The Five-Factor Model, Five-Factor Theory, and Interpersonal Psychology
Paul T. Costa, Jr.
Robert R. McCrae
National Institute on Aging, NIH, DHHS
RUNNING HEAD: FFM and FFT
This research was supported entirely by the Intramural Research Program of the National
Institute on Aging, NIH. Paul T. Costa, Jr., and Robert R. McCrae receive royalties from the
NEO-PI-R. Address correspondence to Paul T. Costa, Jr., NIH Biomedical Research Center, 251
Bayview Blvd., Suite 100, Room 04B333, Baltimore, MD 21224. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
FFM and FFT 2
The Five-Factor Model (FFM; Digman, 1990; McCrae & John, 1992) is an account of the
structure of individual differences in personality; Five-Factor Theory (FFT; McCrae & Costa,
2008b) was designed to explain the development and functioning of the individual in the light of
findings from research conducted using the FFM. By contrast, interpersonal psychology has its
focus outside the individual, in interactions among people, especially dyads. One might imagine
that there is a relatively limited intersection of these intrapersonal and interpersonal perspectives
that could be exhaustively covered in the space of this small chapter, but in fact the two
approaches are so deeply intertwined that they are better seen as two different views of the same
topic. Human personality is invariably expressed in cultural, social, and interpersonal forms;
interpersonal and social behaviors always emanate from individual human beings with their own
personalities. Our goal here is to sketch the more important ways in which the two views
converge or complement each other. We begin with empirical correspondences at the level of
FFM traits; then present a theoretical framework—FFT—that can be applied to interpersonal
psychology; and finally discuss attachment as an illustration of how FFT might be used to
reinterpret topics of central important to interpersonal theory.
Perhaps the clearest and best-established link between these two research traditions
comes from the study of individual differences. Trait researchers spent many decades
enumerating important individual differences in enduring dispositions; eventually it became clear
that most traits are related to one or more of just five basic factors. These are now commonly
called Neuroticism or Emotional Instability, Extraversion, Openness to Experience,
Agreeableness versus Antagonism, and Conscientiousness. A good deal is now known about
these factors (McCrae & Costa, 2008a): They recur across cultures, are strongly heritable, can be
FFM and FFT 3
assessed by self-reports or the ratings of knowledgeable informants, and characterize individuals
for long periods during adulthood.
Half a century ago, Leary (1957) and others noted that people differed in their
characteristic interpersonal behaviors, and that the behaviors, and associated traits, showed a
circular order, the interpersonal circumplex (Kiesler, 1983; Wiggins & Broughton, 1985).
Behaviors, and people, were contrasted in terms of two dimensions, typically called Love or
Affiliation and Status or Dominance. In contrast to the simple structures generally sought by
factor analysts, interpersonal theorists were equally concerned with the blends of these two
dimensions. Thus, a person high in both Affiliation and Dominance might be considered
sociable; one high in Affiliation and low in Dominance might be cooperative.
Wiggins (1979) extracted interpersonal trait adjectives from the dictionary and created a
measure called the Interpersonal Adjective Scales (IAS), later revised as the IAS-R (Wiggins,
Trapnell, & Phillips, 1988). In 1989, we showed that the IAS-R scales defined the same plane as
measures of the FFM trait factors Extraversion and Agreeableness (McCrae & Costa, 1989), as
measured by the NEO Personality Inventory. That instrument included facet scales for
Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Openness factors, but only global scales for Agreeableness and
Conscientiousness. A subsequent revision (Costa & McCrae, 1992) included facet scales for all
Figure 1 shows the results of a joint factor analysis of self-reports on the IAS-R and
spouse ratings on the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R). Because the data were
from an ongoing longitudinal study, they were collected at different times: The IAS-R was
administered in 1985, spouse ratings on the original NEO-PI were obtained in 1986, and spouse
ratings on the new Agreeableness and Conscientiousness items were gathered in 1991. However,
because personality traits are quite stable in adulthood, these different times of administration
FFM and FFT 4
probably had little effect on the structure (Costa & McCrae, 1985). Figure 1 replicates earlier
findings with regard to Extraversion facets, which occupy the upper right quadrant. It shows
further that facets of Agreeableness are arrayed in the lower right quadrant, moving clockwise
from Altruism to Modesty. These new data on facets of Agreeableness make perfect sense: IAS-
R Warm-Agreeable is closest to the Altruism and Tender-Mindedness facets of Agreeableness;
IAS-R Unassuming-Ingenuous is closest to Modesty and Straightforwardness.
