Predicting social behavior from personality traits

James J. Jaccard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The classic view of traits as dispositions was examined and a number of ambiguities noted. When clarified, implications for predicting social behaviors from personality variables were derived. Two types of behavioral criterion were delineated, and it was argued that personality measures should be systematically related to multiple act criteria, but not necessarily to single act criteria. It was suggested that behaviors could be treated as items on a behavioral measure of personality and that standard scaling criteria be applied in identifying behaviors that should be related to a given trait dimension. In attempting to identify behaviors which are linearly related to a personality trait, the application of Bayes theorem was shown to be of theoretical interest. Two indices, a validity index and a linearity index, were derived from Bayes theorem and it was shown that validity is a necessary but not sufficient condition for linearity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-367
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 1974

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • General Psychology


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