Taxonomies of situations from a trait psychological perspective: A review

Maarten van den Berge, B. De Raad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


In this article we review studies of situations and situation taxonomies from the perspective of trait psychology. Objections to trait psychology are discussed and several refutations are recapitulated The relation between traits and situations is analysed, as well as the affinity that both concepts demonstrate. Some taxonomic properties ave discussed, exemplified by one of the most common and detailed trait taxonomies to date, the Abridged Big Five Circumplex, and by seven situation taxonomies. Personality psychologists, besides trait psychologists, have stressed the need to no longer debate the existence of traits, but to specify their nature with increasing precision in different situations. What is needed is a taxonomy of personality characteristics that systematically incorporates situational information, so that traits can be questioned in their context, that is, in a context that allows for individual differences in the expression of trait-relevant behaviour.
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)337 - 360
Number of pages24
JournalEuropean Journal of Personality
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1999

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