Journal of Personality

Published by Wiley

Online ISSN: 1467-6494


Print ISSN: 0022-3506


Clinical Application of the Five-Factor Model
  • Article

August 2012


304 Reads

Thomas A Widiger


The five-factor model (FFM) has become the predominant dimensional model of general personality structure. The purpose of this paper is to suggest a clinical application. A substantial body of research indicates that the personality disorders included within the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) can be understood as extreme and/or maladaptive variants of the FFM (the acronym "DSM" refers to any particular edition of the APA DSM). In addition, the current proposal for the forthcoming fifth edition of the DSM (i.e., DSM-5) is shifting closely toward an FFM dimensional trait model of personality disorder. Advantages of this shifting conceptualization are discussed, including treatment planning.

Exploring the Personality Structure in the 11 Languages of South Africa

November 2011


579 Reads






The present study, part of the development of the South African Personality Inventory (SAPI), explores the implicit personality structure in the 11 official language groups of South Africa by employing a mixed-method approach. In the first, qualitative part of the study, semistructured interviews were conducted with 1,216 participants from the 11 official language groups. The derived personality-descriptive terms were categorized and clustered based on their semantic relations in iterative steps involving group discussions and contacts with language and cultural experts. This analysis identified 37 subclusters, which could be merged in 9 broad clusters: Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability, Extraversion, Facilitating, Integrity, Intellect, Openness, Relationship Harmony, and Soft-Heartedness. In the second, quantitative part, the perceived relations between the 37 subclusters were rated by 204 students from different language groups in South Africa and 95 students in the Netherlands. The outcomes generally supported the adequacy of the conceptual model, although several clusters in the domain of relational and social functioning did not replicate in detail. The outcomes of these studies revealed a personality structure with a strong emphasis on social-relational aspects of personality.

Prayers, Spiritual Support, and Positive Attitudes in Coping With the September 11 National Crisis

July 2005


305 Reads

This study was designed to help fill gaps in faith-related and positive psychology research. Psychologists have called for precise assessment of effective faith factors inherent within spiritual experiences that may explain their beneficial effects. Positive psychologists suggest the need to examine social and faith-related origins of optimism. Based on previous research, we redefined spiritual support and developed a new assessment. The study is a survey of 453 graduate and undergraduate students 3 months after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The results showed that participants, who believed in diverse spiritual entities, used various types of prayer for coping. A structural equation model showed that a linkage of spiritual support and positive attitudes mediated the effect of faith-based and secular factors on post-September 11 distress. Higher levels of initial negative emotional response were associated with the use of prayer for coping, which was, in turn, related to less distress through the pathway of the above linkage.

The HEXACO Personality Factors in the Indigenous Personality Lexicons of English and 11 Other Languages

August 2008


644 Reads

Two studies tested the correspondence between six dimensions obtained in lexical studies of personality structure and the proposed HEXACO personality framework. Study 1 examined the English personality lexicon using 449 adjectives selected according to rated frequency of use in personality description. Six validimax-rotated factors derived from adjective self-ratings showed strong convergent and weak discriminant correlations with questionnaire markers of the HEXACO factors; the six adjective dimensions were also recovered from peer ratings. In Study 2, lay judges rated the conceptual similarity between HEXACO factor descriptions and adjective lists summarizing the six indigenous lexical personality factors of each of 12 languages. Across languages, a pattern of strong convergent and weak discriminant similarity ratings was observed; similarity ratings for the English factors of Study 1 were comparable to those for other languages' factors. Results indicate that the six dimensions of the HEXACO framework are recovered from the personality lexicons of various languages.

Culture and Personality Studies, 1918-1960: Myth and History

May 2002


364 Reads

The field known as "culture and personality studies" in the middle decades of the 20th century was a precursor of contemporary cross-cultural research on personality. Its rejection by anthropologists and sociologists after 1950 was accompanied by stereotypes that have hardened into myth and obscured its character and relevance for contemporary investigators. This article dispels some prevalent misconceptions (concerning its chronology, its theoretical unity, its positions on individual differences and its relationship to Freudian psychoanalysis) and proposes a tentative explanation of its decline.

Personality and Health in the 1980s: Psychosomatic Medicine Revisited?

