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Interpersonal Orientation and the Accuracy of Personality Judgments


  • Dawne S. Vogt is now affiliated with the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, VA Boston Healthcare System, & Boston University School of Medicine, Division of Psychiatry, Boston, MA.

concerning this article should be addressed to Dawne S. Vogt, Ph.D., National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (116B-5), 150 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130,, or to Randy Colvin, Department of Psychology, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115,


Are those who are more invested in developing and maintaining interpersonal relationships able to provide more accurate judgments of others' personality characteristics? Previous research has produced mixed findings. In the present study, a conceptual framework was presented and methods were used that overcome many of the problems encountered in past research on judgmental accuracy. On four occasions, 102 judges watched a 12-min videotaped dyadic interaction and described the personality of a designated target person. Judges' personality characteristics were described by self, parents, and friends. Results revealed that psychological communion was positively associated with judges' accuracy in rating targets' personality characteristics. In addition, whereas women were more communal and provided more accurate judgments than men, the relationship between communion and accuracy held after controlling for the effect of gender. Finally, preliminary findings suggested that interpersonally oriented individuals may sometimes draw on information about themselves and about stereotypical others to facilitate accurate judgments of others.