The orientation of the axes in Figure 1 is based on Wiggins’s model—Procrustes rotation
was used so that PA best approximates 90°, NO 45°, and so on. Other orientations are sometimes
advocated, and Tracy, Ryan, and Jaschik-Herman (2001) reported evidence that a clockwise
rotation of 22.5° from the Wiggins orientation yields a position in which the principle of
complementarity seems to work best. Note that such an orientation would make the axes of
Dominance and Love pass near the centroids of the Extraversion and Agreeableness facets,
respectively. One might then conclude that interpersonal behaviors tend to elicit complementary
behaviors that are similar with regard to Agreeableness and opposite with regard to Extraversion.
Figure 1 about here
More substantively, Figure 1 shows that interpersonal characteristics are largely
isomorphic with some facets of general personality traits. Because there is a six-year interval
between the IAS-R and NEO-PI-R data, the Figure testifies to the enduring nature of
interpersonal traits. Because this is a joint analysis of self-reports and spouse ratings, it
demonstrates that interpersonal traits are consensually valid. That is, at least among married
couples, interpersonal person perception is generally accurate.
FFM and FFT 5
Careful consideration of the Figure, however, points to another conclusion as well.
Although this might easily be deemed a diagram of the interpersonal plane (defined by the two
dimensions of Love and Dominance), it clearly contains traits that are not intrinsically
interpersonal. Three of the Extraversion facets—Excitement Seeking, Activity, and Positive
Emotions—are sometimes considered temperamental rather than interpersonal, because they
need not involve other people at all. The Agreeableness facet of Tender-Mindedness is only
indirectly interpersonal; it is fundamentally a dimension of personality-relevant attitudes. Human
nature, it seems, does not necessarily respect the neat conceptual categories we invent: Not all
traits in the interpersonal plane are interpersonal.
The converse is also true: Traits outside the interpersonal plane may also be
interpersonal, in the sense that they powerfully influence social interactions. Wiggins and
Trapnell (1996; see also Ansell & Pincus, 2004) attempted to link all five factors to the
interpersonal dimensions by broadening Dominance and Love to the more abstract metaconcepts
of Agency and Communion. Thus, for example, they considered the Vulnerability facet of
Neuroticism an example of (low) Agency, whereas the Angry Hostility facet was seen as
representing (low) Communion.
There are more direct ways to link the remaining FFM factors to interpersonal concerns.
Consider Openness to Experience. This is fundamentally an intrapsychic experiential dimension,
concerned with how individuals filter and process cognitive, emotional, and perceptual
information (McCrae & Costa, 1997). Open individuals value novelty and variety, generate
remote associates to ideas, become intensely absorbed in their activities, and tolerate—even
cultivate—ambiguity; whereas closed people are traditional, down-to-earth, and
compartmentalized in their thinking. These distinctive forms of handling experiential input have
pervasive influences on social interactions at almost all levels: People seek friends and spouses
FFM and FFT 6
who resemble them in their level of Openness and tend to work most effectively in like-minded
groups. Open people have more egalitarian family structures. Closed people provide more
practical social support and show greater in-group loyalty. Openness is an important determinant
of social attitudes, including prejudice and political affiliation. Open leaders facilitate
organizational change, and cultures whose members (on average) score higher on measures of
Openness are more progressive and innovative in social policies (McCrae, 1996; McCrae &
Conscientiousness—or its lack—also has major repercussions in the interpersonal sphere.
Imagine a roommate who borrows your belongings without asking, leaves clothes and trash on
the floor, makes but rarely keeps promises, and forgets to pay the rent. Such behaviors, though
not directed at you personally, are likely to affect your well-being and may well sour your
relationship with your roommate. It is hardly surprising that individuals uniformly prefer mates
high in Conscientiousness (Botwin, Buss, & Shackelford, 1997), or that low Conscientiousness
in men is a predictor of subsequent divorce (Kelly & Conley, 1987). It is curious that trust is
traditionally considered an interpersonal trait, but that trustworthiness is not.
Individuals high in Neuroticism are prone to experience a variety of distressing emotions,
including fear, anger, dejection, and shame; these affective responses often disturb interpersonal
functioning. This is seem most clearly in extreme cases, such as individuals diagnosed with
Borderline Personality Disorders, who typically score high on all facets of Neuroticism (Morey
et al., 2002). DSM-IV (American Psychiatric Association, 1994) notes that patients with this
disorder have intense but unstable relationships, in which their perceptions of others are
unrealistic and can shift dramatically. They are helplessly dependent on others, but can resort to
outbursts of temper if they feel slighted; it is hardly surprising that “broken marriages are
common” (p. 652).
