Accuracy in judgments of aggressiveness

David A. Kenny, Tessa V. West, Antonius H N Cillessen, John D. Coie, Kenneth A. Dodge, Julie A. Hubbard, David Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Perceivers are both accurate and biased in their understanding of others. Past research has distinguished between three types of accuracy: generalized accuracy, a perceiver's accuracy about how a target interacts with others in general; perceiver accuracy, a perceiver's view of others corresponding with how the perceiver is treated by others in general; and dyadic accuracy, a perceiver's accuracy about a target when interacting with that target. Researchers have proposed that there should be more dyadic than other forms of accuracy among well-acquainted individuals because of the pragmatic utility of forecasting the behavior of interaction partners. We examined behavioral aggression among well-acquainted peers. A total of 116 9-year-old boys rated how aggressive their classmates were toward other classmates. Subsequently, 11 groups of 6 boys each interacted in play groups, during which observations of aggression were made. Analyses indicated strong generalized accuracy yet little dyadic and perceiver accuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1225-1236
Number of pages12
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Accuracy
  • Aggression
  • Bias
  • Hostile attribution bias
  • Social relations model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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