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Extracting Agency and Communion from the Big Five: A Four-Way Competition

Aufsätze referiert extern - Web of Science

Theresa M. Entringer, Jochen E. Gebauer, Delroy L. Paulhus

In: Assessment 29 (2022), 6, S. 1216–1235


Agency and communion are the two fundamental content dimensions in psychology. The two dimensions figure prominently in many psychological realms (personality, social, self, motivational, cross-cultural, etc.). In contemporary research, however, personality is most commonly measured within the Big Five framework. We developed novel agency and communion scales based on the items from the most popular nonpropriety measure of the Big Five—the Big Five Inventory. We compared four alternative scale-construction methods: expert rating, target scale, ant colony, and brute force. Across three samples (Ntotal = 942), all methods yielded reliable and valid agency and communion scales. Our research provides two main contributions. For psychometric theory, it extends knowledge on the four scale-construction methods and their relative convergence. For psychometric practice, it enables researchers to examine agency and communion hypotheses with extant Big Five Inventory data sets, including those collected in their own labs as well as openly accessible, large-scale data sets.

Theresa Entringer

Research Associate in the German Socio-Economic Panel study Department

Keywords: agency, communion, Big Five, scale construction