Perceiver effects in person perception reflect acquiescence, positivity, and trait-specific content: evidence from a large-scale replication study

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Person judgments reflect perceiver effects: differences in how perceivers judge the average person. The factorial structure of such
effects is still discussed. We present a large-scale, preregistered replication study using over 1 million person judgments (different
groups of 200 perceivers judged 200 targets in one of 20 situations, using 30 personality items). Results unanimously favored a
model comprising three systematic components: acquiescence (endorsing all items more than other perceivers), positivity
(endorsing positive over negative items), and trait specificity (endorsing items reflecting a specific trait more). The latter two
factors each accounted for approximately a quarter of the variance in perceiver effects, and acquiescence accounted for less than
10%. Positivity was more influential for evaluative items and was strongly associated with how likable perceivers found their
targets to be (r =.55). With considerable statistical power and generalizability, our findings significantly improve the knowledge
base regarding the structure of perceiver effects.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)839-848
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2021

External IDs

Scopus 85114521030



  • person perception, perceiver effect, impression formation, judgement

Library keywords