July 1987


41 Reads

This special issue is a sign of a resurgence of interest in the role of personality in health not seen since the 1940s and early 1950s when the promises of the psychosomatic approach to health and illness appeared to be the greatest. This new look at personality and health represented by contributions to this special issue attempts to address the limitations of earlier work in psychosomatic medicine by making more explicit efforts to define personality variables precisely, to distinguish these variables from conceptually related psychological constructs, and to embed them in a body of theory and empirical research. This new work also attempts to remedy methodological limitations of earlier work by placing greater emphasis on prospective research and highlighting distinctions between symptom reports, illness behavior, and actual illness. However, the new work and earlier work in psychosomatic medicine share certain working assumptions, for example, a primary emphasis on the relatively direct impact of personality on disease onset, an assumption that personality variables operate in interaction with stressful events, and a frequent emphasis on general susceptibility to disease. Moreover, this new work frequently risks the same methodological pitfalls that limited scientific progress in psychosomatic medicine. We argue that the rapid rise and decline of psychosomatic medicine is most likely to be repeated in research on personality and health in the 1980s if reasonable criteria for considering personality variables a risk factor for disease are not precisely defined, disease endpoints (the dependent variable) are not assessed precisely, personality variables of interest (the independent variable) are not empirically distinguished from other related psychological variables, and complex relationships among risk factors are not taken into account. It is emphasized that models drawn from personality research cannot be transferred unchanged to the health arena without risking false inferences about the role of personality in health.

Personality Psychology: Research Trends for 1993-1995

November 1998


60 Reads

Articles published in five prominent personality journals for the three-year period 1993-1995 were reviewed in order to identify recent trends in personality research. Each article was assessed in terms of research methodology and content area. Research methodology has changed very little, the exceptions being a shift away from laboratory settings and a greater use of nonuniversity participants. Results for content demonstrate that over time certain topics emerge and fade from popularity. Current popular topics include traits, emotion/motivation, and health psychology. The general lack of advancement in methodology is discussed, and the current "hot topics" in content area are compared with those of the past. In addition, some comparisons are made between current personality research in North America versus research in Europe.

Socioeconomic Status in Childhood and Adulthood: Associations With Dispositional Optimism and Pessimism Over a 21‐Year Follow‐Up

September 2006


184 Reads

We examined whether dispositional optimism and pessimism (overall LOT-R and optimism and pessimism component scores) of 694 adults aged 24 and 27 were associated with socioeconomic status (SES) measured concurrently and in childhood at ages 3 and 6. SES measures included education, occupational status and unemployment, and income. Concurrent adulthood SES was associated with the overall LOT-R and optimism and the pessimism component scores. Childhood family SES predicted overall LOT-R and pessimism component scores, even after controlling statistically for the adulthood SES. Social mobility between SES of family of origin and current SES also influenced the scores. The current findings suggest that the foundation of dispositional optimism and pessimism is related to early SES of the family.

Children's Behavioral Styles at Age 3 Are Linked to Their Adult Personality Traits at Age 26

September 2003


3,331 Reads

We observed 1,000 3-year-old children who exhibited five temperament types: Undercontrolled, Inhibited, Confident, Reserved, and Well-adjusted. Twenty-three years later, we reexamined 96% of the children as adults, using multiple methods of comprehensive personality assessment, including both self- and informant-reports. These longitudinal data provide the longest and strongest evidence to date that children's early-emerging behavioral styles can foretell their characteristic behaviors, thoughts, and feelings as adults, pointing to the foundations of the human personality in the early years of life.

Transition from the Early 40s to the Early 50s in Self-Directed Women

April 1996


28 Reads

How does personality type moderate personality change in middle age? Answers to this question were sought with three observer-based measures of self-directedness (autonomy, hypersensitivity, and willfulness) scored from the California Q-set when the participants in the Mills longitudinal study were age 43. From their early 40s to early 50s, high scorers on autonomy (healthy self-directedness) increased on California Psychological Inventory measures of impulse control and agency, and continued their involvement in high-status occupational careers. Despite increases in impulse control, the hypersensitive women had not increased in agency and expressed boredom in major social roles. In their early 50s, high scorers on willfulness increased in agency but not impulse control. In social roles, they perceived themselves as stimulating and creative.

