What Is Social Psychology?

Critical Thinking Questions

Compare and contrast situational influences and dispositional influences and give an example of each. Explain how situational influences and dispositional influences might explain inappropriate behavior.

Hint:

A situationism view is that our behaviors are determined by the situation—for example, a person who is late for work claims that heavy traffic caused the delay. A dispositional view is that our behaviors are determined by personality traits—for example, a driver in a road rage incident claims the driver who cut her off is an aggressive person. Thus, a situational view tends to provide an excuse for inappropriate behavior, and a dispositional view tends to lay blame for inappropriate behavior.

Provide an example of how people from individualistic and collectivistic cultures would differ in explaining why they won an important sporting event.

Hint:

People from individualistic cultures would tend to attribute athletic success to individual hard work and ability. People from collectivistic cultures would tend attribute athletic success to the team working together and the support and encouragement of the coach.