Realness is a core feature of authenticity

Christopher J. Hopwood*, Evan W. Good, Alytia A. Levendosky, Johannes Zimmermann, Daniela Dumat, Eli J. Finkel, Paul E. Eastwick, Wiebke Bleidorn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We established realness as the relatively stable tendency to act on the outside the way one feels on the inside, without regard for proximal personal or social consequences. In nine studies, we showed that realness is a) a core feature of individual differences in authenticity, b) generally adaptive but largely unrelated to agreeableness, c) highly stable, d) reliably observable in dyadic behavior, and e) predictive of responses to situations with potential for personal or social costs. Informants both perceive agreeable motives in real behavior and recognize that being real can be disagreeable. We concluded that realness represents an important individual difference construct that is foundational for authentic social behavior, and that being real comes with both costs and benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104086
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Authenticity
  • Congruence
  • Personality
  • Realness
  • Transparency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • General Psychology


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