David A. Kenny
May 13, 2002

The degree to which a person rates him or herself as do others. Using the Social Relations Model assessed by the correlation between self ratings and the target effect in ratings.  Thus, self-other agreement presumes that there is target variance in the trait rating.  If there were no target variance, then self-other agreement could not be measured.

The level of self-other agreement is surprisingly high at zero acquaintance, especially for extroversion. With high acquaintance, the degree of extroversion is fairly large, and again larger for extroversion.  There has been considerable work examining moderators of self-other agreement (i.e., what factors lead to increases in self-other agreement).  For instance,

Given that self and other agree, but not perfectly which is more accurate?  Several  studies suggest that others are more accurate (see Chapter 9 of Kenny, 1994).  Likely, this result is context sensitive. That is, self should be more accurate at evaluating more internal traits whereas others might be more accurate at evaluating more behavioral traits. Also, self may be more accurate at predicting future or past behavior whereas others may be more accurate at reporting behaviors that are observed. There is some indication that self is more accurate for judgments of Big Five factor of culture.

We do not understand very well the role of communication in self-other agreement. Do people agree with self because self convinces them to see the personas the person sees self?  Alternatively, others might convince the self to view him or herself as do others.

Based an work by Micha Strack, we can expand the concept of self-other agreement.  The self is measured for each interaction partner.  So Alice rates herself when she is with Betty, Carol, and Dawn.  There are three forms of self-other agreement: perceiver, generalized, and dyadic.

  • Perceiver self-other agreement refers to the correlation between how a person generally sees others and how others generally see themselves when they interact with the person.
  • Generalized self-other agreement refers to the correlation between the how the person generally sees self with others and how others generally see the person.
  • Dyadic self-other agreement refers to a correlation between how a person sees him or herself with a particular other and how that particular other sees the person.
To date, no one has published an investigation of this type of agreement.

When self-ratings are obtained for each interaction partner, we can measure three types of accuracy. Are all three types of self-other agreement found? Another interesting question is will there be large amounts of perceiver variance in self-ratings in more collectivist cultures?

Chapter 9 of Interpersonal Perception: A Social Relations Analysis

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