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Personality Structure

Messick, Samuel J.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Factor Structure, Personality Assessment, Personality Measures, Personality Theories


This paper presents a survey of theory and research in personality structure, "structure" being considered as the "stable, relatively enduring components of personality" that account for consistent patterns of behavior over time and situation. Several levels of personality organization are presented from the surface patterning of behavior and the specific components inferred to account for such consistencies to superordinate constructs, such as ego and self. The categories included are 1) dimensions of intellect, including flexibility and rigidity; 2) perceptual cognitive structures, including a) individual differences in perception, b) memory and attention, c) cognitive differentiation, and d) response styles; 4) temperament structures, including extraversion-introversion and neuroticism, and graphic movements and temperament factors; 5) attitudinal structures; 6) motivational structures; 7) defensive structures; and 8) organizational structures, including ego and self. (JGL)

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