Personality Self-Representation Change in Circumstances of “Goal — Affordance” Incongruity and Situational Opportunities



The purpose of the current work was to study the influence of incongruence of an individual’s goals and situational affordances on the self-representation in everyday situations. In the course of the study, participants (N = 62) first gave a self-assessment of their personality traits, after which they defined relevant goals in six pairs of situational vignettes on the SAAP scale, then selected adjectives from the list describing their state in situations of congruency (CS) and non-congruency (NCS) with their primary goals. Finally, the valence of self-representation in CS and NCS was determined. The results of the study showed that in all six pairs of compared situations there were changes in goals, from complete or partial replacement of goals to important changes in their significance for the respondents. Multiple regression analysis allowed us to conclude that situational determinants as explanatory variables can better explain the manifestations of agreeableness, extraversion, conscientiousness and openness in the NCS, compared to stable traits. However, stable traits explain the manifestations of neuroticism in the NCS better than situational characteristics. The results of the study confirm the assumption that changed goals cause the manifestation of traits and states that differ from stable dispositions. The quantitative analysis of adjectives with positive and negative emotional-evaluative meaning showed that in the NCS respondents were 2.57 times more likely to choose attributes with a negative emotional-evaluative meaning compared to the CS, which confirms the hypothesis of the predominance of negative valence of self-representation in the conditions of goal incongruency. The findings indicate that the change in self-representation in the NCS significantly and in the theoretically expected way were associated with a change in goals as a result of change in situational affordances.

General Information

Keywords: self-representation, situational determinants, incongruence of goals, traits, states

Journal rubric: Empirical and Experimental Research

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The study was supported by the Russian Science Foundation grant, project no. 22-28-00871 “Target and situational determinants of the process of personality self-change”.

Received: 21.03.2023


For citation: Mamaeva-Niles V.D. Personality Self-Representation Change in Circumstances of “Goal — Affordance” Incongruity and Situational Opportunities. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology, 2023. Vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 375–395. DOI: 10.21638/spbu16.2023.306. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Veronika D. Mamaeva-Niles, MA in Psychology, Saint-Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, e-mail:



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