Abstract and Keywords
Researchers usually construe situations in terms of their impact on individuals, taking little account of a fundamental feature of situations: Who else is involved or implicated in that situation and what is the nature of the relationship between those persons? This chapter provides a framework for conceptualizing these relationship effects, followed by a review of relationship-context effects in six prominent areas of social-psychological research: prosocial behavior, social influence, person perception, self-concept, self-regulation, and evaluative judgments. This review indicates that relationship contexts are one of the most powerful and pervasive situational influences fundamentally shaping human behavior. In the chapter we further argue that any conceptualization of situations that seeks to be comprehensive must incorporate these relationship context effects.
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