Predicting the everyday life events of older adults. Journal of Personality, 59(3): 507-538

October 1991


28 Reads

Predicting the everyday life events of people is a relatively unexplored topic, although several major theoretical approaches deal with related issues. The dispositional approach would assign a causal role to personality, while the situational approach would locate causation in the person's environment. Variations on these two extreme themes invoke an interactionist interpretation. Beyond this, a genuinely transactional approach focuses on the enduring person-environment relationship established as people deal with major and everyday life events. This study investigated a wide range of predictors of daily positive, negative, and ill-health events over time in a sample of 206 older adults. Results showed that personality variables played only a minor role in predicting daily events, although an interaction between extraversion and social network size was significant. Background demographic variables and the major stressors of recent conjugal bereavement and physical disability played a role in daily event occurrences. Overall, the strongest degree of predictability of events came from the events themselves: The high degree of event stability over time indicated the value of a genuinely transactional model in understanding the occurrence of everyday events.

Figure 1: Scatter plot of Revised Social Anhedonia Scale scores and Social Phobia Scale scores.
Aberrant Asociality: How Individual Differences in Social Anhedonia Illuminate the Need to Belong
  • Literature Review
  • Full-text available

September 2010


400 Reads

The need to belong, a fundamental concept in psychology, organizes a wide range of findings in the study of interpersonal relationships. We suggest that human belongingness needs can be illuminated by examining when they go awry. We review research on social anhedonia, a trait that involves a marked disinterest in interpersonal contact. Social anhedonia has a long history in clinical psychology, particularly in the study of schizotypy and schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, but it is just starting to get attention from social and personality psychologists. Three lines of research-cross-sectional studies of individual differences, longitudinal studies of risk for psychopathology, and experience-sampling studies of interpersonal behavior-suggest that (1) social anhedonia represents genuine social disinterest, not merely shyness, introversion, or social anxiety, and (2) people high in social anhedonia have consistently poorer functioning, including a higher risk for developing schizophrenia-spectrum disorders. Just as satisfied relatedness needs promote flourishing, dysfunctional social needs promote psychopathology.

Self-Efficacy and the Prediction of Domain-Specific Cognitive Abilities

February 2010


153 Reads

We evaluated predictors of performance in 4 specific cognitive ability domains: verbal, numerical, spatial, and mechanical. The predictors were individual differences in self-efficacy beliefs, self-enhancement tendencies, and cross-domain abilities. Our university students' beliefs about their verbal, numerical, and spatial capabilities correlated well with their actual performance on standardized tests (verbal r=.33, numerical r=.27, spatial r=.36). In contrast, the students' self-efficacy for mechanical tasks did relatively poorly in predicting mechanical test performance (r=.10). Most interesting were two other findings: (a) The best predictor of domain performance was level of cross-domain performance by far, even for mechanical tasks, and (b) self-enhancement tendencies added to cross-domain abilities and self-efficacy beliefs in the prediction of performance. The results are discussed in terms of possible mechanisms explaining how one's score on a maximal performance task can be affected by self-efficacy beliefs and self-enhancement tendencies.

Dimensions of Normal and Abnormal Personality: Elucidating DSM-IV Personality Disorder Symptoms in Adolescents

June 2010


223 Reads

The present study aimed to elucidate dimensions of normal and abnormal personality underlying DSM-IV personality disorder (PD) symptoms in 168 adolescents referred to mental health services. Dimensions derived from the Big Five of normal personality and from Livesley's (2006) conceptualization of personality pathology were regressed on interview-based DSM-IV PD symptom counts. When examined independently, both models demonstrated significant levels of predictive power at the higher order level. However, when added to the higher order Big Five dimensions, Livesley's higher and lower order dimensions afforded a supplementary contribution to the understanding of dysfunctional characteristics of adolescent PDs. In addition, they contributed to a better differentiation between adolescent PDs. The present findings suggest that adolescent PDs are more than extreme, maladaptive variants of higher order normal personality traits. Adolescent PDs seem to encompass characteristics that may be more completely covered by dimensions of abnormal personality. Developmental issues and implications of the findings are discussed.

Integrating Normal and Abnormal Personality Structure: The Five-Factor Model

February 2012


708 Reads

It is evident that the conceptualization, diagnosis, and classification of personality disorder is shifting toward a dimensional model. The purpose of this special issue of Journal of Personality is to indicate how the five-factor model (FFM) can provide a useful and meaningful basis for an integration of the description and classification of both normal and abnormal personality functioning. This introductory article discusses its empirical support and the potential advantages of understanding personality disorders including those included within the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and likely future PDs from the dimensional perspective of the FFM.

