Rich contexts do not always enrich the accuracy of personality judgments

H Wall, Paul J Taylor, S Conchie, J Dixon, D Ellis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)

    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1190-1195
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of experimental social psychology
    Volume49
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Fingerprint

    Personality
    chat
    personality
    neuroticism
    Internet
    Cues
    telephone
    Ego
    rating
    Telephone
    Students
    student
    Neuroticism
    Extraversion (Psychology)

    Keywords

    • METIS-298472
    • IR-87616

    Cite this

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    Rich contexts do not always enrich the accuracy of personality judgments. / Wall, H; Taylor, Paul J; Conchie, S; Dixon, J; Ellis, D.

    In: Journal of experimental social psychology, Vol. 49, 2013, p. 1190-1195.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    T1 - Rich contexts do not always enrich the accuracy of personality judgments

    AU - Wall, H

    AU - Taylor, Paul J

    AU - Conchie, S

    AU - Dixon, J

    AU - Ellis, D

    PY - 2013

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    AB - 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.

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