A narrower scope or a clearer lens for personality? Examining sources of observers' advantages over self-reports for predicting performance

B.S. Connelly*, U.R. Hülsheger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Emerging studies have shown that observers ratings of personality predict performance behaviors better than do self-ratings. However, it is unclear whether these predictive advantages stem from (a) use of observers who have a frame of reference more closely aligned with the criterion (narrower scope) or (b) observers having greater accuracy than targets themselves (clearer lens). In a primary study of 291 raters of 97 targets, we found predictive advantages even when observers were personal acquaintances who knew targets only outside of the work context. Integrating these findings with previous meta-analyses showed that colleagues unique perspectives did not predict incrementally beyond commonly held trait perceptions across all raters (except for Openness) and that self-raters who overestimate their Agreeableness and Conscientiousness perform worse on the job. Broadly, our results suggest that observers have clearer lenses for viewing targets personality traits, and we discuss the theoretical implications of these findings for studying and measuring personality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-631
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Personality
Volume80
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

Keywords

  • JOB-PERFORMANCE
  • SOCIAL DESIRABILITY
  • PERSONNEL-SELECTION
  • OTHER AGREEMENT
  • SCALE SCORES
  • VALIDITY
  • ACCURACY
  • BEHAVIOR
  • RATINGS
  • METAANALYSIS

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