Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Corr I 28
Situations/Lewin, Kurt: Kurt Lewin (1936)(1) expressed it in terms of his classic formula, B = f (P, S) (behaviour is a function of an interaction between the person and the situation). This implies that if a researcher knew everything there was to know about a person, psychologically, and also knew everything there was to know about the psychological aspects of the situation he or she was in, the ability to predict the individual’s behaviour should follow as a matter of course. More recent writings have suggested that the three elements of Lewin’s formula – behaviour, person and situation – form a ‘personality triad’ in the sense that if any two were completely understood, the third should in principle be derivable (Funder 2006(2); see also Bandura 1978(3)), which suggests two additional formulae. See >Situations/Funder.


1. Lewin, K. 1936. Principles of topographical psychology. New York, NY: McGraw Hill
2. Funder, D. C. 2006. Towards a resolution of the personality triad: persons, situations and behaviours, Journal of Research in Personality 40: 21–34
3. Bandura, A. 1978. The self-system in reciprocal determinism, American Psychologist 33: 344–58


Seth A Wagerman & David C. Funder, “Personality psychology of situations”, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Lewin, Kurt
Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009

Corr II
Philip J. Corr (Ed.)
Personality and Individual Differences - Revisiting the classical studies Singapore, Washington DC, Melbourne 2018


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