Many traits are too many: There may be more (latent) traits than questionnaire items

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Personality factors, or traits, are meant to efficiently summarize and, as ostensible latent causes, explain individual differences in personality. A widely accepted finding is that personality differences can be represented a hierarchy of factors. (One or) Two factors could account for a part of individual differences, but they can be broken down into ever more specific factors such as the “Big Three”, “Big Four”, “Big Five”, “Big Six”; all the way down to “aspects” and “facets”. And given pervasive residual correlations among the items of the same facets, these can surely be broken into subfacets. Moreover, recent findings suggest that most, if not all, questionnaire items also contain unique variance with trait-like properties of stability, heritability and cross-rater agreement—items represent little factors of their own! If so, there are more factors than observed variables (questionnaire items). What should we make of this?
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event19th European Conference on Personality - Zadar, Croatia
Duration: 17 Jun 201821 Jul 2018


Conference19th European Conference on Personality
Abbreviated titleECP 19
Internet address


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