Person-factors in the California Adult Q-set: Closing the door on personality trait types?

Robert R. McCrae, Antonio Terracciano, Paul T. Costa, Daniel J. Ozer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


To investigate recent hypotheses of replicable personality types, we examined data from 1540 self-sorts on the California Adult Q-Set (CAQ). Conventional factor analysis of the items showed the expected Five-Factor Model (FFM). Inverse factor analysis across random subsamples showed that none of the previously reported person-factors were replicated. Only two factors were replicable, and, most importantly, these factors were contaminated by mean level differences in item endorsement. Results were not due to sample size orage heterogeneity. Subsequent inverse factor analysis of standardized items revealed at least three replicable factors; when five person-factors were extracted, they could be aligned precisely with the dimensions of the FFM. The major factors of person similarity can be accounted for entirely in terms of the FFM, consistent with the hypothesis that there are no replicable personality types in the CAQ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-44
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Personality
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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