FFM and FFT 7
More generally, there are entire categories of problems in living that are classified as
interpersonal. Analyses of instruments that assess these problems (Horowitz, Alden, Wiggins, &
Pincus, 2000; Horowitz, Rosenberg, Baer, Ureño, & Villaseñor, 1988) typically show a general
factor that is associated with negative affectivity (Tracey, Rounds, & Gurtman, 1996) or
Neuroticism (Becker & Mohr, 2005); after controlling for this general factor, the familiar
circular arrangement of interpersonal traits is found. From the perspective of the FFM, we might
say that people high in Neuroticism are prone to interpersonal problems; the nature of the
predominant problems is a function of levels of Extraversion and Agreeableness. Thus,
dependency might be associated with high Agreeableness and high Neuroticism; jealousy with
low Agreeableness and high Neuroticism.
Some researchers have been so fascinated by the circular arrangement of traits in the
interpersonal circumplex and by the intriguing but elusive notion of complementary behaviors it
affords that they have neglected other traits that are also essential to a complete understanding of
interpersonal behaviors and relationships. The FFM offers a broader perspective that should be
The Personality System
Interpersonal psychology is as much about process as it is a about traits, whereas the
FFM is, in itself, only a structural model of traits. In his 1996 volume, Wiggins asked FFM
researchers to make explicit the theoretical basis of their understanding of traits, and we did so
by spelling out the metatheoretical assumptions behind trait psychology (including variability,
proactivity, rationality, and scientific knowability) and by outlining a theory of personality,
complete with definitions and postulates (McCrae & Costa, 1996). The metatheoretical
assumptions assert that human nature is variable (surely an axiom of differential psychology!);
FFM and FFT 8
that behavior is not merely reactive, but expresses the inner nature of the individual; that lay
persons have some insight into their own motives and behaviors (and those of others); and that
human personality is a proper object of scientific inquiry. These premises set trait psychology
apart from radical behaviorism, which sees humans as uniformly reactive to a history of
reinforcements; from psychoanalysis, which regards motives as hidden and behavior as
irrational; and from some forms of existential psychology, which grant man a freedom that defies
scientific understanding. It is noteworthy that interpersonal psychologists by and large adopt the
same metatheoretical premises (variability, proactivity, rationality, knowability) as trait
psychologists, although they might prefer to describe personality as interactive rather than
In fact, most modern forms of personality psychology share these basic tenets of trait
psychology. What sets FFT apart from other theories of personality is the particular set of
postulates it proposes. These in turn are not based primarily on the nature of the five factors, but
rather on findings that have emerged from research on the FFM. For example, the existence of
five factors says nothing about where these factors come from, but a large body of research
shows that they are in large part heritable (Bouchard & Loehlin, 2001). We have known for some
time that temperamental traits like Extraversion are heritable (Eaves & Eysenck, 1975), but it
was not until all five major trait dimensions were systematically studied (e.g., Riemann,
Angleitner, & Strelau, 1997) that we learned that essentially all personality traits are heritable.
We now know that the FFM structure itself is genetically based (Yamagata et al., 2006). Such
findings inspired FFT’s postulate 1b. Origin, which asserts that personality traits are endogenous
basic tendencies (McCrae & Costa, 2008b). Note that this postulate applies to the interpersonal
NEO-PI-R facets shown in Figure 1, which showed additive genetic influences in German and
Canadian samples (Jang, McCrae, Angleitner, Riemann, & Livesley, 1998).
FFM and FFT 9
The view that traits are endogenous rather than environmental in origin is also supported
by much other research on the FFM, including studies showing the limited influence of child-
rearing variables (McCrae & Costa, 1988), the presence of the same factors in widely different
cultures (McCrae, Terracciano, & 78 Members of the Personality Profiles of Cultures Project,
2005), and the appearance of similar factors in other primate species (King, Weiss, & Farmer,
2005). In FFT, endogenous means biologically based, but it does not necessarily mean genetic.
Antidepressant medications, for example, affect personality trait levels (Costa, Bagby, Herbst, &
McCrae, 2005), in ways that are consistent with FFT.
FFT is an attempt to synthesize many such lines of research, and it is summarized in
Figure 2 (a more elaborate version of this figure is presented in McCrae & Costa, 2008b).
Personality is here viewed as a system with inputs and outputs; FFTs most distinctive
contribution is the distinction between endogenous basic tendencies (including personality traits)
and characteristic adaptations, which are acquired skills, beliefs, habits, and so on. As suggested
above, traits are products of biology; they are not—according to FFT—influenced by the
environment. This accounts for their similarity across cultures, and for their relative
imperviousness to the course of life events (Terracciano, Costa, & McCrae, 2006).
