Working Papers

Do We Know Who Values Us?

Dyadic Meta-Accuracy in the Perception of Professional Relationships

Dyadic meta accuracy in the perception of professional relationships People often need to know what others think of them—whom do we approach to collaborate, to invite out, or to seek assistance?!! Research on meta”perceptions shows strong evidence for generalized meta accuracy—knowing whether the rest of the world tends to see us, e.g., as extraverted or intelligent—but less for dyadic meta”accuracy—knowing how different people view us differently (Kenny, 1994; Kenny & DePaulo, 1993; Levesque, 1997; Malloy & Albright, 1990; Malloy, Albright, Kenny, Agatstein, & Winquist, 1997). In meta judgments of individual traits and abilities, people generally assume they make the same impression on all interaction partners, rather than differentiating their unique impressions on each (Kenny, 1994). However, for more relational constructs such as friendship, liking, humor, considerateness, and interestingness, perceivers can typically differentiate others’ unique evaluations (DePaulo, Kenny, Hoover, Webb, & Oliver, 1987; Levesque, 1997; Kenny, 1994).

Why does dyadic meta” accuracy exist for relational constructs?!! Kenny and DePaulo (1993) theorized it is only because people believe their evaluations will be reciprocated by others. When this assumption is valid, they can introspect about their opinions of others to infer others’ likely opinions of them. Kenny and DePaulo (1993) argued that the data are less consistent with a second mechanism—sensitivity to relationship” relevant cues—because these cues are managed actively and interpreted selectively. We present the first evidence for this second mechanism by demonstrating dyadic meta” accuracy when controlling for presumed reciprocity.