Table 2
Correlations Between MPQ Primary Scales and MMPI Validity and Clinical Scales MPQ MMPI wellbe socpot achiev socclos stress alien aggres control harmav tradit absorp
Correlations Between MPQ Primary Scales and MMPI Wiggins Scales MPQ MMPI wellbe socpot achiev socclos stress alien aggres control harmav tradit absorp
Normal and Abnormal Personality Traits: Evidence for Genetic and Environmental Relationships in the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart

November 2002


979 Reads

Recent studies have demonstrated substantial correlations between normal and abnormal personality traits. Yet little is known about how these correlations are mediated genetically and environmentally: Do normal and abnormal personality traits stem from the same underlying genes and environments? We addressed this question using data from 128 monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs in the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart (MISTRA). Additive genetic and nonshared environmental correlations between scales of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)--an index of abnormal personality--and the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ)--an index of normal personality--were estimated. Results indicated that phenotypic correlations between normal and abnormal personality were mediated by genetic as well as environmental factors, although the magnitude of genetic mediation tended to be larger overall. Moreover, the patterns of phenotypic, genetic, and environmental relationships among the scales were similar, suggesting that influences on normal and abnormal personality act through systems common to both. It is suggested that future research focus on the neurogenetic substrates of these shared systems and how dysfunction in these systems influences development of disordered personality.

The Relation of Personality to Alcohol Abuse/Dependence in a High-Risk Sample

December 2001


129 Reads

The current study had two goals. The first goal was to test the mediational role of young adult personality in the relation between parental alcoholism and young adult alcoholism. The second was to examine the associations between personality and alcohol use motives and reasons to limit drinking in order to explore possible mechanisms by which personality may influence alcohol abuse/dependence. Multilevel modeling techniques were used to analyze data obtained from a community sample of young adult children of alcoholics and demographically matched controls. Results revealed that young adult neuroticism and agreeableness each, in part, mediated the effect of parental alcoholism on young adult alcoholism. Moreover, individuals high in neuloticism reported stronger coping motives to use alcohol, individuals low in agreeableness reported stronger coping motives and weaker upbringing reasons to limit drinking, and individuals low in conscientiousness reported stronger coping and enhancement motives to use alcohol, and weaker performance reasons to limit drinking.

Type A behavior, academic aspirations, and academic success

October 1981


45 Reads

This study investigated the link between the Type A coronary-prone behavior pattern and attainment of success in an academic setting. First semester college freshman were administered 3 sets of questionnaires during the course of the fall semester that were designed to assess academic activities, outside responsibilities, and importance of academic success. Indices of actual academic performance were obtained from university records. The hypotheses that Type A students (1) would be involved in more activities, (2) place greater importance on academic success, and (3) actually achieve higher performance levels than Type B students, were confirmed. In addition, the results found that compared to Type B, the Type A students perceived more parental pressure, came from higher SES families, and were more clear as to what was expected of them. Implications for further research are discussed.

Hope and Optimism: Latent Structures and Influences on Grade Expectancy and Academic Performance

December 2008


1,211 Reads

A synthesized model of trait hope (Snyder 1994, 2002) and trait optimism (Scheier & Carver, 1985) is proposed. In this model hope and optimism are conceptualized as facets of an overarching trait called goal attitude. Structural equation modeling is used to test the plausibility of the proposed model in a sample of 345 students in a university psychology course who completed the Adult Hope Scale (Snyder et al., 1991) and the Life Orientation Test-Revised (Scheier, Carver, & Bridges, 1994). The proposed model shows acceptable fit to the observed data. The synthesized model is used to examine the unique and common influences of hope and optimism on grade expectancy and academic performance in 312 students who completed the course. The results show that hope uniquely influenced students' grade expectancies, whereas optimism did not. In turn, grade expectancies influenced academic performance. Neither hope nor optimism had a unique, direct influence on academic performance. In contrast, the shared aspect of hope and optimism (i.e., goal attitude) had a direct influence on academic performance.

General and Specific Traits of Personality and Their Relation to Sleep and Academic Performance

May 2002


448 Reads

Few studies have examined the links between personality variables and sleep and their combined effect on specific real-world outcomes. Participants in this study completed numerous personality, sleep, and performance measures; we examined the associations among these measures. Personality was assessed using the Five-Factor Model. The personality trait of Conscientiousness (especially its facet of Achievement Striving) was a substantial predictor of academic performance. Analyses of the sleep variables revealed three distinct constructs: quantity, quality, and schedule. Sleep quantity showed few interesting correlates. In contrast, sleep quality was associated with greater well-being and improved psychological functioning, whereas sleep schedule (i.e., average rising and retiring times) was significantly related to Conscientiousness, such that conscientious individuals maintain earlier schedules.

