Agreement in personality trait ratings: At first and over time

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Michael P. Sullivan
Andrea Chapdelaine
Cite this article:  Sullivan, M., & Chapdelaine, A. (2001). Agreement in personality trait ratings: At first and over time. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 29(7), 635-648.


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Despite conventional wisdom to the contrary, researchers have failed to consistently find a relationship between acquaintance and interjudge agreement in perceptions of personality traits. One hundred and thirty-one participants divided into 29 small groups rated themselves and other group members on 7 personality traits 3 times over the course of 6 months with initial measures completed within the first week of acquaintance. Improving upon previous designs to include the initial acquaintance period revealed that agreement in judgments of group members’ emotional stability and conscientiousness increased within the first 8 weeks of acquaintance. After 8 weeks, agreement did not increase for any of the traits. Results are interpreted to bridge the gap between empirical findings and lay knowledge of the acquaintance process.

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