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Considerations in Personality Measurement

Replicability, Transparency, and Predictive Validity

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 October 2022

Adam J. Ramey
University of Notre Dame, USA


In another article in this issue, Black et al. discuss their preferred approach to estimating Supreme Court justices’ Big Five personality traits from written text and provide several critiques of the approach of Hall et al. In this rejoinder, we show that Black et al.’s critiques are substantially without merit, their preferred approach suffers from many of the same drawbacks that they project onto our approach, their specific method of implementing their preferred approach runs afoul of many contemporary social scientific norms, our use of concurrences to estimate personality traits is far more justifiable than they suggest (especially in contrast to their use of lower court opinions), and their substantive critiques reflect a potential misunderstanding of the nature of conscientiousness. Nonetheless, we also acknowledge their broader point regarding the state-of-the-art textual analysis methodology vis-à-vis the estimation of personality traits, and we provide some constructive suggestions for the path forward.

© 2021 Law and Courts Organized Section of the American Political Science Association. All rights reserved.

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This article was reviewed by the editor, Tom S. Clark. Contact the corresponding author, Matthew E. K. Hall, at


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