States and traits: Theories, models, and assessment

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The question of whether characteristics of persons (stable personality dispositions that are often referred to as traits), characteristics of situations, or Person × Situation interactions are more relevant to psychological behavior has been debated for decades (e.g., Donnellan, Lucas, & Fleeson, 2009; Epstein, 1983; Fleeson, 2001, 2004; Funder, 1991, 2008; Funder, Guillaume, Kumagai, Kawamoto, & Sato, 2012; Kenrick & Funder, 1988; Mischel, 1968). In psychological measurement, the distinction between trait (enduring or stable) components and state residual (variable or fluctuating) components has been of ever-increasing interest to researchers since the 1980s and 1990s when more sophisticated theoretical and statistical approaches became available (Steyer, Ferring, & Schmitt, 1992; Steyer, Majcen, Schwenkmezger, & Buchner, 1989). Furthermore, new methodological approaches have recently been developed to better conceptualize and understand psychological situations (e.g., Rauthmann, Sherman, & Funder, 2015)
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychological Assessment
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)219-223
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 07.2017