The Search for Predictable Settings. Situational Prototypes, Constraint, and Behavioral Variation

Nicola S. Schutte, Douglas Kenrick, Edward K. Sadalla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


Although a good deal of research has been addressed at finding persons who are more or less variable across situations, less attention has been paid to the complementary interactionist question: Which situations are associated with more or less behavioral variance? The present investigation examined the effects of situational prototypicality and constraint on both memory and predicted behavior within settings. Memory data support the existence of situational prototypes. Both the degree of prototypicality of a situation and the level of situational constraint influenced predicted behavior; the greater the prototypicality of a situation and the higher the level of situational constraint, the more consensus there was as to what behaviors subjects would perform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-128
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 1985


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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