Five-factor personality inventories have a competence-related higher-order factor due to item phrasing

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This research examines whether the items of some of the most well-established five-factor inventories refer to competence. Results reveal that both experts and laymen can distinguish between items that refer to how competently a behavior is performed and items that do not (Study 1). Responses to items that refer to competence create a higher-order factor in the personality inventories (Study 2), and the variability in responses to competence-related items in personality self-ratings is best modeled as a general factor rather than as also tied to the specific Big Five factors (Studies 3 and 4). We suggest that a focused debate on what personality items should refer to is likely to have considerable positive consequences for both theory and measurement of personality.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Federal University of São Francisco Valley

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Psykologi (exklusive tillämpad psykologi)


Antal sidor18
TidskriftFrontiers in Psychology
StatusPublished - 2020 nov 26
Peer review utfördJa