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COULD DIFFERENCES IN THE INTERPRETATION OF BEHAVIOR BE A REASON FOR LOW RATING-BEHAVIOR, SELF-PEER, AND PEER-PEER PERSONALITY CORRELATIONS?

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Low rating-behavior, self-peer, and peer-peer correlations have been a concern to personality researchers, especially because they could be an indication that behavior is inconsistent. The possibility that individuals simply interpret behavior differently, which would prevent strong correlations, has been neglected. In this study the amount of variation in a large group of subjects' judgments of the same behavior was examined. Subjects observed target persons on videotape and rated both the targets and themselves on five dimensions. For three dimensions there was significantly more variance in the group's target ratings than in the group's self-ratings. There were no significant differences on two other dimensions. This considerable variation in perceptions of the same behavior suggests that low personality correlations should not be considered indications that behavior is inconsistent. Differences in the interpretation of behavior may also be a reason why aggregation increases personality correlations. The relationship between self-rated personality and perceptions of the targets was also examined.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1989-01-01

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