This research examined the accuracy of personality impressions based on personal websites, a rapidly growing medium for self-expression, where identity claims are predominant. Eighty-nine websites were viewed by 11 observers, who rated the website authors' personalities. The ratings were compared with an accuracy criterion (self- and informant reports) and with the authors' ideal-self ratings. The websites elicited high levels of observer consensus and accuracy, and observers' impressions were somewhat enhanced for Extraversion and Agreeableness. The accuracy correlations were comparable in magnitude to those found in other contexts of interpersonal perception and generally stronger than those found in zero-acquaintance contexts. These findings suggest that identity claims are used to convey valid information about personality.
Copyright 2004 American Psychological Association