You could be a jerk and don't even know it - research

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You might be a real jerk and you likely don't even know it, according to new research.

A University of California study suggests people are not good at gauging when they are being rude to others, but we can judge when our behaviour is reliable or conscientious.

"There might be some biases that prevent people from recognising their own agreeable behaviours or disagreeable behaviours," said Jessie Sun, study co-author and graduate student in psychology.

While previous studies have looked at long-term personality traits, this research focused on how well people understand how they're acting from one moment to the next.

To get the results, researchers had college students wear audio recorders that automatically activate every 9.5 minutes between 7am and 2am and record for 30 seconds each time.

The participants would then be asked to recall how extraverted, agreeable, conscientious or neurotic, they were during particular hours of the day.

It took five years to collect enough data to come to a conclusion. Six researchers then used their own judgement to categorise each participant's behaviour by how they came across.

While researchers generally agreed with participant's view of their extraversion, reliability, outgoingness and conscientiousness, they disagreed over the individual's neuroticism and agreeableness.

Data from 248 participants were used, and the study is currently being reviewed before being published in a journal.