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Measures of personality

During the last decade, much attention has been focused on indirect measures of personality as it has been shown that personality will be better understood if both explicit and implicit aspects of a construct are considered. Specifically, as condensed in the Reflective-Impulsive Model (Strack and Deutsch, 2004) and the Behavioral Process Model of Personality (Back et al., 2009), human behavior can be conceptualized as a function of two distinct systems:

First, a reflective system is supposed that elicits behavior as a consequence of deliberated decision-processes leading to explicit memory representations that can be best measured via self-report questionnaires. Second, a fast acting impulsive system is assumed that activates behavioral schemata by spread-of-activation processes without the need of individual's intention. Such processes are assumed to be accumulated as implicit memory representations that can best be accessed via indirect measures. In fact, indirect measures of personality have been shown to provide incremental validity over and above self-reports predicting the more involuntary automatic aspects of personality-related behavior (for an overview, see Greenwald et al., 2009; see also Asendorpf et al., 2002; Perugini, 2005; Back et al., 2009; Fleischhauer et al., 2013; but for a controversial discussion of the Implicit Association Test (IAT's) predictive validity, see Oswald et al., 2013).

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