It is well known that the correlation between personality measures obtained from self-ratings and ratings by others are imperfect. There are many different traits that could be rated (e.g., well-being, personality, performance, intelligence, self-esteem, etc.)

Is there a good reference that summarises the correlations between self and other ratings across a wide range of psychological constructs?


Some side notes to your question:

  • The amount of self-other-agreement depends on the acquaintance of the perceiver with the target (the more acquaintance, the more agreement) and on the "visibility" of the trait (extraversion can be relatively accurately judged by strangers; Neuroticism can only be judged by well-known others; Vazire, 2010)
  • Using the Social Relations Model (SRM; Kenny, 1994) more detailed informations about the processes in self- and other ratings can be revealed. For example, one can meaure the amount of assumed similarity (i.e., how much do perceivers generally think that the others are alike to oneself), or the consensus of multiple other-ratings.
  • Beyond the pure self-other-correlation it might be interesting to see which rating is more valid in terms of predicting external criteria.


Kenny, D. A. (1994). Interpersonal perceptions: A social relations analysis. New York: Guilford Press.

Vazire, S. (2010). Who knows what about a person? The self–other knowledge asymmetry (SOKA) model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98(2), 281–300. doi:10.1037/a0017908

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  • $\begingroup$ +1 That's a good point; single meta-analytic correlations do have a habit of making lots of assumptions and smoothing out any moderating effects, such as degree of acquaintance. $\endgroup$ – Jeromy Anglim Jan 27 '12 at 0:47
  • $\begingroup$ I've taken a course with Vazire, that SOKA model is definitely something to look into. $\endgroup$ – Andy DeSoto Mar 29 '12 at 15:45

Here are a few correlations between self-other report.

Job Performance

  • Peer-rated with supervisor-rated job performance
    • r = .62 (Harris and Schaubroeck, 1988)
  • Self-rated with supervisor-rated job performance
    • r = .35 (Harris and Schaubroeck, 1988)
  • Self-rated with peer-rated job performance
    • r = .36 (Harris and Schaubroeck, 1988)


There is a meta-analysis by Connelly and Ones (2010) that summarises Big 5 self-other correlations

connelly and ones 2010 self-other agreeement

It shows a few interesting things:

  • Some traits may show greater self-other agreement. This is sometimes attributed to greater observability and lower evaluativeness.
  • Closer relationships have stronger correlations.

Here's a study by Costa and MCrae (1988)

  • Self-rated with spouse-rated Neuroticism
    • r=.54 and r=.54 (Costa and McCrae, 1988)
  • Self-rated with spouse-rated Extraversion
    • r=.60 and r=.53 (Costa and McCrae, 1988)
  • Self-rated with spouse-rated Opennness
    • r=.52 and r=.60 (Costa and McCrae, 1988)

Other resources

  • Donaldson, S. I. Grant-Vallone, E. J. (2002, PDF): discussion of self-report bias in organisational research.


  • Harris, M. M. & Schaubroeck (1988). A meta-analysis of self-supervisor self-peer, and peer-supervisor ratings. Sample size ranged from 984 to 3,957, and number of correlations averaged ranged from 11 to 36.
  • Costa, P. T. & McCrae (1988, PDF). Personality in adulthood: A six-year longitudinal study of self-reports and spouse ratings on the NEO Personality Inventory. It's not a meta analysis. N = 167 for spouse ratings.
  • Connelly, B. S., & Ones, D. S. (2010). An other perspective on personality: Meta-analytic integration of observers' accuracy and predictive validity. Psychological bulletin, 136(6), 1092.
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