Integrating competing dimensional models of personality: Linking the SNAP, TCI, and NEO using Item Response Theory

Stephanie D. Stepp, Lan Yu, Joshua D. Miller, Michael N. Hallquist, Timothy J. Trull, Paul A. Pilkonis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Mounting evidence suggests that several inventories assessing both normal personality and personality disorders measure common dimensional personality traits (i.e., Antagonism, Constraint, Emotional Instability, Extraversion, and Unconventionality), albeit providing unique information along the underlying trait continuum. We used Widiger and Simonsen's (2005) pantheoretical integrative model of dimensional personality assessment as a guide to create item pools. We then used Item Response Theory (IRT) to compare the assessment of these five personality traits across three established dimensional measures of personality: the Schedule for Nonadaptive and Adaptive Personality (SNAP), the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), and the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI-R). We found that items from each inventory map onto these five common personality traits in predictable ways. The IRT analyses, however, documented considerable variability in the item and test information derived from each inventory. Our findings support the notion that the integration of multiple perspectives will provide greater information about personality while minimizing the weaknesses of any single instrument.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-126
Number of pages20
JournalPersonality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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