The Good Target

Informant accuracy also depends on characteristics of the target, and the RAM predicts that individual differences in the tendency to be judged accurately are a result of cue relevance and availability (Funder, 1995, 1999). Both cue relevance and availabil ity are influenced by situational pressures (i.e., is the observed situation strong or weak enough to elicit behavioral cues?), the target's tendency to deceive (i.e., how much is the target inclined to suppress cues?), and by incoherence (i.e., how consistent are the target's personality and behavioral cues?). The concept of individual consistency is closely related to the concept of scalability, which refers to the degree to which the behavior of a person is patterned like ordinary trait constructs. The notion of scalability, which originally stems from item response theory of the psychometric field, has also been used in personality assessment. Reise and Waller (1993), for instance, showed that individuals differed to the extent to which they were scalable on certain traits, and it can be expected that individuals low in scalability are more difficult to judge. In addition, certain traits may be easily judged in certain targets. Funder (1995) coined the term palpability, referring to the relative obviousness and detectability of certain traits in certain individuals.

The elaborated concept of judgability was proposed by Colvin (1993a, 1993b). According to Colvin, judgability refers to a manifestation of personality coherence and is reflected by the fact that consistent people are more likely to be judged con-sensually by informants as compared with less consistent people. In fact, judgability appears to be a stable personality trait over young adulthood and seems closely associated with ego resiliency, a general trait reflecting psychological health and adjustment. Judgability also seems to be a function of personality stability, which is why it is plausible to expect some kind of temporary nonjudgability in childhood and adolescence, where personality and behavior is usually less consistent as compared to adults. Nevertheless, some adults may still appear nonjudgable, because their personality is less consistent and associated with less adaptive reactions to stress and less self-control (Reise & Waller, 1993), or a result of personality disorders (e.g., narcissism; John & Robins, 1994). Thus, all in all, judgability seems to be a healthy personality trait related to socially desirable levels of extraversion, agreeable-ness, conscientiousness, and emotional stability, and care should be taken when knowledgeable informants are used to assess less psychologically adjusted targets, who may be judged less accurately than more psychologically adjusted targets.

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