Figure 2 about here
This most certainly does not mean that the environment does not matter; it is crucial for
the development of characteristic adaptations. A person may be born with the disposition to be
talkative, but the language he or she speaks is determined solely by the environment. Indeed,
culture and the social environment are central in the formation of a whole host of phenomena of
central importance to psychologists, including knowledge, skills, beliefs, tastes, values,
FFM and FFT 10
prejudices, habits, routines, roles, relationships, and the self-concept. All of these are also shaped
by personality traits, which is why these adaptations are characteristic of the person. Note that
according to FFT, personality traits do not have a direct influence on behavior; there is no arrow
in Figure 2 from personality traits to behavior. Traits are only expressed indirectly, through the
operation of acquired characteristic adaptations.
The personality system in Figure 2 can be interpreted as operating on two time scales. In
the moment, specific behaviors and experiences arise as a joint function of characteristic
adaptations and the immediate environmental situation: One’s choice of dinner at a restaurant
reflects both one’s food preferences (and one’s habits of thrift) and the offerings on the menu.
Over a lifetime, accumulated behaviors and experiences constitute the objective biography,
“every significant thing that a man [or woman] felt and thought and said and did from the start to
the finish of his [or her] life” (Murray & Kluckhohn, 1953, p. 30). On this time scale,
characteristic adaptations themselves are a joint function of personality traits and the social
environment. Becoming a physician (a role that is likely central to one’s self-concept), for
example, may result from intellectual and altruistic interests and a degree of self-discipline and
achievement striving that all reflect personality traits such as Openness and Conscientiousness;
but it also depends on one’s educational opportunities, financial resources, and the support of
one’s family and spouse.
From the perspective of interpersonal psychology, the major shortcoming of Figure 2 is
that it says very little about interactions between people. From Sullivan (1953) to Wiggins
(2003), interpersonal theorists have focused their attention outside the person and onto
relationships between people. Carson (1969) went so far as to define personality as “nothing
more (or less) than the patterned regularities that may be observed in an individual’s relations
with other persons” (p. 26; cited in Wiggins, 2003). Clearly, FFT takes a broader view of
FFM and FFT 11
personality, but it is one that can accommodate interpersonal concerns.
Consider the diagram in Figure 3. Here the personality systems of two people (P1 and P2)
are shown together; for P2 the usual arrangement from Figure 2 has been inverted to bring it
face-to-face with P1. These two systems mesh though the identification of P1’s output
(Behavior1) with P2’s input (Environment2), and vice-versa. These two people can be seen as
conducting a conversation, in which each makes a statement in turn in response to the other’s
communication. It is in such a model that the principle of complementarity is supposed to
operate: An assertive behavior on the part of P1 should be answered by a submissive behavior
from P2, which in turn should stimulate further assertive behaviors from P1.
Figure 3 about here
Studies of complementarity show that this simple and elegant pattern is often violated.
Strong and colleagues (1988) used a confederate in a dyad to initiate behaviors and coded the
response of the subject. They found many significant effects, often in the overall direction of
complementarity, but noted that “a specific interpersonal behavior does not impel a specific
response from the other.” FFT offers one explanation for that finding: Behavior is not simply a
function of the environment (that is, the behavior of the other); it is also shaped by preexisting
characteristic adaptations that reflect enduring personality traits. Individuals high in E3:
Assertiveness and low in A4: Compliance are not likely to adopt the role of submissive followers
simply because they are paired with an assertive partner. Traits outside the interpersonal
circumplex can also affect the interpretation and evaluation of others’ behaviors in complex
ways. For example, Bollmer, Harris, Milich, and Georgesen (2003) examined responses of
experimental subjects to teasing by a confederate. Subjects who were closed to experience were
FFM and FFT 12
put off by this behavior, apparently because it violated their norm expectations; open subjects
took it in stride (McCrae & Sutin, 2009).
The principle of complementarity is also thought to operate on a longer time scale, in
terms of reciprocal roles that individuals develop (Tracey, Ryan, & Jaschik-Herman, 2001). That
version acknowledges the important of person factors in shaping behavior, and because roles and
relationships are characteristic adaptations, it is more consistent with FFT. Surely
complementary role theory does explain much human behavior. Army privates learn to take
orders from sergeants; coworkers may become fast friends or bitter enemies; spouses may
negotiate an enduring division of household labor. Behavioral responses are then more
But even that model fails to take into account the fact that characteristic adaptations are
shaped in part by personality traits, which are themselves largely immune to influence from the
environment. Some privates receive dishonorable discharges because they can never adjust to
taking orders. Some workers avoid emotional involvement with their fellow employees. Some
household chores never get done, despite repeated negotiations. Traits, like truth, will out.
