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Trait Interrelations in Implicit Personality Theories and Questionnaire Data NICHD

Jacobs, Paul I.; Kogan, Nathan; Stricker, Lawrence J.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), Factor Analysis, Females, High School Students, Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, Personality Theories, Questionnaires, Validity Studies


This study's aim was to asses the validity of naive subjects' implicit personality theories, the correspondence among the theories, and the influence of social desirability on them. High school girls classified the items from the MMPI Psychopathic Deviate scale into clusters representing different traits. These clusters agreed closely with the factors obtained in previous factor analyses of self-reports to these items and were highly similar for individual subjects. Desirability was substantially related to the clusters, but generally did not mediate their correspondence with the factors or each other. These results indicate that the lay theories possessed validity as well as communality and that desirability had a distinct but limited involvement with the theories. (Author) (40pp.)

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