Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

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

Newcastle Personality Assessor (NPA)

  • Daniel NettleEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_53-1
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Definition

The Newcastle Personality Assessor (NPA) is a very brief (12-item), freely-available questionnaire for assessing the five-factor personality domains of openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism, using a five-point Likert response format. It was originally published in a book by Daniel Nettle (Nettle 2007).

Introduction

The Newcastle Personality Assessor is one of a number of similar very brief assessment tools for the five-factor model of personality (Gosling et al. 2003; Rammstedt and John 2007). These have been shown to capture much of the variation at the broad trait-level captured by longer questionnaires, using only a couple of items per trait, thus vastly reducing demand on participants. It follows from standard psychometric principles that construction of a useful but very brief inventory ought to be possible. In longer questionnaires, all of the questions measuring a particular trait are required to produce responses that are well correlated to one another (this is what is indicated by a high value of Cronbach’s α, the conventional test of scale reliability). Thus, by choosing the one or two items with the highest average correlation to all the others, one captures most of the variation captured by the full scale.

The NPA is intended to be used in general adult samples. The items focus on behaviors and thoughts characteristic of high and low scorers on each of the five personality domains. Participants are instructed: “There follow some descriptions of behaviours and thoughts. Rate the extent to which they are usually characteristic of you.” Responses are given on a five-point scale of very uncharacteristic, moderately uncharacteristic, neither uncharacteristic nor characteristic, moderately characteristic, and very characteristic. Scores for each domain are the sum of the individual items.

Validity and Reliability

In a community sample of 563 adults (mean age 34.87 years, standard deviation 13.17 years), the NPA-derived scores were shown to have high correlations with scores from a standard 50-item five-factor personality questionnaire (Goldberg et al. 2006). The correlations were openness 0.74, conscientiousness 0.77, extraversion 0.77, agreeableness 0.77, and neuroticism 0.82 (Nettle 2007).

Questionnaire

 

Item

Domain

 

1

Starting a conversation with a stranger

Extraversion

 

2

Making sure others are comfortable and happy

Agreeableness

 

3

Creating an artwork, piece of writing, or piece of music

Openness

 

4

Preparing for things well in advance

Conscientiousness

 

5

Feeling blue or depressed

Neuroticism

 

6

Planning parties or social events

Extraversion

 

7

Insulting people

Agreeableness

Reverse scored

8

Thinking about philosophical or spiritual questions

Openness

 

9

Letting things get into a mess

Conscientiousness

Reverse scored

10

Feeling stressed or worried

Neuroticism

 

11

Using difficult words

Openness

 

12

Sympathizing with others’ feelings

Agreeableness

 

Conclusion

The NPA has the advantage of providing a very brief, freely-available method of measuring the five-factor personality domains.

Cross-References

References

  1. Goldberg, L. R., Johnson, J. A., Eber, H. W., Hogan, R., Ashton, M. C., Cloninger, C. R., & Gough, H. G. (2006). The international personality item pool and the future of public-domain personality measures. Journal of Research in Personality, 40(1), 84–96. doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2005.08.007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Gosling, S. D., Rentfrow, P. J., & Swann, W. B. (2003). A very brief measure of the Big-Five personality domains. Journal of Research in Personality, 37(6), 504–528. doi:10.1016/S0092-6566(03)00046-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Nettle, D. (2007). Personality: What makes you the way you are. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Rammstedt, B., & John, O. P. (2007). Measuring personality in one minute or less: A 10-item short version of the Big Five Inventory in English and German. Journal of Research in Personality, 41(1), 203–212. doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2006.02.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Behaviour and Evolution and Institute of NeuroscienceNewcastle UniversityNewcastleUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Brendan Clark
    • 1
  1. 1.Wichita State UniversityWichitaUSA