The Origins of Interpersonal Orientations and Attachments
If interpersonal relationships do not exhaust the personality sphere, they clearly occupy a
very important place in it. We may be devoted to completing tasks, or to discovering truths, or to
avoiding dangers, but usually the significance of the task lies in its importance to others; the
thrill of discovery is tied to its public announcement; the dangers we shun and the protection we
seek are usually social in nature. People whose lives are not continually grounded in social
interaction and evaluation (even if only in the imagination, as when visionaries write for
generations yet unborn) are considered pathological; they may suffer a form of autism.
FFM and FFT 13
Clinicians have always had a particular interest in patterns of interpersonal relationships,
because disturbances in relationships are among the chief features of mental disorders, and
among the major reasons individuals consult therapists. Psychodynamic theorists have frequently
noted that patients repeat the same dysfunctional interpersonal patterns across a succession of
relationships, never seeming to learn from past experience. The psychoanalytic notion of
transference is based on the idea that significant interpersonal patterns are unconsciously
transferred to the therapist. Attachment theory (Bowlby, 1969) assumes that basic patterns of
relating to others are established early in life and played out again (often inappropriately) in adult
Voluminous research on adult attachment styles shows that people can be meaningfully
characterized by the ways in which they relate to significant others (Shaver & Mikulincer, 2005),
and this might seem to pose a challenge to FFT. At least in it simplest form, attachment theory
suggests that early environmental influences, rather than biologically based traits, ultimately
shape adults’ social, especially intimate, interactions.
Is this true, and is it inconsistent with FFT? If there were strong evidence for enduring
influences of infant or child attachment experiences on adult behavior, FFT might accommodate
it by classifying attachment style as an early-formed characteristic adaptation. After all, at an
early age most children have acquired a regional speech accent that they usually retain
throughout their life. This is clearly a characteristic adaptation, and the same might be true of
attachment styles: They might function like interpersonal accents that are early acquired and long
A strong case for this interpretation might be made if adult attachment were relatively
isolated from other aspects of personality. Suppose we found an individual who was generally
well-adjusted, optimistic, and well able to handle stress at work, but who was chronically
FFM and FFT 14
insecure in intimate relationships. We might diagnose this as a case of anxious attachment style,
perhaps attributable to early life experience, in an individual temperamentally low in
Neuroticism. More generally, if attachment style were a purely environmentally-determined
characteristic adaptation—as regional accent presumably is—FFT would predict that it would be
uncorrelated with personality traits. The literature, however, is clear on this point: Adult
attachment is rather strongly related to (though not entirely explained by) general personality
traits (Shaver & Brennan, 1992). In particular, anxious attachment is consistently related to trait
measures of Neuroticism (Noftle & Shaver, 2006).
The classic psychodynamic interpretation of this correlation would be that early life
experience affects general personality traits—a view explicitly disputed by FFT, which allows no
arrow of influence from experience to traits. Experimental studies manipulating attachment
experiences in infants and children would be most revealing, but surely unethical. Longitudinal
studies linking experiences assessed in childhood with adult personality would be the best
feasible design, but (considering the importance of childhood experience in the history of
personality theory) there are astoundingly few such studies (e.g., Kagan & Moss, 1962; see
McCrae & Costa, 1994). Results from these few studies are meager and mixed. For example,
Harrington (1993) examined associations of observed and self-reported poisonous pedagogy (PP;
Miller, 1983) in mothers and fathers of 4- to 5-year-olds and related it to rated personality when
the children were 18 and 23. He found predicted associations of poorer adult adjustment with
observed maternal PP, but not with observed paternal PP or self-reported PP from either parent.
Harris (1998) later argued that studies showing associations between parenting styles and adult
personality may be due to shared genes: Neurotic mothers have maladjusted children not because
they are poor parents, but because they pass along the genes for Neuroticism. That interpretation
is bolstered by evidence from adoption studies that parental personality is essentially unrelated to
FFM and FFT 15
adopted children’s adult personality: Bouchard and Loehlin (2001) summarized the correlations
as –.03 to .08.
