The Realistic Accuracy Model RAM
Last Updated on Wed, 13 Oct 2021 | Rasch Model
The realistic accuracy model (RAM) by Funder (1995) begins with the premise that personality traits are real and observable. As a consequence, the RAM assumes that informants reach consensus not because they share similar meaning systems or because of overlap, but rather because their judgments about a target's personality are at least partly accurate. According to the RAM, the path between a target's personality and the accurate informant judgment can be described in four steps, each associated with diverse moderators that may influence the achievement of accuracy (see Figure 4.3). These four steps include the relevance and availability of cues from the target person and the detection and utilization of these cues by the informant. To achieve accuracy within informant ratings, each step must be successfully completed. First, the target must display behavioral cues relevant to the underlying trait (e.g., extraversión). Second, the cues must be presented in a way that makes it available to the informant (e.g., either visibly or audibly). Third, the informant must detect the relevant cues (e.g., discern or register them). Finally, the informant must accurately use the previously detected, available, and relevant information. The central assumptions of the RAM can be represented by a formula, where its four elements are linked in a multiplicative manner implying that if any term in such a formula is zero, there will be no accuracy of informant ratings. Another implication of the model is that accuracy remains a probabilistic matter: Only if all four links in the process of judgment are strong will the resulting level of informant accuracy be substantial and meaningful. Moreover, the RAM suggests that accuracy is achieved via multiple cues and multiple traits because there never seems to be just one cue for one trait, and research has only recently begun to address the interactions among the cues that may be diagnostic for the same or different traits (e.g., Borkenau & Liebler, 1992, 1993; Funder & Sneed, 1993; Gifford, 1994; Gosling et al., 2002).
- FIGURE 4.3. The realistic accuracy model. Adapted from "On the Accuracy of Personality Judgment: A Realistic Approach," by D. C. Funder, 1995, Psychological Review, 112, p. 659. Copyright 1995 by the American Psychological Association.
The RAM has several implications for informant assessment. First, it provides a relatively simple process model that organizes the different variables that affect accurate person perception. Second, a suggestion can be derived from the RAM for the improvement of informant assessment by interventions that affect one or more of the four steps of person perception. Third, the RAM implies that informant accuracy is influenced by characteristics of the target (i.e., through the display of relevant and available cues) and by characteristics of the perceiver (i.e., through his or her detecting and utilizing cues), with both implications pointing toward a set of important moderator variables of informant accuracy. Finally, the RAM suggests that self-other agreement is best measured when the self and informants are asked to describe what the target is really like. When researchers are interested in the convergent validity of different ratings of a target, this strategy seems most reasonable instead of asking informants about the target's self-perception or asking targets about the other informants' perception, which merely constructs a matter of metaper-ception (Funder, 1999; Funder & Colvin, 1988; Funder & Dobroth, 1987; Park & Judd, 1989).
Continue reading here: How Are the SRM the WAM and the RAM Different
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Accuracy in judging personality is important in clinical assessment, applied settings, and everyday life. Personality judgments are important in assessing job candidates, choosing friends, and determining who we can trust and rely on in our personal lives. Thus, the accuracy of those judgments is important to both individuals and organizations.
In examining personality judgment, Personality Judgment takes a sweeping look at the field's history, assumptions, and current research findings. The book explores the construct of traits within the person-situation debate, defends the human judge in the face of the fundamental attribution error, and discusses research on four categories of moderators in judgment: the good judge, the judgeable target, the trait being judged, and the information on which the judgment is based.
Spanning two decades of accuracy research, this book makes clear not only how personality judgment has come to its current standing but also where it may move in the future.
- Covers 20 years worth of historical, current and future trends in personality judgment
- Includes discussions of debatable issues related to accuracy and error. The author is well known for his recently developed theoy of the process by which one person may render an accurate judgment of the personality traits of another
Social psychologists and researchers in personality; graduate and advanced undergraduate courses in personality and person perception.
Table of Contents
Curiosity and Its Fulfillment.
What Is Accuracy?
The Importance of Accuracy.
Social and Personality Psychology: Separation and Integration.
Renewed Research on Accuracy.
The Agenda of Accuracy Research and Plan for the Book.
The Very Existence of Personality:
Does Personality Exist?
The Situational Onslaught.
Do Personality Traits Explain Anything?
Error and Accuracy in the Study of Personality Judgment:
Evolution of Research on Accuracy and Error.
Accuracy in Human Social Judgment.
Toward a Rapprochement between Error and Accuracy.
Methodological and Philosophical Considerations:
The Lessons of Cronbach.
The Criterion Problem.
General Issues of Design and Analysis.
The Process of Accurate Personality Judgment:
The Realistic Accuracy model.
The Structure of RAM.
Implications of the Realistic Accuracy Model.
The Four Steps to Accurate Personality Judgment.
Multiple Cues and Multiple Traits.
The Goals of RAM.
Moderators of Accuracy:
The Good Judge.
The Good Target.
The Good Trait.
Interactions among Moderators.
Self-Perception versus Other-Perception.
Application of RAM to Self-Judgment.
Prospects for Improving Accuracy:
The Judge's Situation.
- No. of pages:
- © Academic Press 1999
- 16th July 1999
- Academic Press
- Hardcover ISBN:
- eBook ISBN:
David Funder is best known for his research on personality judgment and his recently developed theory of the process by which one person may render an accurate judgment of the personality traits of another.He has also published research on the longitudinal course of personality development, delay of gratification, and attribution theory.
Affiliations and Expertise
University of California, Riverside, U.S.A.
"Funder provides a timely, up-to-date, historical examination that is both concise and thorough... Funder presents an excellent exposition of the underlying philosophical issues surrounding accuracy judgements." --CHOICE
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The Riverside Accuracy Project
The Riverside Accuracy Project (RAP) is a long-term investigation into several important topics relevant to the assessment and perception of human personality. Funded for almost two decades by the National Institute of Mental Health grant R01-MH42427, the project more recently gained support from National Science Foundation grant BCS-0642243.
This research program is based on the Realistic Accuracy Model (Funder, 1995, 1999, 2012). Theoretically, the model proposes that accurate personality judgment requires a four-stage process in which (1) relevant information is emitted by the target which (2) becomes available to the judge, who then (3) detects this information and (4) utilizes it correctly. Empirically, four moderator variables make accuracy more or less likely, including properties of (1) the judge (e.g., judgmental ability), (2) the target (e.g., judgability), (3) the trait being judged (e.g., visibility), and (4) the information upon which the judgment is based (e.g., its quantity or quality). For a summary of this research, click here.
Our lab has gathered three large data sets over the years. Each includes investigations of approximately 200 participants. Our data include self-reports of personality, peer descriptions of personality, life history interviews and measurements of behavior and life outcomes. Research using these data is ongoing, including studies of the personality correlates of language use in a life history interview (Fast & Funder, 2008, 2010).
On the accuracy of personality judgment: a realistic approach
The "accuracy paradigm" for the study of personality judgment provides an important, new complement to the "error paradigm" that dominated this area of research for almost 2 decades. The present article introduces a specific approach within the accuracy paradigm called the Realistic Accuracy Model (RAM). RAM begins with the assumption that personality traits are real attributes of individuals. This assumption entails the use of a broad array of criteria for the evaluation of personality judgment and leads to a model that describes accuracy as a function of the availability, detection, and utilization of relevant behavioral cues. RAM provides a common explanation for basic moderators of accuracy, sheds light on how these moderators interact, and outlines a research agenda that includes the reintegration of the study of error with the study of accuracy.
Model realistic accuracy
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