Behavior Prediction

In Chapter 1, we advocated that effective theories should be stated in an if-then framework, but Mischel (1999, 2004) is one of only a few personality theorists to do so. His basic theoretical position for predicthig and explaining is stated as follows: "If personality is a stable system that processes the information about the situations, external or internal, then it follows that as individuals encounter different situations, then behaviors should vary across the situations" (p. 43). This theoretical position can generate a number of hypotheses about behavior outcomes. It assumes that personality may have temporal stability and that behaviors may vary from situation to situation. It also assumes that prediction of behavior rests on a knowledge of how and when various cognitive-affective units are activated. These units include encodings, expectancies, beliefs, competencies, self-regulatory plans and strategies, and affects and goals.

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