Abstract and Keywords
The chapter argues that individuals are dynamic systems that continually transact with their situational experiences. Computational modeling may provide a useful toolset for generating and refining hypotheses regarding general principles of such person-situation transactions. Building computational models encourages conceptual rigor and allows proof-of-principle testing of hypotheses, even though the models do not provide empirical evidence. It has been previously hypothesized that person-environment transactions (systematic situational influences on personality) tend to increase, whereas random influences may decrease, the magnitude of individual differences. The chapter introduces a framework (personality space framework; PSF) for building computational models that play through such scenarios. The models suggested that any kind of accumulating situational experiences may tend to make people more alike until variance reaches a plateau, regardless of whether the experiences are random or systematically tied to pre-existing trait levels. The simulations also suggested that person-environment transactions may contribute to the emergence of personality “factor(s).”
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