The Five-Factor Model, Five-Factor Theory, and Interpersonal Psychology

Paul T. Costa, Robert R. Mccrae

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

30 Scopus citations


The five-factor model (FFM) is a taxonomy of traits; five-factor theory (FFT) is a theory of personality based on research with the FFM. Both are useful in understanding interpersonal psychology. Traits traditionally considered interpersonal fall in the plane defined by FFM extraversion and agreeableness, but all five factors have interpersonal consequences. FFT offers an account of the operation of traits in interaction with the environment; in interpersonal interactions, people serve as reciprocal environments to each other. Adult attachment, like many other topics in interpersonal psychology, may be profitably viewed from the perspective of FFT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Interpersonal Psychology
Subtitle of host publicationTheory, Research, Assessment, and Therapeutic Interventions
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9780470471609
StatePublished - Mar 16 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Characteristic adaptations
  • Complementarity
  • Personality development
  • Personality theory
  • Traits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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