Perceiver effects in person perception reflect acquiescence, positivity, and trait-specific content: Evidence from a large-scale replication study


Person judgments reflect perceiver effects: differences in how perceivers judge the average person. The factorial structure of such effects is still discussed. We present a large-scale, preregistered replication study using over 1 million person judgments (different groups of 200 perceivers judged 200 targets in one of 20 situations, using 30 personality items). Results unanimously favored a model comprising three systematic components: acquiescence (endorsing all items more than other perceivers), positivity (endorsing positive over negative items), and trait specificity (endorsing items reflecting a specific trait more). The latter two factors each accounted for approximately a quarter of the variance in perceiver effects, and acquiescence accounted for less than 10%. Positivity was more influential for evaluative items and was strongly associated with how likable perceivers found their targets to be (r ¼ .55). With considerable statistical power and generalizability, our findings significantly improve the knowledge base regarding the structure of perceiver effects.

Social Psychological and Personality Science, 13(4), 839–848