Motivation and Academic Achievement: The Effects of Personality Traits and the Quality of Experience

October 1991


206 Reads

The present study examined the relationship of personality, experience while studying, and academic performance. One hundred and seventy talented high-school students (68 males, 102 females) completed the Personality Research Form (PRF) and recorded their experience via the Experience Sampling Method (ESM). The results showed that controlling for ability, work orientation, a PRF factor, was a better predictor of grade than experience. However, an experiential variable,intrinsic motivation while studying, was related to the difficulty level of courses students took over the 4 years of high school. The results supported the notion that there are two kinds of motivation in scholastic achievement, one directed toward long-term goals, the other directed toward ongoing experience.

Mother and Self-Representations: Investigating Associations With Symptomatic Behavior and Academic Competence in Middle Childhood

March 2006


105 Reads

This article reports two studies examining the content and structural aspects of maternal and self-representations in middle childhood in two prospective studies of 9 to 11-year-old children, their stability over time and interrelations, and their contribution to symptomatology and academic functioning. In Study 1 (N=169), content and structural dimensions of participants' open-ended narratives of self and mother were assessed, and their factor structure was replicated across two consecutive measurement waves carried out a year apart. In Study 2 (N=137), using an independent sample, the authors investigated the associations of self- and maternal representations with teachers' subsequent reports of children's internalizing and externalizing symptomatology and academic competence. It was assumed that dimensions of self-representations played a mediating role in the prediction of children's symptomatology and competence by their maternal representations. Results corroborated the existence of interdependent but distinct representations of self and mother in middle childhood, as well as the stability over time of the structural and thematic aspects within each representation. The content of the self- and maternal representations was found to associate with observed symptomatic behavior, while their structure associated with children's academic competence. In addition, results indicated that self-representation content mediates the association of maternal representation content with subsequent symptomatic behavior. Findings are discussed in the light of the differentiation and interdependence of self- and maternal representations in middle childhood.

Masculinity, femininity, academic performance, and health: Further evidence concerning the androgyny controversy

October 1980


22 Reads

Spence and Helmreich's (1978) claim that individual differences in four components of achievement motivation (mastery, work, competitiveness, and personal unconcern) are attributable to masculinity and femininity rather than to gender was generally supported, with one exception: Masculinity was associated with competitiveness for males but not for females. Furthermore, competitive women were more likely than noncompetitive women to have mental and physical health problems, but there was no such difference for males. In general, masculinity emerged as a beneficial constellation of traits for both males and females, correlating negatively with achievement conflicts and stress symptoms, and positively with mastery and work. Femininity, on the other hand, appeared to be a detrimental cluster of traits for both sexes, at least in terms of academic performance and health. Implications for the controversial concept of androgyny were discussed, and it was suggested that, in the future, research inspired by an ideal conception of adult behavior confront the ideal directly rather than describe it in terms of the traditional concepts of masculinity and femininity. Any such research effort will have to deal with the pivotal role of competitiveness.

Psychosocial Stages and the Accessibility of Autobiographical Memories Across the Life Cycle

July 2004


451 Reads

Older adults recalled memories from each decade of life. Memories were classified in terms of the psychosocial stages to which their content corresponded. For the majority of memories it was found that age at encoding corresponded to when specific psychosocial stages would have been most likely to have occurred. In a second experiment older adults recalled memories to cues drawn from psychosocial stages and the same pattern of findings was observed. These findings demonstrate that the goals of the self play a major role in both the encoding and accessibility of autobiographical memories, and they also provide support for Erikson's psychosocial theory of development (1950, 1997).

Figure 1B). However, when a low RS person had a high RS partner, the high RS partner felt less
A Dyadic Perspective on Speech Accommodation and Social Connection: Both Partners’ Rejection Sensitivity Matter

November 2014


472 Reads

Findings from confederate paradigms predict that mimicry is an adaptive route to social connection for rejection-sensitive individuals (Lakin, Chartrand, & Arkin, 2008). However, dyadic perspectives predict that whether mimicry leads to perceived connection depends on the rejection sensitivity (RS) of both partners in an interaction. We investigated these predictions in 50 college women who completed a dyadic cooperative task in which members were matched or mismatched in being dispositionally high or low in RS. We used a psycholinguistics paradigm to assess, through independent listeners' judgments (N = 162), how much interacting individuals accommodate phonetic aspects of their speech toward each other. Results confirmed predictions from confederate paradigms in matched RS dyads. However, mismatched dyads showed an asymmetry in levels of accommodation and perceived connection: Those high in RS accommodated more than their low-RS partner but emerged feeling less connected. Mediational analyses indicated that low-RS individuals' nonaccommodation in mismatched dyads helped explain their high-RS partners' relatively low perceived connection to them. Establishing whether mimicry is an adaptive route to social connection requires analyzing mimicry as a dyadic process influenced by the needs of each dyad member.

