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Self-Reported Personality Variability Across the Social Network Is Associated With Interpersonal Dysfunction


  • Laura E. Kuper is now at the Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago.

concerning this article should be addressed to Allan Clifton, Department of Psychology, Box 127, Vassar College, 124 Raymond Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY 12604. Email:


ABSTRACT We describe 2 studies (n=52 and n=82) examining variability in perceptions of personality using a social network methodology. Undergraduate participants completed self-report measures of personality and interpersonal dysfunction and then subsequently reported on their personalities with each of 30 members of their social networks. Results across the 2 studies found substantial variability in participants' perceived personalities within their social networks. Measures of interpersonal dysfunction were associated with the amount of variability in dyadic ratings of personality, specifically Agreeableness and Openness to Experience. Results suggest that personality variability across interpersonal contexts may be an important individual difference related to social behavior and dysfunction.