Elizabeth Kleiman

Keita Kobayashi

Reyna Avila

NEO-PI-R Personality Test


           Personality is difficult to define.  Attempting to predict behavior from personality is an even greater challenge. That is exactly what the NEO-PI-R personality test is attempting to do.  Created by Robert McCrae and Paul Costa, the NEO-PI-R is used to obtain a detailed assessment of normal personality traits. It provides a systematic assessment of emotional, interpersonal, experiential, attitudinal, and motivational styles of college students and adults.

The NEO-PI-R is a concise measure of the five major domains of personality. The five major domains consist of neuroticism, extroverted, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. With in each domain are six faucets. Neuroticism includes anxiety, hostility, depression, self-consciousness, impulsiveness, and vulnerability. Extraversion includes warmth, gregarious, assertiveness, activity, and excitement seeking and positive emotions. Openness consists of fantasy, aesthetics, feelings, actions, ideas, and values. Agreeableness includes trust, straightforwardness, altruism, compliance, modesty, and tender-mindedness. In addition, conscientiousness includes competence, order, dutifulness, achievement, self-discipline, and deliberation.

Neuroticism measures the affect adjustment versus emotional instability.  Extraversion measures the quantity and intensity of interpersonal interaction.  Openness measures how curious, original, untraditional and creative one is.  Agreeableness measures the degree to which a person enjoys being in the presence of others.  Last, conscientiousness measures the degree of organization, persistence, motivation, and goal directed behavior a person may have.

The NEO-PI-R is comprised of 240 questions. The questions are answered by using a five-point scale, where (1) is strongly disagree through (5) strongly agree. The application of the Likert-like scale is balanced in order to control for the effects of acquiescence.  The questions themselves require a 6th grade reading level, describe general behaviors and attitudes, and are given as either assertions or negations. This allows for the organization of people into groups, the ease of scoring, and the use of labels for personality.

The data regarding the results are considered both reliable and valid.  The NEO-PI-R is found to be very reliable in consistently scoring an individual in the correct personality category.  The test re-test scores range from .63-. 87 (where .6-. 7 is very good and .7-. 8 is excellent).  This is over a 6year period.  Stability over time can be seen in the figures taken from longitudinal studies.  There is an eighty percent stability rate for those taken twenty five years later and there is a sixty percent reliability rate for those taken over fifty years ago.  This is due to the NEO capturing the genotype qualities (this does not mean that a person doesn't ever change but rather that the expression of certain qualities under certain circumstance changes).

Validity is established in that the test demonstrates a correlation between the scores and the ability to diagnose certain disorders.  Primarily the AXIS-I disorders (which consist of substance abuse, anxiety, and major depression).  This fact is one of the most important pros of this test.

Other positive aspects of this test also consist of the ability to use this test in many different areas.  The diverse range is what allows for this versatility.  This test is also a great way to assess a normal adult's personality.  Some of the arguments that this test has sparked are that five dementions may not be enough in assessing a person's personality.  Another argument against the NEO-PI-R is that the test is based on the normal rather than the abnormal. And that it is not validated against projective techniques.  However the pro defiantly out way in cons in the usage of this test.