Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

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

Two-Factor Model of Personality

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_2129-1



The two-factor model (TFM) of personality is a model of personality traits structure that was discovered through factor analysis of traits, with two broad factors (also known as metatraits) emerging at the highest level (Digman 1997; Saucier et al. 2014). These factors/metatraits have been found to possess a theoretical meaning that corresponds to many psychological constructs developed and used in personality research (Digman 1997) and to have the potential to integrate the various concepts (Saucier et al. 2014; Strus and Cieciuch 2017). The TFM was developed in the course of research on the Big Five traits (Goldberg 1990; McCrae and Costa 2003) and can be treated either: (1) as its continuation and extension (DeYoung 2015) or (2) as a step beyond this tradition, opening new possibilities for personality structure description (Strus and Cieciuch 2017).


The psychology of personality and individual differences...
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.



The work was prepared within Grants 2014/14/M/HS6/00919 from the National Science Centre, Poland.


  1. Abele, A. E., & Wojciszke, B. (2014). Communal and agentic content in social cognition: A dual perspective model. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 50, 195–255. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-800284-1.00004-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ashton, M. C., & Lee, K. (2007). Empirical, theoretical, and practical advantages of the HEXACO model of personality structure. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 11, 150–166. doi: 10.1177/1088868306294907.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Bakan, D. (1966). The duality of human existence. An essay on psychology and religion. Chicago: Rand Mcnally.Google Scholar
  4. Becker, P. (1999). Beyond the Big Five. Personality and Individual Differences, 26, 511–530. doi: 10.1016/S0191-8869(98)00168-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Block, J. (2001). Millennial contrarianism: The five-factor approach to personality description 5 years later. Journal of Research in Personality, 35, 98–107. doi: 10.1006/jrpe.2000.2293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Block, J. H., & Block, J. (1980). The role of ego-control and ego-resiliency in the organization of behavior. In W. A. Collins (Ed.), Development of cognition, affect, and social relations (Vol. 13, pp. 39–101). Mahwah: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  7. Chang, L., Connelly, B. S., & Geeza, A. A. (2012). Separating method factors and higher order traits of the Big Five: A meta-analytic multitrait–multimethod approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102(2), 408–426. doi: 10.1037/a0025559.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. De Raad, B., & Barelds, D. P. H. (2008). A new taxonomy of Dutch personality traits based on a comprehensive and unrestricted list of descriptors. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94, 347–364. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.94.2.347.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. De Raad, B., Barelds, D. P. H., Levert, E., Ostendorf, F., Mlacic, B., Di Blas, L., Hrebickova, M., Szirmak, Z., Szarota, P., Perugini, M., Church, A. T., & Katigbak, M. S. (2010). Only three factors of personality description are fully replicable across languages: A comparison of 14 trait taxonomies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98, 160–173. doi: 10.1037/a0017184.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. DeYoung, C. G. (2006). Higher-order factors of the Big Five in a multi-informant sample. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91, 1138–1151. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.91.6.1138.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. DeYoung, C. G. (2015). Cybernetic Big Five theory. Journal of Research in Personality, 56, 33–58. doi: 10.1016/j.jrp.2014.07.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. DeYoung, C. G., Peterson, J. B., & Higgins, D. M. (2002). Higher-order factors of the Big Five predict conformity: Are there neuroses of health? Personality and Individual Differences, 33, 533–552. doi: 10.1016/S0191-8869(01)00171-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Digman, J. M. (1997). Higher-order factor of the Big Five. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 1246–1256. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.73.6.1246.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Eysenck, H. J., & Eysenck, M. W. (1985). Personality and individual differences. A natural science approach. New York: Plenum Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Goldberg, L. R. (1990). An alternative “description of personality”: The Big-Five factor structure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59, 1216–1229. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.59.6.1216.