Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Personality Assessment

  • Simon BoagEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_837-1



Personality assessment encompasses a broad range of procedures for identifying and evaluating aspects of personality and individual differences. Personality assessment can be broadly divided into self-report inventories, performance-based assessment procedures, and interviews. These forms of assessment may serve various aims, including use in basic research, as well as providing application within various settings such as clinical and organizational domains. Personality assessment can be distinguished from personality measurement, the latter being a subset of assessing personality.


Personality psychology involves both describing and explaining characteristic patterns of human psychological variation (Funder 2001; Revelle 1995). Personality assessment encompasses a broad range of procedures for identifying and evaluating both qualitative and quantitative features of personality and individual differences. Both the theory and...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Alea, N. (2018). Does the life story interview make us make sense? Spontaneous and cued redemption and contamination in life story scenes. Imagination, Cognition & Personality, 37, 271–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Beckmann, N., & Wood, R. E. (2017). Dynamic personality science. Integrating between-person stability and within-person change. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 1486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Boag, S. (2015). Personality assessment, ‘construct validity’, and the significance of theory. Personality & Individual Differences, 84, 36–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boag, S. (2018a). Australian personality psychology: Past, present, and future prospects. Australian Journal of Psychology. Online preprint.Google Scholar
  5. Boag, S. (2018b). Personality dynamics, motivation, and the logic of explanation. Review of General Psychology, 22, 427–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Board of Trustees of the Society for Personality Assessment. (2005). The status of the Rorschach in clinical and forensic practice: An official statement by the Board of Trustees of the Society for Personality Assessment. Journal of Personality Assessment, 85, 219–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Borsboom, D., Mellenbergh, G. J., & van Heerden, J. (2003). The theoretical status of latent variables. Psychological Review, 110, 203–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Borsboom, D., Mellenbergh, G. J., & van Heerden, J. (2004). The concept of validity. Psychological Review, 111, 1061–1071.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cervone, D. (2004). The architecture of personality. Psychological Review, 111, 183–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cervone, D. (2005). Personality architecture: Within-person structures and processes. Annual Review of Psychology, 56, 423–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cramer, A. O., Sluis, S., Noordhof, A., Wichers, M., Geschwind, N., Aggen, S. H., Kendler, K. S., & Borsboom, D. (2012). Dimensions of normal personality as networks in search of equilibrium: You can’t like parties if you don’t like people. European Journal of Personality, 26, 414–431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cronbach, L. J., & Meehl, P. E. (1955). Construct validity in psychological tests. Psychological Bulletin, 52, 281–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Crowne, D. P., & Marlowe, D. (1960). A new scale of social desirability independent of psychopathology. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 24, 349–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Donovan, J. J., Dwight, S. A., & Schneider, D. (2014). The impact of applicant faking on selection measures, hiring decisions, and employee performance. Journal of Business and Psychology, 29, 479–493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dunn, T. J., Baguley, T., & Brunsden, V. (2014). From alpha to omega: A practical solution to the pervasive problem of internal consistency estimation. British Journal of Psychology, 105, 399–412.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Exner, J. E. (1974). The Rorschach: A comprehensive system (Vol. 1). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  17. Eysenck, H. J. (1991). Dimensions of personality: 16, 5 or 3? – Criteria for a taxonomic paradigm. Personality and Individual Differences, 12(8), 773–790.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Eysenck, S. B., Barrett, P., & Eysenck, H. J. (1984). Eysenck personality questionnaire-revised. Oxford: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  19. Fiedler, K., Messner, C., & Bluemke, M. (2006). Unresolved problems with the “I”, the “A”, and the “T”: A logical and psychometric critique of the Implicit Association Test (IAT). European Review of Social Psychology, 17, 74–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fleeson, W. (2007). Situation-based contingencies underlying trait-content manifestation in behavior. Journal of Personality, 75, 825–862.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Forbes, M. K., Wright, A. G., Markon, K. E., & Krueger, R. F. (2017). Evidence that psychopathology symptom networks have limited replicability. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 126, 969–988.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Freud, S. (1900). The Interpretation of Dreams. S. E., 4–5. London: Hogarth.Google Scholar
  23. Funder, D. C. (2001). Personality. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 197–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Furnham, A. (1986). Response bias, social desirability and dissimulation. Personality & Individual Differences, 7, 385–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ganellen, R. J. (2007). Assessing normal and abnormal personality functioning: Strengths and weaknesses of self-report, observer, and performance-based methods. Journal of Personality Assessment, 89, 30–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Göb, R., McCollin, C., & Ramalhoto, M. F. (2007). Ordinal methodology in the analysis of Likert scales. Quality & Quantity, 41, 601–626.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Goldberg, L. R. (1990). An alternative “description of personality”: The big-five factor structure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59(6), 1216–1229.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.59.6.1216.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Greenwald, A. G., McGhee, D. E., & Schwartz, J. L. (1998). Measuring individual differences in implicit cognition: The implicit association test. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 1464–1480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Haslam, N., Holland, E., & Kuppens, P. (2012). Categories versus dimensions in personality and psychopathology: A quantitative review of taxometric research. Psychological Medicine, 42, 903–920.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hicks, R. E. (2008). Item formats and social desirability in personality assessment: A review of the place of forced-choice items. In S. Boag (Ed.), Personality down under: Perspectives from Australia (pp. 39–50). New York: Nova.Google Scholar
