The degree to which a perceiver rates a target differently from how the perceiver sees
others and differently from how others see the target.
To separate error from relationship variance, the variable must be replicated across different measures or times. The stable variance is treated as relationship and the unstable as error.
Uniqueness is much greater for affect or liking than for trait ratings. But even for trait ratings, the relationship component is often the dominant one. Within the PERSON model it is assumed that about two-thirds of the variance in trait ratings is due to uniqueness. Uniqueness in trait perceptions correlates strongly with uniqueness in liking. The strongest correlation is with the Big Five factor of agreeableness.
Jason Themanson and I am examining whether uniqueness in liking causes trait ratings or vice versa. That is, if we especially like someone, we see them positively or whether seeing them positively makes us like them. Likely, both effects are present and we are examining their relative size.
Chapter 5 of Interpersonal Perception: A Social Relations Analysis
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