If parenting does not causally influence personality traits, why are personality and
attachment style linked in adults? FFT would suggest two possibilities. First, the child’s (P1)
personality might influence the parent’s (P2) behavior, and thereby the child’s own learned
attachment style (via the path in Figure 3: Personality Traits1 → Characteristic Adaptations1 →
Behavior1/Environment2 → Behavior2/Environment1 → Characteristic Adaptations1). In this
scenario, a child with a difficult temperament might elicit awkward parenting that would teach
the child that intimate relationships are dangerous. Second, FFT might suggest that adult
personality traits are an independent contributor to adult attachment style. Both innate
dispositions and early learning might be reflected in the way adults react in intimate
The first of these explanations may well describe what happens in childhood, but as an
account of adult associations, it depends on the further assumptions that both personality traits
and attachment styles are very stable from childhood to adulthood. Those assumptions are
questionable. Although traits in children as young as 3 show some associations with adult
personality, the correlations are very small (Caspi & Silva, 1995), consistent with a large
literature showing that personality stability increases with age (Roberts & DelVecchio, 2000).
Despite the importance of early experience in attachment theory, meta-analytic data show only
modest associations of attachment between age 1 and age 19, weighted r = .27, total N = 218
(Fraley, 2002). Adult attachment styles are better predicted by adult personality traits than by
Both trait and psychodynamic approaches have long influenced interpersonal psychology,
FFM and FFT 16
and both are well-represented in contemporary research. Our intention in discussing attachment
theory was not to minimize its importance: Conceptually, it has captured the imagination of a
generation of personality researchers (Shaver & Mikulincer, 2005), and empirically, measures of
adult attachment have been shown to predict relationship quality above and beyond the
contribution of general personality traits (Noftle & Shaver, 2006). Instead, we hoped to show
that FFT provides a theoretical framework within which it is possible, and perhaps useful, to
reformulate the concepts of attachment in intimate relationships. Other topics in interpersonal
psychology, such as person perception, personality disorders (McCrae, Löckenhoff, & Costa,
2005), and psychotherapy (Harkness & McNulty, 2002) may also benefit from the FFT
perspective. There is no doubt that the Five-Factor Model has proven useful in integrating
empirical trait research (John, Naumann, & Soto, 2008); it remains to be seen whether Five-
Factor Theory will be equally useful in integrating the theoretical concepts of personality and
FFM and FFT 17
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders
(4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
Ansell, E. B., & Pincus, A. L. (2004). Interpersonal perceptions of the Five-Factor Model of
personality: An examination uning the structural summary method for circumplex data.
Multivariate Behavioral Research, 39, 167-201.
Becker, P., & Mohr, A. (2005). Psychometric arguments for the use of non-ipsatized scores in
the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems (IIP-D) [in German]. Zeitschrift für Klinische
Psychologie und Psychotherapie: Forschung und Praxis, 34, 205-214.
Bollmer, J. M., Harris, M. J., Milich, R., & Georgesen, J. C. (2003). Taking offense: Effects of
personality and teasing history on behavioral and emotional reactions to teasing. Journal
of Personality, 71, 557-603.
Botwin, M. D., Buss, D. M., & Shackelford, T. K. (1997). Personality and mate preferences:
Five factors in mate selection and marital satisfaction. Journal of Personality, 65, 107-
Bouchard, T. J., & Loehlin, J. C. (2001). Genes, evolution, and personality. Behavior Genetics,
Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment and loss, Vol. 1. Attachment. New York: Basic Books.
Carson, R. C. (1969). Interaction concepts of personality. Chicago: Aldine.
Caspi, A., & Silva, P. A. (1995). Temperamental qualities at age 3 predict personality traits in
young adulthood: Longitudinal evidence from a birth cohort. Child Development, 66,
Costa, P. T., Jr., Bagby, R. M., Herbst, J. H., & McCrae, R. R. (2005). Personality self-reports
are concurrently reliable and valid during acute depressive episodes. Journal of Affective
FFM and FFT 18
Disorders, 89, 45-55.
Costa, P. T., Jr., & McCrae, R. R. (1985). Concurrent validation after 20 years: Implications of
personality stability for its assessment. In J. N. Butcher & C. D. Spielberger (Eds.),
Advances in personality assessment (Vol. 4, pp. 31-54). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Costa, P. T., Jr., & McCrae, R. R. (1992). Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) and
NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) professional manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological
Digman, J. M. (1990). Personality structure: Emergence of the Five-Factor Model. Annual
Review of Psychology, 41, 417-440.
Eaves, L. J., & Eysenck, H. J. (1975). The nature of extraversion: A genetical analysis. Journal
of Personality and Social Psychology, 32, 102-112.
Fraley, R. C. (2002). Attachment stability from infancy to adulthood: Meta-analysis and dynamic
modeling of developmental mechanisms. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 6,
Harkness, A. R., & McNulty, J. L. (2002). Implications of personality individual differences
science for clinical work on personality disorders. In P. T. Costa, Jr., & T. A. Widiger
(Eds.), Personality disorders and the Five-Factor Model of personality (2nd ed., pp. 391-
403). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Harrington, D. M. (1993). Child-rearing antecedents of suboptimal personality: Exploring
aspects of Alice Miller's concept of poisonous pedagogy. In D. C. Funder, R. D. Parke, C.
