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Abstract

The present study investigated whether personality judgments involve different processes in a family setting than in a nonfamily setting. We used the Social Relations Model to distinguish the effects of perceiver, target, perceiver-target relationship, and family on personality judgments. Family members of families with adolescents judged their own and the other members' Big Five factors. Judgments were found to depend on the relevance of personality factors within the family setting: Agreeableness and Conscientiousness were judged most consistently. Large relationship variance indicated that parents adjust their judgments to the target family member; large perceiver variance indicated that adolescents judge family members' personalities rather similarly. However, a comparison of self- and other-judgments showed adolescents' judgments to be no more related to their self-perceptions than parents' judgments. We concluded that the relevance of personality factors may differ on specific tasks within a setting.