An Inkblot for the Implicit Assessment of Personality: The Semantic Misattribution Procedure


Florin Alin Sava, West University of Timisoara, Department of Psychology, 4 Vasile Parvan Blvd., Room 504, 300223 Timisoara, Romania.



Misattributions people make about their own reaction to ambiguous stimuli can be used to measure personality self-concepts implicitly. On the basis of a semantic misattribution priming paradigm [semantic misattribution procedure (SMP)], we assessed the implicit personality self-concept related to three dimensions included in the Big-Five model: conscientiousness, neuroticism, and extraversion. Across three studies (N1 = 98, N2 = 140, and N3 = 135), the SMP was robustly related, in the expected direction, to individual differences in self-reported personality questionnaires and managed to predict both self-reported and objectively measured behaviours. The main advantage of SMP over classical explicit measures of personality is its higher resistance to social desirability tendencies, although its psychometric properties are somewhat lower than those pertaining to explicit measures of personality. Finally, comparisons of our results with studies that used other implicit measures of personality self-concept indicate that the SMP has higher criterion validity. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.