On Judging and Being Judged Accurately in Zero-Acquaintance Situations

  • Ambady N
  • Hallahan M
  • Rosenthal R
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This research examined the role of personality, nonverbal skills, and gender as moderators of judging and being judged accurately in zero-acquaintance situations. Unacquainted participants, assembled in groups, completed a battery of personality tests, took 2 audiovisual tests (the Profile of Nonverbal Sensitivity [PONS] and the Interpersonal Perception Task [IPT]) intended to assess decoding skills and then rated themselves and every other person in the group on a set of personality dimensions. Results indicated that more sociable and extraverted participants tended to be more legible, that is, were judged more accurately. Participants who were more accurate judges tended to be less sociable and performed better on tests of decoding accuracy. Performance on the PONS predicted accuracy of judgment for men, whereas performance on the IPT predicted accuracy of judgment for women. On the whole, results suggest that some important and theoretically relevant moderators of accuracy in the zero-acquaintance situation have been identified.

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