Rich contexts do not always enrich the accuracy of personality judgments

Wall, Helen J. and Taylor, Paul J. and Dixon, John and Conchie, Stacey M. and Ellis, David A. (2013) Rich contexts do not always enrich the accuracy of personality judgments. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49 (6). pp. 1190-1195. ISSN 0022-1031

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2013.05.010

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Item Type:Article
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Abstract

We test the common assumption that information ‘rich’ contexts lead to more accurate personality judgments than information ‘lean’ contexts. Pairs of unacquainted students rendered judgments of one another's personalities after interacting in one of three, increasingly rich, contexts: Internet ‘chat’, telephone, or face-to-face. Accuracy was assessed by correlating participants' judgments with a measure of targets' personalities that averaged self and informant ratings. As predicted, the visible traits of extraversion and conscientiousness were judged more accurately than the less visible traits of neuroticism and openness. However, judgment accuracy also depended on context. Judgments of extraversion and neuroticism improved as context richness increased (i.e., from Internet ‘chat’ to face-to-face), whereas judgments of conscientiousness and openness improved as context richness decreased (i.e., from face-to-face to Internet ‘chat’). Our findings suggest that context richness shapes not only the availability of personality cues but also the relevance of cues in any given context.

Additional Information:Available online 30 May 2013
Keywords:Personality judgment, Trait visibility, Accuracy, Context richness, Cue availability, First impression
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C830 Experimental Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C880 Social Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:11815
Deposited On:06 Sep 2013 12:55

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