Why are well-adjusted people seen more accurately? The role of personality-behavior congruence in naturalistic social settings.

Expressive accuracy, being viewed in line with one’s unique, distinctive personality traits, is emerging as an important individual difference that is strongly linked to psychological well-being. Yet little is known about what underlies expressive accuracy and its associations with well-being. The current studies examined whether personality-behavior congruence, the tendency to behave in line with one’s distinctive personality trait profile, contributes to the links between well-being and expressive accuracy with new acquaintances (Unique perceiver-target pairs: Study 1: N = 437; Study 2: N = 874), by assessing congruence in naturalistic situations, including in a series of getting-acquainted interactions (Study 1; Ntargets = 77; Mdn Interactions: 7) and social situations in daily life over a 2-week period (Study 2; Ntargets = 146; MdnAssessments: 49). Across studies, we found that greater well-being predicted greater congruence, in both naturalistic social interactions and in daily life, which in turn contributed to greater expressive accuracy in getting-acquainted interactions. Overall, the current studies demonstrate the important role that congruence plays in expressive accuracy, helping to explain why well-adjusted individuals are seen more accurately. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)