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How Do Different Ways of Measuring Individual Differences in Zero‐Acquaintance Personality Judgment Accuracy Correlate With Each Other?

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Journal of Personality

Published online on


Objective This research compares two different approaches that are commonly used to measure accuracy of personality judgment: the trait accuracy approach wherein participants discriminate among targets on a given trait, thus making intertarget comparisons, and the profile accuracy approach wherein participants discriminate between traits for a given target, thus making intratarget comparisons. We examined correlations between these methods as well as correlations among accuracies for judging specific traits. Method The present article documents relations among these approaches based on meta‐analysis of five studies of zero‐acquaintance impressions of the Big Five traits. Results Trait accuracies correlated only weakly with overall and normative profile accuracy. Substantial convergence between the trait and profile accuracy methods was only found when an aggregate of all five trait accuracies was correlated with distinctive profile accuracy. Importantly, however, correlations between the trait and profile accuracy approaches were reduced to negligibility when statistical overlap was corrected by removing the respective trait from the profile correlations. Moreover, correlations of the separate trait accuracies with each other were very weak. Conclusions Different ways of measuring individual differences in personality judgment accuracy are not conceptually and empirically the same, but rather represent distinct abilities that rely on different judgment processes.