Normal Personality Assessment in Clinical Practice: The NEO Personality Inventory

Paul T. Costa, Robert R. McCrae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1463 Scopus citations


Personality psychologists from a variety of theoretical perspectives have recently concluded that personality traits can be summarized in terms of a 5-factor model. This article describes the NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI), a measure of these 5 factors and some of the traits that define them, and its use in clinical practice. Recent studies suggest that NEO-PI scales are reliable and valid in clinical samples as in normal samples. The use of self-report personality measures in clinical samples is discussed, and data from 117 "normal" adult men and women are presented to show links between the NEO-PI scales and psychopathology as measured by Jackson's (1989) Basic Personality Inventory and Morey's (1991) Personality Assessment Inventory. We argue that the NEO-PI may be useful to clinicians in understanding the patient, formulating a diagnosis, establishing rapport, developing insight, anticipating the course of therapy, and selecting the optimal form of treatment for the patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-13
Number of pages9
JournalPsychological Assessment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Normal Personality Assessment in Clinical Practice: The NEO Personality Inventory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this