Accuracy of Behavioral Predictions at Zero Acquaintance: A Social Relations Analysis

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Abstract

The accuracy of behavioral predictions based on minimal information was assessed using the Social Relations Model (D. A. Kenny & L. Albright, 1987). Eighty women in unacquainted groups of 4 completed round robin trait ratings and predictions about extraversion-related behaviors. Each S then had a 5-min videotaped 1-on-1 interaction with each of the other group members. Behaviors corresponding to those predicted were coded from the videotapes. Significant consensus was obtained for ratings of Extraversion and for behavioral predictions. Cross-partner consistency emerged for all coded behaviors. Although predictions of behavior were not accurate at the dyadic level, significant generalized accuracy did emerge. Thus, if a person was consensually predicted to be talkative, for example, that person tended to be talkative across partners. Results are discussed in relation to the accuracy of interpersonal perception and Swann's (1984) theory of pragmatic accuracy.

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