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J Pers. 2014 Oct;82(5):440-51. doi: 10.1111/jopy.12075. Epub 2013 Nov 4.

An examination of information quality as a moderator of accurate personality judgment.

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Idaho State University.


Information quality is an important moderator of the accuracy of personality judgment, and this article describes research focusing on how specific kinds of information are related to accuracy. In this study, 228 participants (159 female, 69 male; mean age = 23.43; 86.4% Caucasian) in unacquainted dyads were assigned to discuss thoughts and feelings, discuss behaviors, or engage in behaviors. Interactions lasted 25-30 min, and participants provided ratings of their partners and themselves following the interaction on the Big Five traits, ego-control, and ego-resiliency. Next, the amount of different types of information made available by each participant was objectively coded. The accuracy criterion, composed of self- and acquaintance ratings, was used to assess distinctive and normative accuracy using the Social Accuracy Model. Participants in the discussion conditions achieved higher distinctive accuracy than participants who engaged in behaviors, but normative accuracy did not differ across conditions. Information about specific behaviors and general behaviors were among the most consistent predictors of higher distinctive accuracy. Normative accuracy was more likely to decrease than increase when higher-quality information was available. Verbal information about behaviors is the most useful for learning about how people are unique.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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