Who knows best what the next year will hold for you? The validity of direct and personality-based predictions of future life experiences across different perceivers

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung



This study explored the validity of person judgements by targets and their acquaintances (‘informants’) in longitudinally predicting a broad range of psychologically meaningful life experiences. Judgements were gathered from four sources (targets, N = 189; and three types of informants, N = 1352), and their relative predictive validity was compared for three types of judgement: direct predictions of future life experiences (e.g. number of new friendships), broad (Big Five) domains (e.g. extraversion), and narrower personality nuances (e.g. sociable). Approximately 1 year later, the targets’ actual life experiences were retrospectively assessed by the targets, and by informants nominated by the targets (TNI). Overall, we found evidence for predictive validity across predictor sources and types. Direct predictions by targets were by far the most valid, followed by TNI. Personality–based predictions by targets and TNI had substantial but lower validity. Domain–based predictions were less valid than nuance–based predictions. Overall, informants with lower ‘liking’ and ‘knowing’ towards targets made less valid predictions. Person–centred multilevel analyses showed both considerable validity of direct predictions (which increased with knowing) and positivity bias (which increased with liking). Taken together, given the relatively high methodological rigour of the study, these results provide an especially realistic picture of the rather moderate predictive power of person judgements regarding future life experiences and corroborate the common practice of obtaining such judgements from targets and their close acquaintances. © 2020 The Authors. European Journal of Personality published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of European Association of Personality Psychology


Seiten (von - bis)315-339
FachzeitschriftEuropean Journal of Personality
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2 Dez. 2020

Externe IDs

Scopus 85091608836



  • outcomes, accuracy, relationship, predictive validity, personality nuances