Does Ego Development Increase During Midlife? The Effects of Openness and Accommodative Processing of Difficult Events

October 2012


184 Reads

Objective: Although Loevinger's model of ego development is a theory of personality growth, there are few studies that have examined age-related change in ego level over developmentally significant periods of adulthood. To address this gap in the literature, we examined mean-level change and individual differences in change in ego level over 18 years of midlife. Method: In this longitudinal study, participants were 79 predominantly White, college-educated women who completed the Washington University Sentence Completion Test in early (age 43) and late (age 61) midlife as well as measures of the trait of Openness (ages 21, 43, 52, and 61) and accommodative processing (assessed from narratives of difficult life events at age 52). Results: As hypothesized, the sample overall showed a mean-level increase in ego level from age 43 to age 61. Additionally, a regression analysis showed that both the trait of Openness at age 21 and accommodative processing of difficult events that occurred during (as opposed to prior to) midlife were each predictive of increasing ego level from age 43 to age 61. Conclusions: These findings counter prior claims that ego level remains stable during adulthood and contribute to our understanding of the underlying processes involved in personality growth in midlife.

Core Dimensions of Personality Broadly Account for the Link from Perceived Social Support to Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety

August 2013


133 Reads

Specific personality traits and poor social support are risk factors for anxiety and depression. Little work, however, has considered effects of social support and personality on these aspects of psychopathology simultaneously. We examined whether perceived social support mediates the effects of core personality domains on symptoms of anxiety and depression. Measures of personality (based on the Five Factor Model (FFM)), perceived social support, and symptoms of depression and of anxiety were collected in a large Dutch adult population-based sample, and, except for depression symptoms, in an independent US adult population-based sample. Path modeling was used to test the effects of FFM traits on symptoms of depression and anxiety, with and without the mediation of perceived social support. Social support showed no link to symptoms of anxiety and only modest links to symptoms of depression when controlling for the FFM traits. Neuroticism had the strongest effect on symptoms of both depression and anxiety, with extraversion also showing links to symptoms of depression. Social support has limited influence on symptoms of depression, and no effects on anxiety, over and above the effects of personality. Links between social support and anxiety/depression may largely reflect influences of neuroticism and extraversion.

Explaining the Extraversion/Positive Affect Relation: Sociability Cannot Account for Extraverts' Greater Happiness

July 2008


1,389 Reads

The association between Extraversion and positive affect is one of the most robust findings in the study of personality and emotion. Temperament models posit that the association is direct; instrumental models posit that the association is mediated by additional processes. Two experience sampling studies were conducted to test instrumental mechanisms that might underlie the effect. According to a mediation model, extraverts' greater social activity can account for their increased positive affect when compared to introverts. According to a person-by-situation interaction model, extraverts react more positively to social situations than do introverts, and this interaction can account for the association. Only weak support for the instrumental models was found; consistent with temperament models, a moderate direct association remained even after controlling for these effects.

The Role of Dispositional Traits in Accounting for Country and Ethnic Group Differences on Adjustment

February 2009


35 Reads

Country and ethnic group differences on adjustment have been demonstrated numerous times, and the source of these differences has been typically interpreted as cultural. We report two studies in which country (Study 1) and ethnic group (Study 2) differences on depression, anxiety, optimism versus pessimism, well-being, and self-esteem are mediated by dispositional traits. These findings provide an alternative explanation for previously reported country and ethnic group differences on these variables and encourage researchers to consider multiple sources, including traits, in their models and studies.

