Accuracy of judging others' traits and states: Comparing mean levels across tests

Judith A. Hall*, Susan A. Andrzejewski, Nora A. Murphy, Marianne Schmid Mast, Brian A. Feinstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Tests of accuracy in interpersonal perception take many forms. Often, such tests use designs and scoring methods that produce overall accuracy levels that cannot be directly compared across tests. Therefore, progress in understanding accuracy levels has been hampered. The present article employed several techniques for achieving score equivalency. Mean accuracy was converted to a common metric, pi [Rosenthal, R., & Rubin, D. B. (1989). Effect size estimation for one-sample multiple-choice-type data: Design, analysis, and meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 106, 332-337] in a database of 109 published results representing tests that varied in terms of scoring method (proportion accuracy versus correlation), content (e.g., personality versus affect), number of response options, item preselection, cue channel (e.g., face versus voice), stimulus duration, and dynamism. Overall, accuracy was midway between guessing level and a perfect score, with accuracy being higher for tests based on preselected than unselected stimuli. When item preselection was held constant, accuracy was equivalent for judging affect and judging personality. However, comparisons must be made with caution due to methodological variations between studies and gaps in the literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1476-1489
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008


  • Accuracy
  • Binomial Effect Size Display
  • Emotion recognition
  • Interpersonal sensitivity
  • Personality judgment
  • pi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Accuracy of judging others' traits and states: Comparing mean levels across tests'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this