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Keywords:

  • personality scales and inventories;
  • peer ratings;
  • person perception;
  • construct validity

Abstract

Self-reports of behaviour have been criticized as fraught with problems that seriously undermine the construct validity of conventional personality measures. The problems are related to a putative absence of, or distortion of, a person's knowledge about himself or herself. A proposed solution is to use peer reports of personality instead, because such observer ratings are presumably more impartial and free of the distorting influences affecting self-reports. We review some past research on moderators of the agreement between self-reports and peer ratings of personality, arguing that those findings support the validity of self-ratings. We conclude that peer ratings, although highly useful as adjuncts to other methods of assessment, are no substitute for self-reports as a source of personality information. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.