Traits Theories III:
The Big-5 model of
personality I & II
Dr Niko Tiliopoulos
Room 448, Brennan McCallum building
Email: [email protected]
In search for the basic dimensions of personality
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(Psychometric) issues with Cattell’s 16PF
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Inability to replicate the structure
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Fiske (1949) – used 22 of Cattell’s trait-descriptors
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Tupes & Christal (1958) – reanalysed Cattell’s and Fiske’s matrices
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Norman (1963) – Followed Tupes & Christal’s methodology
Possible reasons:
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Rotation used (oblique vs. orthogonal)
(absence of) simple structure (problem with convergence and discriminant validity)
Response invariance
Scaling
Low loadings
Hans Eysenck argued that the 16PF are not primary (basic) factors of personality
The magic number 5!
Donald Fiske (1949)
• Five recurrent factors:
• Social adaptability
• Emotional control
• Conformity
• Inquiring intellect
• Confident self-expression
The magic number 5!
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Both Norman
(1963) and Tupes
& Christal (1958,
1961) identified
five factors
The magic number 5!
The evolution of the lexical taxonomy
Lewis Goldberg, PhD
Professor of Psychology
University of Oregon
“In the English language trait-descriptors are versions of five major
features of personality:”
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Love (Agreeableness)
Work (Conscientiousness)
Affect (emotional stability)
Power (Surgency)
Intellect
Goldberg’s assessment
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The Abridged Big Five-Dimensional
Circumplex (AB5C; Hofstee, de Raad, &
Goldberg,1992)
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A circular model of the personality
domain, in which each pair of the Big-5
factors comprises its own circle
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Many items in the personality domain,
when they are factor analyzed, have two
large loadings instead of just one!
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Thus, when these items are mapped
onto a two-dimensional planes using
their loadings as Cartesian coordinates,
they form a polygon
The International Personality Item Pool (IPIP)
Hans Eysenck (1991):
“… we have literally hundreds of
inventories incorporating thousands of
traits, largely overlapping but also
containing specific variance, each
empirical finding is strictly speaking only
relevant to a specific trait [. . .] This is not
the way to build a unified scientific
discipline” (p. 786)
Enter the OCEAN
(Five Factor Model – FFM)
Paul Costa, Jr., PhD
Professor of medical psychology
Johns Hopkins University
Robert McCrae, PhD
Senior Investigator
Laboratory of Personality & Cognition
Baltimore
OCEAN
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Used the 16PF but instead of factor analysing they
Cluster analysed it
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Originally identified three personality super-traits:
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Neuroticism
Extraversion
Openness
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Developed the NEO personality inventory (mid 80s)
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Later (in the 90s) added the dimensions of
Agreeableness & Conscientiousness
OCEAN
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The NEO has a hierarchical arrangement
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240 items (PI-R version), 60 items (FFI version)
5-point Likert scales
Personality dimensions are orthogonal
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Principal Components analysis, Varimax rotation
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Each consists of six facets (traits)
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The NEO is probably the most validated personality
questionnaire (and typology) in academia
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Probably the most commonly used traits
assessment instrument in any personality research
Factor One
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Extraversion (Sociability)
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Other labels: Social adaptability, Assertiveness, Surgency
Relates to (a degree of) having social impact
Facets:
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Gregarious
Warmth
Assertiveness
Activity
Excitement seeking
Positive emotion (enthusiasm)
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Observed behavioural correlates: Prominence in social organizations
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(avg) Heritability index: 0.36
Factor Two
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Neuroticism (emotionality)
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Other labels: Emotional control, emotional stability
Relates to anxiety and distress
Facets:
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Anxiety
Anger-hostility
Depression
Self-consciousness
Impulsiveness
Vulnerability
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Observed behavioural correlates: Poor marital functioning, impaired
academic performance
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(avg) Heritability index: 0.31
Factor Three
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Agreeableness
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Other labels: Conformity, friendly compliance, likeability
Relates to maintaining positive relations with others (quality of relationships)
Facets:
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Trust
Straightforwardness
Altruism
Compliance
Modesty
Tender-mindedness
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Observed behavioural correlates: Conflict resolution tactics, greater
social support from others
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(avg) Heritability index: 0.28
Factor Four
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Conscientiousness
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Other labels: Responsibility
Relates to will to achieve
Facets:
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Competence
Order
Dutifulness
Achievement striving
Self-discipline
Deliberation
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Observed behavioural correlates: avoidance of risky behaviours,
higher academic achievement
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(avg) Heritability index: 0.28
Factor Five
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Openness (to experience)
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Other labels: Culture, inquiring intellect, intelligence
Relates to intelligence, (acquisition or will to acquire) social or
existential experience
Factor with least consensus about meaning
Facets:
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Fantasy
Aesthetics
(appreciation of or attendance to) Feelings
Actions
Ideas (curiosity)
Values
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Observed behavioural correlates: Greater engagement with
existential challenges, artistic expression
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(avg) Heritability index: 0.46
Profiling with the NEO
Psychometric value of the NEO
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Normative internal consistencies (alphas): 0.70 to 0.85
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Cross-cultural replicability
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Emic approach
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(imposed) Etic approach
Psychometric value of the NEO
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Good temporal stability
The NEO & psychopathology
Evaluating the Big-5
The negatives
The positives
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Disagreement about the exact nature
of the five factors
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Probably the most commonly used
typology in personality research
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Are the dimensions really
orthogonal? (N & C r ≈ -0.45)
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Immediate applications in occupation
and health
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Doesn’t really possess a solid
theoretical basis
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Good cross-cultural validity and other
psychometric properties
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Is Openness a dimension of
personality?
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How about Honesty-Humility?
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Still a descriptive taxonomy
“It is unlikely that the five factors
identified are the only fundamental
personality factors. There are quite
likely other fundamental concepts
involved among the Allport-Odbert
adjectives”
(Tupes & Christal, 1961, p.12)
Beyond the lexical approach
(discussed in PSYC3015: Personality & Intelligence II)
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Psychobiological perspectives (the birth of Clinical Psychology)
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Interpersonal & cross-cultural perspectives
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The rise of causal (predictive) theories of personality
Hans Eysenck and neurological personology
Marvin Zuckerman’s alternative (biopsychological) Big-5
Claude Cloninger and the Biosocial model of health & mental health
Theodore Millon and the dimensional approach to personality disorders
Timothy Leary and the interpersonal circumplex of traits
Cindy Hazan and the attachment-based models of traits
Kim Bartholomew and the construction of adult attachment
The development of the psychology of religion & spirituality
Evolutionary & behaviour genetics perspectives
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David Buss and the k-factor of evolutionary personology
Robert Plomin and the genomics of personality traits
Samuel Gosling and the study of personality in non-human animals
Main reading
Murphy, K. et al. (2010). PSYC2014: Personality &
Intelligence I (3rd ed.). Frenchs Forest: Pearson Australia.
(Section 2, Chapter 8 “Cattell & the Big Five: Factor
analytic trait theory”, pp. 287-314)
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In case you are interested:
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Tiliopoulos, N., Pallier, G., & Coxon, A.P.M. (2010). A circle of traits: A perceptual mapping
of the NEO-PI-R. Personality & Individual Differences, 48, 34-39.
or
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Tiliopoulos, N. (2011). A proposition for a parsimonious taxonomic convergence of
personality traits. In S. Boag, & N. Tiliopoulos (Eds.), Personality & individual differences:
Theory, assessment, & application. New York: Nova Science Pubs.