A preprint of the following article is now available on PsyArXiv via the link below:
Dutriaux, L., Clark, N., Papies, E.K., Scheepers, C., & Barsalou, L.W. (2021). The Situated Assessment Method (SAM2): Establishing individual differences in habitual behavior.
Abstract: From the perspectives of grounded, situated, and embodied cognition, we have developed a new approach for assessing individual differences. Because this approach is grounded in two dimensions of situatedness—situational experience and the Situated Action Cycle—we refer to it as the Situated Assessment Method (SAM2). Rather than abstracting over situations during assessment of a construct (as in traditional assessment instruments), SAM2 assesses a construct in situations where it occurs, simultaneously measuring factors from the Situated Action Cycle known to influence it. To demonstrate this framework, we developed the SAM2 Habitual Behavior Instrument (SAM2 HBI). Across three studies with a total of 442 participants, the SAM2 HBI produced a robust and replicable pattern of results at both the group and individual levels. Three trait-level measures of behavior regularity across 80 behaviors, 40 positive behaviors, and 40 negative behaviors exhibited large reliable individual differences. Several sources of evidence demonstrated the construct validity of these measures. At both the group and individual levels, the SAM2 measure of behavior regularity was associated with factors from the Situated Action Cycle known to influence habitual behavior in the literature (consistency, automaticity, immediate reward, long-term reward). Regressions explained approximately 65% of the variance at the group level and a median of approximately 75% at the individual level. The SAM2 measure of behavior regularity also exhibited well-established interactions with personality measures for self-control and neuroticism. Cognitive-affective processes from the Situated Action Cycle explained nearly all the variance in these interactions. Finally, a composite measure of habitualness established habitual behaviors at both the group and individual levels. Additionally, a composite measure of reward was strongly related to the composite measure of habitualness, increasing with self-control and decreasing with neuroticism.