In his fascinating book Situations Matter: Understanding How Context Transforms Your World, psychology professor and researcher Sam Sommers, Ph.D, reveals the big impact context has on public behavior — how we think about others and even how we think about ourselves.
According to Sommers, “Even the most private of perceptions — our very sense of self — is shaped by where we are and who we’re with, though we may resist this notion.”
Our Iffy Introspection
Complete this statement five times: “I am _____________.” This is a short version of the “Twenty Statements Test.” If you were given this same test tomorrow or a few years from now or in a different place, do you think your answers would be the same?
Sommers doesn’t think so. He says that how we view ourselves actually changes over time and location. Even small changes in context can affect our responses in a big way.
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