Predicting actual behavior from the explicit and implicit self-concept of personality

J Pers Soc Psychol. 2009 Sep;97(3):533-48. doi: 10.1037/a0016229.


The authors present a behavioral process model of personality that specifies explicit and implicit aspects of the self-concept of personality as predictors of actual behavior. An extensive behavioral study (N = 130) including a variety of relevant social situations was conducted. This approach allowed reliable measurement of more than 50 behavioral indicators. A priori assignment of indicators to the Big Five dimensions was conducted on the basis of theory and expert ratings. In line with the authors' model, 3 main findings were revealed: First, direct measures (questionnaires) of personality predicted actual behavior for all Big Five dimensions. Second, indirect measures (implicit association tests) of neuroticism and extraversion also predicted actual behavior. Third, the predictive validity of these indirect measures was incremental. The authors were additionally able to show that controlling for valence did not affect any of these results. Implications and future prospects for the study of personality and actual behavior are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Male
  • Personality Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Personality*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Concept*
  • Social Behavior*
  • Young Adult