Accuracy in Judging Others' Personalities: The Role of Emotion Recognition, Emotion Understanding, and Trait Emotional Intelligence

J Intell. 2020 Sep 18;8(3):34. doi: 10.3390/jintelligence8030034.


The ability to accurately judge others' personality and the ability to accurately recognize others' emotions are both part of the broader construct of interpersonal accuracy (IPA). However, little research has examined the association between these two IPA domains. Little is also known about the relationship between personality judgment accuracy and other socio-emotional skills and traits. In the present study, 121 participants judged eight traits (Big Five, intelligence, cooperativeness, and empathy) in each of 30 targets who were presented either in a photograph, a muted video, or a video with sound. The videos were 30 second excerpts from negotiations that the targets had engaged in. Participants also completed standard tests of emotion recognition ability, emotion understanding, and trait emotional intelligence. Results showed that personality judgment accuracy, when indexed as trait accuracy and distinctive profile accuracy, positively correlated with emotion recognition ability and was unrelated to emotion understanding and trait emotional intelligence. Female participants were more accurate in judging targets' personality than men. These results provide support for IPA as a set of correlated domain-specific skills and encourage further research on personality judgment accuracy as a meaningful individual difference variable.

Keywords: emotion recognition; emotional intelligence; impression formation; interpersonal accuracy; personality judgments.