The stability of behavior: I. On predicting most of the people much of the time

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Abstract

Four studies with 131 college students demonstrated that (a) when measures of behavior were averaged over an increasing number of events stability coefficients increased to high levels for all kinds of data, including objective behavior, self-ratings, and ratings by others, and (b) objective behavior was then reliably related to self-report measures, including standard personality inventories (e.g., Guilford-Zimmerman Temperament Survey, Eysenck Personality Inventory, Epstein-Fenz Manifest Anxiety scales, Epstein Hostility scales, and Epstein-O'Brien Self-Esteem scale). It is concluded that the observation that it is possible to predict behavior averaged over a sample of situations and/or occasions, rather than from single instances, has important implications not only for the study of personality but for psychological research in general. (92 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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