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Practical Intelligence and the Virtues$
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Daniel C. Russell

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199565795

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199565795.001.0001

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Situations and Dispositions: Examining the Evidence

Situations and Dispositions: Examining the Evidence

(p.268) 9 Situations and Dispositions: Examining the Evidence
Practical Intelligence and the Virtues

Daniel C. Russell (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines a body of social-psychological experiments that appear to give evidence against dispositionist accounts of personality and in favor of the importance of situation construal for behavior — a central situationist claim. The interpretation of this evidence has been the subject of enormous recent philosophical controversy. Consequently, the chapter begins by examining the methodology behind these experiments. It then reviews a small but representative sample of four major experiments of this type, and then considers and rejects a number of objections to the situationist interpretations of the findings of these experiments. The chapter argues that the evidence favors situationism, and in particular a cognitive-affective personality theory over a dispositionist one.

Keywords:   broad-based dispositions, consistency, dispositionism, situationism, social psychology, stability, virtue theory

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