Rating e-mail personality at zero acquaintance

Alastair J. Gill, Jon Oberlander, Elizabeth Austin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electronic media play an ever-increasing role in our daily communication. But how
well can personality traits be perceived through a short e-mail message? Working
independently and under experimenter supervision, thirty judges each rated 18 short e-mail texts. These texts were produced by authors of known personality, who briefly described their recent activities, and were collected as part of a previously reported study which demonstrated linguistic characteristics of personality. As predicted by the perception literature, we nd that even with minimal textual cues there is relatively high agreement, for ratings of author Extraversion. However, agreement for Neuroticism ratings appears to be further reduced by the environment, especially between target and judges. In addition to reducing the cues available for personality rating, the study extends the previous work in two main ways: rst, it measures one further dimension of target personality|Psychoticism|rather than the separate factors Agreeableness and Conscientiousness (along with Openness); and secondly, it adopts additional, novel exemplar-based and subjective measures of personality perception.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-507
Number of pages11
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2006
Event11th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences - Graz, Austria
Duration: 13 Jul 200317 Jul 2003


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