The five-factor model of personality and its relevance to personality disorders

P. T. Costa, R. R. McCrae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

367 Scopus citations


The five-factor model is a dimensional representation of personality structure that has recently gained widespread acceptance among personality psychologists. This article describes the five factors (Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness); summarizes evidence on their consensual validity, comprehensiveness, universality, heritability, and longitudinal stability; and reviews several approaches to the assessment of the factors and their defining traits. In research, measures of the five factors can be used to analyze personality disorder scales and to profile the traits of personality-disordered patient groups; findings may be useful in diagnosing individuals. As an alternative to the current categorical system for diagnosing personality disorders, it is proposed that Axis II be used for the description of personality in terms of the five factors and for the diagnosis of personality-related problems in affective, interpersonal, experiential, attitudinal, and motivational areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-359
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Personality Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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