Observable Attributes as Manifestations and Cues of Personality and Intelligence

  • Borkenau P
  • Liebler A
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In this study, we investigated the relationship of participants' observable attributes to measures of their personality and intelligence; we also studied the ways in which strangers formed their perception of partici- pants' personalities and intelligence. Fifty pairs of intimate acquaintances were videotaped in a standard situation, were administered an intelligence test, and provided self-reports of their personality and descriptions of their partner's personality. In addition, various observable attributes (such as hair color, stat- ure, physical mannerisms) of the targets were measured. Strangers watched the videotapes and rated either the observable attributes or the personality traits of the targets. The observable attributes were then correlated with the personality measures and the intelligence and trait inferences by strangers. Extraversion was the trait with the most external manifestations and the strongest match between cue utilization and cue validity. Intelligence was inferred from visual as well as from acoustic attributes, but only acoustic cues mediated the cor- relation between psychometric intelligence and perceptions of intelligence by strangers.

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  • Peter Borkenau

  • Anette Liebler

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