Towards a taxonomy of personality facets

  • Alexandr Tokarev

Student thesis: Phd


The field of personality psychology contains a large number of hierarchical models and individual scales measuring personality characteristics. Most models and scales have a substantial conceptual overlap but also measure unique personality characteristics. However, we still do not have a single exhaustive taxonomy of personality characteristics that eliminates redundancy of synonymous scales. Thus, the goal of this thesis was to resolve this problem by developing an exhaustive taxonomy of personality characteristics. This was accomplished by conducting two studies. In study 1, a broad set of 554 personality scales with robust psychometric properties was selected from the literature. We qualitatively reviewed item content of all 554 scales. By comparing item content amongst all these scales, we developed a list of 77 unique non-synonymous personality characteristics. In study 2, the preliminary taxonomy of 77 personality characteristics was empirically tested. Specifically, we administered a survey containing all 77 scales to an international sample of over 1,000 respondents. The results of the Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) showed that with minor modifications, all 77 scales showed adequate or excellent psychometric properties, such as the CFA model fit, Average Variance Extracted, and reliability. However, further testing showed that 4 pairs of scales lacked evidence of discriminant validity. As a result of collapsing those scales together, a final taxonomy of personality characteristics consisted of 73 scales with good psychometric properties.
Date of Award31 Dec 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorPaul Irwing (Supervisor) & David Hughes (Supervisor)

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