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Hannuschke, Marianne, Gollwitzer, Mario ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4310-4793, Geukes, Katharina, Nestler, Steffen and Back, Mitja D. (2020): Neuroticism and interpersonal perception. Evidence for positive, but not negative, biases. In: Journal of Personality, Vol. 88, No. 2: pp. 217-236

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Objective. Personality dispositions predict how individuals perceive, interpret, and react to social interactions with others. A still unresolved question is (a) whether these personality-congruent interpersonal perceptions reflect perception biases, which occur when perceivers' dispositions systematically predict deviations between perceivers' and other people's perceptions of the same interaction, and/or selection effects, which occur when perceivers' dispositions predict their selection of interaction partners, and (b) whether these effects feed back into perceivers' personality.

Method. Data from 110 psychology freshmen involving repeated assessments of Neuroticism and repeated interpersonal perceptions of social interactions with fellow students were analyzed to address these questions, focusing on Neuroticism.

Results. There is evidence for a Neuroticism-related positivity bias in interpersonal perceptions (i.e., perceivers high in Neuroticism tended to make more positive judgments of others' sociability and warmth), but little evidence for personality-congruent selection effects (i.e., Neuroticism-related preferences for interaction partners). The positivity bias did not predict intrapersonal changes in Neuroticism over time, but the selection of specific interaction partners did.

Conclusions. These findings help to shed light on the interpersonal perception dynamics of Neuroticism in a real-life context and add to our understanding of the psychological mechanisms underlying the interplay of personality and interpersonal perceptions.

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