Tomlinson-Keasey, & K. Widaman (Eds.), Studying lives through time: Personality and
development (pp. 289-313). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Harris, J. R. (1998). The nurture assumption: Why children turn out the way they do. New York:
The Free Press.
FFM and FFT 19
Horowitz, L. M., Alden, L. E., Wiggins, J. S., & Pincus, A. L. (2000). Inventory of Interpersonal
Problems manual. San Antonio, TX: Psychological Corporation.
Horowitz, L. M., Rosenberg, S. E., Baer, B. A., Ureño, G., & Villaseñor, V. S. (1988). Inventory
of Interpersonal Problems: Psychometric properties and clinical applications. Journal of
Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 56, 885-892.
Jang, K. L., McCrae, R. R., Angleitner, A., Riemann, R., & Livesley, W. J. (1998). Heritability
of facet-level traits in a cross-cultural twin sample: Support for a hierarchical model of
personality. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 1556-1565.
John, O. P., Naumann, L., & Soto, C. J. (2008). Paradigm shift to the integrative Big Five
taxonomy: Discovery, measurement, and conceptual issues. In O. P. John, R. W. Robins,
& L. A. Pervin (Eds.), Handbook of personality: Theory and research (3rd ed., pp. 114-
158). New York: Guilford.
Kagan, J., & Moss, H. A. (1962). From birth to maturity. New York: Wiley.
Kelly, E. L., & Conley, J. J. (1987). Personality and compatibility: A prospective analysis of
marital stability and marital satisfaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,
Kiesler, D. J. (1983). The 1982 interpersonal circle: A taxonomy for complementarity in human
transactions. Psychological Review, 90, 185-214.
King, J. E., Weiss, A., & Farmer, K. H. (2005). A chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) analogue of
cross-national generalization of personality structure: Zoological parks and an African
sanctuary. Journal of Personality, 73, 389-410.
Leary, T. (1957). Interpersonal diagnosis of personality. New York: Ronald Press.
McCrae, R. R. (1996). Social consequences of experiential openness. Psychological Bulletin,
FFM and FFT 20
McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T., Jr. (1988). Recalled parent-child relations and adult personality.
Journal of Personality, 56, 417-434.
McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T., Jr. (1989). The structure of interpersonal traits: Wiggins's
circumplex and the Five-Factor Model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,
McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T., Jr. (1994). The paradox of parental influence: Understanding
retrospective studies of parent-child relations and adult personality. In C. Perris, W. A.
Arrindell, & M. Eisemann (Eds.), Parenting and psychopathology (pp. 107-125). New
McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T., Jr. (1996). Toward a new generation of personality theories:
Theoretical contexts for the Five-Factor Model. In J. S. Wiggins (Ed.), The Five-Factor
Model of personality: Theoretical perspectives (pp. 51-87). New York: Guilford.
McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T., Jr. (1997). Conceptions and correlates of Openness to Experience.
In R. Hogan, J. A. Johnson, & S. R. Briggs (Eds.), Handbook of personality psychology
(pp. 825-847). Orlando, FL: Academic Press.
McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T., Jr. (2008a). Empirical and theoretical status of the Five-Factor
Model of personality traits. In G. Boyle, G. Matthews, & D. Saklofske (Eds.), Sage
Handbook of personality theory and assessment (Vol. 1, pp. 273-294). Los Angeles:
McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T., Jr. (2008b). The Five-Factor Theory of personality. In O. P. John,
R. W. Robins, & L. A. Pervin (Eds.), Handbook of personality: Theory and research (3rd
ed., pp. 159-181). New York: Guilford.
McCrae, R. R., & John, O. P. (1992). An introduction to the Five-Factor Model and its
applications. Journal of Personality, 60, 175-215.
FFM and FFT 21
McCrae, R. R., Löckenhoff, C. E., & Costa, P. T., Jr. (2005). A step towards DSM-V: Cataloging
personality-related problems in living. European Journal of Personality, 19, 269-270.
McCrae, R. R., & Sutin, A. R. (2009). Openness to Experience. In M. R. Leary & R. H. Hoyle
(Eds.), Handbook of individual differences in social behavior (pp. 257-273). New York:
McCrae, R. R., Terracciano, A., & 78 Members of the Personality Profiles of Cultures Project.
(2005). Universal features of personality traits from the observer's perspective: Data from
50 cultures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 547-561.
