Selecting Representative Trait Adjectives

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Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology


Suggests that a strong argument has been made for specifying the possible characteristics of personality by using trait adjectives from the natural language. This argument implies a rationale for the selection of variables to measure personality characteristics. One should select variables to be representative of trait adjectives in the natural language. 571 terms were classified into categories, and scales were selected to represent the categories. Judges made ratings of similarity of meaning on 57 scales—each defined by 2 opposite trait-adjectives—for the corresponding 114 single terms. Factor analysis of the scales produced 6 factors. These showed some resemblance to the well-known Big Five factors (E. C. Tupes and R. E. Christal, 1961), but with major differences. Instead of 5 factors of comparable size, the first 3 factors were predominant, representing 70% of the total variance. The Culture factor appeared as Intelligence; Emotional Stability as a small, only partly differentiated, factor. (16 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)

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