Abstract and Keywords
Personality psychology has made tremendous progress in demonstrating important outcomes of personality traits. Yet the process by which people make personality judgment needs to be better understood. In this chapter, it is argued that to provide personality judgment, people must rely on a reference group of the target, a lay theory of the trait, or both. Importantly, the specific reference group and lay theory that people naturally choose are situated in their immediate cultural milieu, affecting trait judgment in systematic ways. Moreover, the relative impact of reference groups and lay theories on personality judgment can change under different circumstances. Postulates concerning the nature of these circumstances, consideration of how traits are inferred, and possible routes to better compare cultural groups on traits can also stimulate new understanding of the personality process.
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