  31. Huddy, L., Billig, J., Bracciodieta, J., Hoeffler, L., Moynihan, P. J., & Pugliani, P. (1997). The effect of interviewer gender on the survey response. Political Behavior, 19, 197–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Jackson, D. N., Wroblewski, V. R., & Ashton, M. C. (2000). The impact of faking on employment tests: Does forced choice offer a solution? Human Performance, 13, 371–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Johnson, R. B., & Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2004). Mixed methods research: A research paradigm whose time has come. Educational Researcher, 33, 14–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kayes, D. C. (2005). Internal validity and reliability of Kolb’s learning style inventory version 3 (1999). Journal of Business and Psychology, 20, 249–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Likert, R. (1932). A technique for the measurement of attitudes. Archives of Psychology, 22, 55.Google Scholar
  36. Lilienfeld, S. O., Wood, J. M., & Garb, H. N. (2000). The scientific status of projective techniques. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 1, 27–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Lord, F. M., Novick, M. R., & Birnbaum, A. (1968). Statistical theories of mental test scores. Reading: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  38. McAdams, D. P. (2008). The life story interview. Evanston: Northwestern University. http://www.urbanlab.org/articles/McAdams_2008_LifeStoryInterview.pdf.Google Scholar
  39. McAdams, D. P., & Pals, J. L. (2006). A new big five. American Psychologist, 61, 204–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T., Jr. (2008). Empirical and theoretical status of the five-factor model of personality traits. In G. Boyle, G. Matthews, & D. Daklofske (Eds.), Sage handbook of personality theory and assessment (pp. 273–294). Los Angeles: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Michell, J. (1997). Quantitative science and the definition of measurement in psychology. British Journal of Psychology, 88, 355–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Michell, J. (1999). Measurement in psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Michell, J. (2005). The logic of measurement: A realist overview. Measurement, 38, 285–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Mischel, W. (2004). Toward an integrative science of the person. Annual Review of Psychology, 55, 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Morgan, W. G. (1995). Origin and history of the thematic apperception test images. Journal of Personality Assessment, 65, 237–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Nederhof, A. J. (1985). Methods of coping with social desirability bias: A review. European Journal of Social Psychology, 15, 263–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Nunnally, J. C., & Bernstein, I. H. (1994). Psychometric theory. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  48. Oswald, F. L., Mitchell, G., Blanton, H., Jaccard, J., & Tetlock, P. E. (2015). Using the IAT to predict ethnic and racial discrimination: Small effect sizes of unknown societal significance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 108, 562–571.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Park, G., Schwartz, H. A., Eichstaedt, J. C., Kern, M. L., Kosinski, M., … Seligman, M. E. (2015). Automatic personality assessment through social media language. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 108, 934–952.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Petocz, A., & Newbery, G. (2010). On conceptual analysis as the primary qualitative approach to statistics education research in psychology. Statistics Education Research Journal, 9, 123–145.Google Scholar
  51. Revelle, W. (1995). Personality processes. Annual Review of Psychology, 46, 295–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Revelle, W., & Zinbarg, R. E. (2009). Coefficients alpha, beta, omega and the glb: Comments on Sijtsma. Psychometrika, 74(1), 145–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Salgado, J. F. (2003). Predicting job performance using FFM and non-FFM personality measures. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 76, 323–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Spangler, W. D. (1992). Validity of questionnaire and TAT measures of need for achievement: Two meta-analyses. Psychological Bulletin, 112, 140–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Stevens, S. S. (1946). On the theory of scales of measurement. Science, 103, 677–680.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Tavakol, M., & Dennick, R. (2011). Making sense of Cronbach’s alpha. International Journal of Medical Education, 2, 53–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Widiger, T. A., & Samuel, D. B. (2005). Evidence-based assessment of personality disorders. Psychological Assessment, 17, 278–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Wood, J. M., Garb, H. N., Lilienfeld, S. O., & Nezworski, M. T. (2002). Clinical assessment. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 519–543.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Zinbarg, R. E., Revelle, W., Yovel, I., & Li, W. (2005). Cronbach’s Alpha, Revelle’s Beta, McDonald’s Omega: Their relations with each and two alternative conceptualizations of reliability. Psychometrika, 70, 123–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMacquarie UniversityNorth RydeAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Patrizia Velotti
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Educational SciencesUniversity of GenoaGenoaItaly
  2. 2.Sapienza University of RomeRomeItaly