People read detective stories to find out who did the dirty deed, but in real life we also want to know why people do things – was it because of a terrible childhood, a mental illness, possession by a demon, or what? When we make a situational attribution, we are identifying the cause of an action as something in the situation or environment. Let’s look at the dyad different persons respond differently to the same situation. On my job their are two department complexes. One complex houses sixteen women in drug treatment. Another complex houses four women. When on a given assignment the hours are 7am to 7pm and 7pm to 7am. The assignment on 7am is much harder with more demanding schedule.
As a supervisor to get motivation from each employee, I would schedule the employee with the most seniority to perform the more hectic schedule. Ms. Betty who is an older employee responds very angrily when she is put on the 7am schedule, as to she cannot perform the hustle and bustle of transporting the clients. I would schedule her to the 7pm schedule, which calls for giving medication at 7:30pm. Then there is no more hectic work to be done.
Persons choose the situation, and situations choose the person. Several aspects of the work environment are known to increase job involvement, motivation and satisfaction (Scott et al., 1995). For example as a supervisor I would allow employees to set their own hours and make decisions. The work would then feel meaningful and important to employees. Tasks are varied rather than repetitive. The company maintains clear and consistent rules. The employees have supportive relations with their superiors and other co-workers.
Priming is an implicit memory effect whereby exposure to a stimulus influences responses to a later stimulus. Different situations can prime different parts of the person through later stimulus. This ...