The Key Ingredients of Personality Traits: Situations, Behaviors, and Explanations

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2014, Vol 40(1) 79–91

Posted: 4 Dec 2016

See all articles by Yu Yang

Yu Yang

ShanghaiTech University - School of Entrepreneurship and Management

Stephen J. Read

University of Southern California - Department of Psychology

Thomas Denson

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - School of Psychology

Yiyuan Xu

University of Hawaii

Jin Zhang

Tsinghua University

William Pedersen

California State University, Long Beach

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

The trait and social cognitive perspectives are considered disparate approaches to understanding personality. We suggest an integrative view in which three elements derived from the social cognitive perspective (i.e., situations, behaviors, and explanations [SBEs]) form the basis of personality traits. Study 1 demonstrated strong associations between traits and SBEs across the Big Five dimensions. Studies 2 through 7 tested the discriminative validity, internal structure, and unique contributions of the individual components of SBEs. Studies 8 and 9 demonstrated that the strong associations between traits and SBEs generalize to different cultures. The present work suggests that SBEs may be a universal folk psychological mechanism underlying personality traits.

Keywords: personality, traits, social cognitive theories, person perception, culture

Suggested Citation

Yang, Yu and Read, Stephen J. and Denson, Thomas and Xu, Yiyuan and Zhang, Jin and Pedersen, William, The Key Ingredients of Personality Traits: Situations, Behaviors, and Explanations (2014). Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2014, Vol 40(1) 79–91, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2874338

Yu Yang (Contact Author)

ShanghaiTech University - School of Entrepreneurship and Management ( email )

100 Haike Rd
Pudong Xinqu, Shanghai
China

Stephen J. Read

University of Southern California - Department of Psychology ( email )

SGM 501
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1061
United States

Thomas Denson

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - School of Psychology ( email )

Sydney
Australia

Yiyuan Xu

University of Hawaii ( email )

Honolulu, HI 96822
United States

Jin Zhang

Tsinghua University ( email )

Beijing, 100084
China

William Pedersen

California State University, Long Beach ( email )

1250 Bellflower Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90064
United States

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