PSYC 2130 Chapter 6: Personality judgment in daily life
Consequences of everyday judgments of personality
- Opportunities: Reputations affects opportunities in numerous ways.
- People judge the personalities of each other and of themselves all the time and these
judgments have important consequences
- Expectancy effects: Other people’s judgments of an individual can affect that person’s
opportunities and can create self fulfilling prophecies or expectancy effects. Therefore, it
is important to examine when and how judgments are accurate.
The accuracy of personality judgment
- For an extended period of time, psychologists went out of their way to avoid researching
- The most basic reason why accuracy experienced this lengthy hiatus, is that researchers
were stymied by a fundamental problem: by what criteria can personality judgements
made by somebody else be judged right or wrong.
- This point of view is bolstered by the philosophy of constructivism, which is widespread
throughout modern intellectual life. This philosophy holds that reality as a concrete entity
does not exist. All that does exist are human ideas, or constructions, of reality.
- If a tree falls in the forest with no one to hear, does it make a noise? The constructivist
answer is no. A more important implication is that there is no way to regard one
interpretation of reality as accurate and another interpretation as inaccurate, because all
interpretations are mere social constructions.
- The philosophy of critical realism holds that the absence of perfect, infallible criteria for
determining the truth does not mean that all interpretations of reality are equally correct.
- Evaluating a personality judgment is no different. You must gather all the information
that might help you determine whether or not the judgment is valid, and then make the
best determination you can.
- Recent research has evaluated the accuracy of personality judgments in terms of
consensus and predictive validity. Judgments that agree with judgments from other
sources (such as other people) or that are able to predict the target person’s behaviour are
more likely to be accurate than judgments that do not agree with each other or cannot
- Convergent validation is a well developed and widely accepted method for assessing
test validity. It can be illustrated by the duck test. This method is achieved by assembling
diverse pieces of information, such as appearance, walking and swimming style, and
quackiness that converge on a common conclusion: it must be a duck. The more items of
diverse information the converge, the more confident one is in the conclusion -