Figure 1: Initial multivariate model of the association between factors of personality and environmental factors. G=additive genetic effects, E=nonshared environmental effects. PEM=positive emotionality, NEM=negative emotionality, CON=constraint, COH=cohesion, STA=status.
Phenotypic Correlations and Best-Fitting Model Estimates of Genetic and Environmental Correlations
The Extended Genotype: The Heritability of Personality Accounts for the Heritability of Recalled Family Environments in Twins Reared Apart

November 2003


533 Reads

How are retrospective accounts of family rearing environments linked to adult personality? We addressed this question by measuring both domains in a sample of 180 reared-apart twins. Twins completed extensive measures of rearing environments (the Minnesota-Briggs History Record, the Block Environmental Questionnaire, the Family Environment Scale, and the Physical Facilities Questionnaire) and an omnibus measure of adult personality (the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire). Retrospective accounts of family environments were partially heritable and all the heritable variance in environmental measures could be accounted for by heritable variance in personality. In addition, differences between twins in their accounts of their rearing environments (nonshared environmental factors) were not significantly linked to differences between twins in their personalities. Hence, family environmental measures appear to be heritable because personality genes influence the way people shape and recall their rearing environments. In addition, differences in reared-apart twins' retrospectively recalled rearing environments appear to have little impact on differences in their personalities in adulthood.

Hierarchical Regression Model for Psychological Adjustment in Study 3 (N 5 452 Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese Students)
Bicultural Identity, Bilingualism, and Psychological Adjustment in Multicultural Societies: Immigration-Based and Globalization-Based Acculturation

May 2008


6,593 Reads

The present investigation examined the impact of bicultural identity, bilingualism, and social context on the psychological adjustment of multicultural individuals. Our studies targeted three distinct types of biculturals: Mainland Chinese immigrants in Hong Kong, Filipino domestic workers (i.e., sojourners) in Hong Kong, and Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese college students. Individual differences in Bicultural Identity Integration (BII; Benet-Martínez, Leu, Lee, & Morris, 2002) positively predicted psychological adjustment for all the samples except sojourners even after controlling for the personality traits of neuroticism and self-efficacy. Cultural identification and language abilities also predicted adjustment, although these associations varied across the samples in meaningful ways. We concluded that, in the process of managing multiple cultural environments and group loyalties, bilingual competence, and perceiving one's two cultural identities as integrated are important antecedents of beneficial psychological outcomes.

Comparing the accuracy of personality judgements by the self and knowledgeable others

July 1996


66 Reads

In this article we compare the accuracy of personality judgements by the self and by knowledgeable others. Self- and acquaintance judgements of general personality attributes were used to predict general, videotaped behavioral criteria. Results slightly favored the predictive validity of personality judgements made by single acquaintances over self-judgements, and significantly favored the aggregated personality judgements of two acquaintances over self-judgements. These findings imply that the most valid source for personality judgements that are relevant to patterns of overt behavior may not be self-reports but the consensus of the judgement of the community of one's peers.

Consensus, Self-Other Agreement, and Accuracy in Personality Judgment: An Introduction

January 1994


129 Reads

Consensus in personality judgment refers to the agreement with which two people (or more) can describe the personality of another; self-other agreement refers to the similarity between personality descriptions by the self and by others; and accuracy refers to the degree to which personality descriptions capture real attributes of the persons described. After years of focusing on other subjects, researchers recently have renewed their interest in these three topics. Current empirical research is philosophically diverse and includes studies incorporating pragmatic, constructivist, and realist approaches. Other research is resolving long-standing methodological problems and providing new analytic techniques for the study of consensus, self-other agreement, and accuracy. This special issue includes articles exemplifying all of these research approaches and documents that a new wave of research on consensus, self-other agreement, and accuracy in personality judgment now comprises a burgeoning field that has finally come of age.

Judgments of a Relationship Partner: Specific Accuracy but Global Enhancement

January 2003


64 Reads

How do partners in satisfying close relationships perceive each other? Some argue that relationships benefit from each partner having an accurate view of the other, while others maintain that partners benefit when they perceive each other in the most positive light possible. The current paper proposes that each of these benefits operates at a separate level of abstraction. Specifically, we propose that satisfied partners tend to be accurate in their specific perceptions of each other, but enhancing in their global evaluations. To address hypotheses derived from this model, global and specific perceptions of self and partner were obtained from a sample of 82 newlywed couples. Results indicate that: 1) trait perceptions assessed by different commonly used measures differ significantly in their breadth; 2) broader or more global traits are rated as significantly more desirable and important; 3) spouses in satisfying marriages describe their partners' positive traits in more global terms and their negative traits in more specific terms; and 4) spouses perceive each other more accurately on specific traits than global traits.

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