Is the general factor of personality based on evaluative responding? Experimental manipulation of item-popularity in personality inventories.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The general factor of personality (GFP) is understood as a hierarchically superordinate factor, which suggests that it and the subordinate personality traits are mutually dependent on one another. If a personality inventory captures the subordinate traits the GFP should appear too. Likewise, manipulating the GFP should affect the subordinate traits and vice versa. The current study was an attempt to uniquely affect the size of the GFP by manipulating the evaluativeness of the inventory. First we estimated a general factor in a standard (evaluative) personality inventory, and found it to be robust. Then we estimated it in an inventory with evaluatively neutralized items, and found it to be unreliable. Finally, the neutralized inventory was made evaluative again. As expected, the GFP reappeared, suggesting the increased evaluative content to be the cause. Results are discussed in relation to personality assessment and to higher order factors in personality theory. It is suggested that for determining whether the GFP exists or not researchers should turn to other measures than personality inventories.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychology

Keywords

  • General factor of personality, Big Five, Personality, Self-ratings
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-35
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume96
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes