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Judging personality from a brief sample of behaviour: detecting where others stand on trait continua

Wu, Wenjie; Sheppard, Elizabeth; Mitchell, Peter

Authors

Wenjie Wu

Elizabeth Sheppard

Peter Mitchell



Abstract

Trait inferences occur routinely and rapidly during social interaction, sometimes based on scant or fleeting information. In this research, participants (perceivers) made inferences of targets’ big-five traits after briefly watching or listening to an unfamiliar target (a third party) performing various mundane activities (telling a scripted joke or answering questions about him/herself or reading aloud a paragraph of promotional material). Across three studies, when perceivers judged targets to be either low or high in one or more dimensions of the big-five traits they tended to be correct, but they did not tend to be correct when they judged targets as average. Such inferences seemed to vary in effectiveness across different trait dimensions and depending on whether the target’s behavior was presented either in a video with audio, a silent video or just in an audio track – perceivers generally were less often correct when they judged targets as average in each of the big-five traits across various information channels (videos with audio, silent videos and audios). Study 3 replicated these findings in a different culture. We conclude with discussion of the scope and the adaptive value of this trait inferential ability.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal European Journal of Personality
Print ISSN 0890-2070
Electronic ISSN 1099-0984
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Issue 6
APA6 Citation Wu, W., Sheppard, E., & Mitchell, P. (in press). Judging personality from a brief sample of behaviour: detecting where others stand on trait continua. European Journal of Personality, 31(6), doi:10.1002/per.2116
DOI https://doi.org/10.1002/per.2116
Keywords trait inferences, big-five traits, zero-acquaintance, thin slices of behavior
Publisher URL http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/per.2116/full
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Wu, W., Sheppard, E., and Mitchell, P. (2017) Judging Personality from a Brief Sample of Behaviour: Detecting where Others Stand on Trait Continua. Eur. J. Pers., doi: 10.1002/per.2116 which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wi...i/10.1002/per.2116/full This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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