373 Self-Report Accuracy

Research by Kim, Hyunji., Di Domenico, S. I., & Connelly, Brian. S. (2019)

Written by Shannon Cantalupo, B.S. 

Psychological research often involves participants completing a “self-report” to assess several areas. This suggests the question, “How accurate are self-report measures?”

Are self-report responses less accurate when there is a desire to be seen positively by others? Researchers wanted to compare self-reports with reports by family/friends to determine if people generally assess themselves more positively than others do. The researchers asked participants to rate themselves on the Big Five personality traits; extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and emotional stability.

In a meta-analysis, the researchers examined data from 150 studies which included over 33,000 participants. They compared the mean and variability differences of the Big Five personality traits on self-reports with ratings of their personality traits by family, acquaintances, or strangers.

Results? There was no difference between the mean or variability of self-report and family, friend or acquaintance reports. However, family members the individual and acquaintances rated them more positively than strangers did. We see more positives in others, when we get to know them.

So self-reports usually accurately represent us. How we view ourselves is how others view us!


Kim, H., Di Domenico, S. I., & Connelly, B. S. (2019). Self-other agreement in personality reports: A meta-analytic comparison of self- and information-report means. Psychological Science, 30(1), 129 – 138.

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