-situational consistency in individual differences in aggressive behaviors (Study 1). Study 2 examined the effect of cognitive competence on the discriminative patterning of behavior variation across situations. More cognitively competent Ss showed such discriminative patterning, which was reflected in greater Person × Situation interaction variance in their prosocial behavior.

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