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Gramzow, R. H., Sedikides, C., Panter, A. T., Sathy, V., Harris, J., & Insko, C. A. (2004). Patterns of self-regulation and the Big Five. European Journal of Personality, 18, 367–385. doi: 10.1002/per.513.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gray, J. A. (1991). The neuropsychology of temperament. In J. Strelau & A. Angleitner (Eds.), Exploration in temperament: International perspectives on theory and measurement (pp. 102–128). New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  18. Grossberg, S. (1980). How does a brain build a cognitive code? Psychological Review, 87, 1–51.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Krueger, R. F., & Markon, K. E. (2006). Reinterpreting comorbidity: A model-based approach to understanding and classifying psychopathology. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 2, 111–133. doi: 10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.2.022305.095213.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  20. McAdams, D. P. (1988). Power, intimacy, and the life story: Personological inquiries into identity. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  21. McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T., Jr. (2003). Personality in adulthood: A Five-Factor Theory perspective (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Musek, J. (2007). A general factor of personality: Evidence of the Big One in the Five-Factor Model. Journal of Research in Personality, 41, 1213–1233. doi: 10.1016/j.jrp.2007.02.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Paulhus, D. L., & John, O. P. (1998). Egoistic and moralistic biases in self-perception: The interplay of self-deceptive styles with basic traits and motives. Journal of Personality, 66, 1025–1060. doi: 10.1111/1467-6494.00041.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Piaget, J. (1952). The origins of intelligence in children. New York: International Universities Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Popper, K. R. (1976). The myth of the framework. In E. Freeman (Ed.), The abdication of philosophy – Philosophy and the public good: Essays in honor of Paul Arthur Schilpp (pp. 23–48). LaSalle, IL: Open Court.Google Scholar
  26. Revelle, W., & Wilt, J. (2013). The general factor of personality: A general critique. Journal of Research in Personality, 47, 493–504. doi: 10.1016/j.jrp.2013.04.012.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  27. Rushton, J. P., & Irwing, P. (2011). The general factor of personality: Normal and abnormal. In T. Chamorro-Premuzic, S. von Stumm, & A. Furnham (Eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of individual differences (pp. 134–163). London: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  28. Saucier, G. (2008). Measures of the personality factors found recurrently in human lexicons. In G. J. Boyle, G. Matthews, & D. H. Saklofske (Eds.), The sage handbook of personality theory and assessment (Vol. 2, pp. 29–54). Los Angeles: Sage.Google Scholar
  29. Saucier, G., & Goldberg, L. R. (2001). Lexical studies of indigenous personality factors: Premises, products, and prospects. Journal of Personality, 69, 847–879. doi: 10.1111/1467-6494.696167.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Saucier, G., Thalmayer, A. G., Payne, D. L., Carlson, R., Sanogo, L., Ole-Kotikash, L., Church, A. T., Katigbak, M. S., Somer, O., Szarota, P., Szirmak, Z., & Zhou, H. (2014). A basic bivariate structure of personality attributes evident across nine languages. Journal of Personality, 82(1), 1–14. doi: 10.1111/jopy.12028.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Schwartz, S. H., Cieciuch, J., Vecchione, M., Davidov, E., Fischer, R., Beierlein, C., Ramos, A., Verkasalo, M., Lönnqvist, J.-E., Demirutku, K., Dirilen-Gumus, O., & Konty, M. (2012). Refining the theory of basic individual values. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103, 663–688. doi: 10.1037/a0029393.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Strus, W., & Cieciuch, J. (2017). Towards a synthesis of personality, temperament, motivation, emotion and mental health models within the Circumplex of Personality Metatraits. Journal of Research in Personality, 66, 70–95. doi:  10.1016/j.jrp.2016.12.002.
  33. Strus, W., Cieciuch, J., & Rowiński, T. (2014). The circumplex of personality metatraits: A synthesizing model of personality based on the Big Five. Review of General Psychology, 18(4), 273–286. doi: 10.1037/gpr0000017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Watson, D., & Tellegen, A. (1985). Toward a consensual structure of mood. Psychological Bulletin, 98, 219–235. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.98.2.219.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Wiggins, J. S., & Trapnell, P. D. (1996). A dyadic – interactional perspective on the Five Factor Model. In J. S. Wiggins (Ed.), The Five-Factor Model of personality (pp. 88–162). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PsychologyCardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in WarsawWarsawPoland
  2. 2.URPP Social NetworksUniversity of ZurichZürichSwitzerland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Anna Czarna
    • 1
  1. 1.Jagiellonian UniversityKrakowPoland