Book #3: Situations Matter
by: Sam Sommers
One sentence review: Situations Matter presents some interesting research on how our behavior and personality can be affected by the people, places, and events surrounding us, but if you’ve taken a psych course, you know most of what he’s saying already.
Once more, with feeling: I was so stoked to finally read this book. I’ve thought a lot about the importance of context in daily life, and I feel like I make extra efforts to think about a situation and the people within it in their entirety before making judgements or drawing conclusions. So Situations Matter seemed right up my alley.
And, really, it was. Each chapter focused on a different arena in life that’s affected more than we often realize by context. I did learn some interesting things (like that women will underperform men on a math test unless they’re told that the test is designed to eliminate bias between genders), and I liked that each chapter concluded with thoughts on how to apply the findings of the research explored to better control situations in your own life (like, if you need help, ask a specific person instead of just shouting out or sending a mass email). I definitely wish more people would read and care about the chapter on gender stereotyping. But so much of what I read, I already knew. So that was a bummer. I guess I just expected more .
I’d recommend Situations Matter to anyone just beginning to think about context and how we respond to what’s happening around us, also to people with a general interest in psychology.