Contextual conditions affect behavior in 2 ways: (a) They confront people with opportunities and obstacles that affect their motivation to take action; or (b) they instantaneously shape performance, regardless of a person's motivation and even without subjective acknowledgment of the conditions. Traditionally in psychology, the immediate behavioral consequences of a context are disregarded. Based on our theory of goal-directed behavior, we are able to disentangle the instant and the motivational behavioral consequences of contexts. In an example study, 40% of the variation in performance among 660 Swiss and Spanish pupils was explained by motivational differences. Instantaneous constraints and facilitations imposed on people's acts, in turn, revealed a set of Switzerland- and Spain-specific limitations and affordances (hit rate = 97.5%).
|Journal||Journal of Applied Social Psychology|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|