Miller, A. (1983). For your own good: Hidden cruelty in child-rearing and the roots of violence.
New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Morey, L. C., Gunderson, J., Quigley, B. D., Shea, M. T., Skodol, A. E., McGlashan, T. H., et al.
(2002). The representation of Borderline, Avoidant, Obsessive-Compulsive, and
Schizotypal personality disorders by the Five-Factor Model of personality. Journal of
Personality Disorders, 16, 215-234.
Murray, H. A., & Kluckhohn, C. (1953). Outline of a conception of personality. In C. Kluckhohn
& H. A. Murray (Eds.), Personality in nature, society, and culture (2nd ed., pp. 3-52).
New York: Knopf.
Noftle, E. E., & Shaver, P. R. (2006). Attachment dimensions and the Big Five personality traits:
Associations and comparative ability to predict relationship quality. Journal of Research
in Personality, 40, 179-208.
Riemann, R., Angleitner, A., & Strelau, J. (1997). Genetic and environmental influences on
personality: A study of twins reared together using the self- and peer report NEO-FFI
scales. Journal of Personality, 65, 449-475.
Roberts, B. W., & DelVecchio, W. F. (2000). The rank-order consistency of personality traits
FFM and FFT 22
from childhood to old age: A quantitative review of longitudinal studies. Psychological
Bulletin, 126, 3-25.
Shaver, P. R., & Brennan, K. A. (1992). Attachment styles and the "Big Five" personality traits:
Their connection with each other and with romantic relationship outcomes. Personality
and Social Psychology Bulletin, 18, 536-545.
Shaver, P. R., & Mikulincer, M. (2005). Attachment theory and research: Resurrection of the
psychodynamic approach to personality. Journal of Research in Personality, 39, 22-45.
Strong, S. R., Hills, H. I., Kilmartin, C. T., DeVries, H., Lanier, K., Nelson, B. N., et al. (1988).
The dynamic relations among interpersonal behaviors: A test of complementarity and
anticomplementarity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 798-810.
Sullivan, H. S. (1953). The interpersonal theory of psychiatry. New York: Norton.
Terracciano, A., Costa, P. T., Jr., & McCrae, R. R. (2006). Personality plasticity after age 30.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 999-1009.
Tracey, T. J. G., Rounds, J., & Gurtman, M. (1996). Examination of the general factor with the
interpersonal circumplex structure: Application to the Inventory of Interpersonal
Problems. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 31, 441-466.
Tracey, T. J. G., Ryan, J. M., & Jaschik-Herman, B. (2001). Complementarity of interpersonal
circumplex traits. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 786-797.
Wiggins, J. S. (1979). A psychological taxonomy of trait-descriptive terms: The interpersonal
domain. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 395-412.
Wiggins, J. S. (2003). Paradigms of personality assessment. New York: Guilford.
Wiggins, J. S. (Ed.). (1996). The Five-Factor Model of personality: Theoretical perspectives.
New York: Guilford.
Wiggins, J. S., & Broughton, R. (1985). The interpersonal circle: A structural model for the
FFM and FFT 23
integration of personality research. In R. Hogan & W. H. Jones (Eds.), Perspectives in
personality (Vol. 1, pp. 1-47). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
Wiggins, J. S., Trapnell, P., & Phillips, N. (1988). Psychometric and geometric characteristics of
the Revised Interpersonal Adjective Scales (IAS-R). Multivariate Behavioral Research,
Wiggins, J. S., & Trapnell, P. D. (1996). A dyadic-interactional perspective on the Five-Factor
Model. In J. S. Wiggins (Ed.), The Five-Factor Model of personality: Theoretical
perspectives (pp. 88-162). New York: Guilford.
Yamagata, S., Suzuki, A., Ando, J., Ono, Y., Kijima, N., Yoshimura, K., et al. (2006). Is the
genetic structure of human personality universal? A cross-cultural twin study from North
America, Europe, and Asia. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 987-998.
FFM and FFT 24
Figure 1. Joint factor analysis of self-reported IAS-R scales (squares) with spouse-rated
NEO-PI-R Extraversion and Agreeableness facets (ovals), N = 71. Factors have been rotated
toward Wiggins’s circumplex orientation. Extraversion facets are in italics. PA = Dominant-
Assured. BC = Arrogant-Calculating. DE = Cold-hearted. FG = Aloof-Introverted. HI =
Unassured-Submissive. JK = Unassuming-Ingenuous. LM = Warm-Agreeable. NO =
FFM and FFT 25
Figure 2. A simplified representation of the personality system. Arrows indicate the
direction of postulated causal influences. Adapted from McCrae & Costa, 2008b.
Personality Characteristic Environment