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NEO Personality Inventory, Assessment Example

Pages: 2

Words: 663

Assessment

Abstract

The NEO Personality Inventory (NEOPI) assesses respondents along scales of neuroticism, extraversion, and openness to experiences; an extended version includes two other scales of agreeableness and conscientiousness. The assessment is based on the five factors of personality including neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experiences, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. Unlike some other tests, the NEOPI uses both self-scales and peer- or spouse responses too. The test is considered both reliable and valid.

Description of Test

The NEO Personality Inventory was initially designed to assess neuroticism, extraversion, and openness to experiences, which constitute the “N,” “E,” and “O” of the name. Each of these three elements have six individual facets. A revision of the NEOPI added two more scales of Agreeableness and Conscientiousness. For example, the neuroticism has facets of anxiety, hostility, depression, self-consciousness, impulsiveness, and vulnerability. Each of these individual facets have 8 items each and are measured using a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.” The NEOPI includes two types of ratings, both self-ratings and ratings by someone who knows the person being assessed (Hess, 2010).

The reliability of the NEOPI has been documented as having alpha coefficients ranging from 0.61 to 0.79 for men, and from 0.60 to 0.82 for women. When considering only the ratings of a person by others, the alpha coefficients range from 0.64 to 0.86. Test-retest reliability after six months ranged between 0.86 and 0.91 depending on which specific scale is considered (Hess, 2010).

Church et al. (2011) compared the NEOPI between samples in the U.S., the Philippines, and Mexico, with samples of 261, 268, and 775 respectively. Reliability (alpha scores) for the three countries varied on the individual scales and factors, but generally were in the 0.60 to 0.80 range in all three countries. When analyzed for differentials across the various factors, this study produced differentials (DIFs) in about half of the items. Other factors meant that the authors concluded that care must be taken in doing cross-cultural comparisons using this assessment.

One drawback to the NEOPI is that it assumes that the person responding to the items is providing honest answers. There are no cross-checking or subtle items to check for consistency in responses. Thus neuroticism scores in particular in a clinical setting may be contaminated by extrinsically motivated inaccurate responses (Hess, 2010).

Development of Test

The NEOPI is based on the Big Five Factors of personality that are evidenced across a variety of personality types. Although the exact procedure for developing the specific items on the NEOPI has not been clearly documented, the items were derived from rational arguments for the specific personality factors. The intention was that there would be minimum overlap among those factors and would define the five individual scales.

A shorter version of the NEOPI called the NEO-Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) measures only the five main factors without focus on the individual facets of those factors. Thalmayer, Saucier and Eigenhuis (2011) compared this shorter version of the NEO to other five-factor assessments and found it to be moderately good compared to other five factor assessments but with less predictive value than six-factor assessments; the authors noted, however, that this shorter version may be less predictive than the full NEOPI assessment.

Assessment of Test

Overall, the NEOPI is a personality assessment that produces results that are both reliable and valid. With that said, however, data indicates that its usefulness for cross-cultural comparisons may be limited because of broad differentials found by Church et al. (2011) in comparing scores across the U.S., the Philippines, and Mexico.

References

Church, A. T., Alvarez, J. M., Mai, N. T. Q., French, B. F. Katigbak, M. S., Ortiz, F. A. (2011). Are cross-cultural comparisons of personality profiles meaningful? Differential item and facet functioning in the Revised NEO Personality Inventory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101 (5), 1068-1089.

Hess, A. K. (2010). The NEO Personality Inventory. Mental Measurements Yearbook. University of Nebraska, 11:258.

Thalmayer, A.G., Saucier, G., Eigenhuis, A. (2011). Comparative validity of brief to medium-length big five and big six personality questionnaires. Psychological Assessment, 23 (4), 995-1009.

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