RESEARCH PAPER
A folk-psychological ranking of personality facets
 
 
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Verve Rehabilitation, Oulu, Finland
Submission date: 2016-05-26
Final revision date: 2016-09-13
Acceptance date: 2016-09-15
Online publication date: 2016-10-10
Publication date: 2016-12-05
 
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2016;4(4):187–195
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Background
Which personality facets should a general personality test measure? No consensus exists on the facet structure of personality, the nature of facets, or the correct method of identifying the most significant facets. However, it can be hypothesized (the lexical hypothesis) that high frequency personality describing words more likely represent important personality facets and rarely used words refer to less significant aspects of personality.

Participants and procedure
A ranking of personality facets was performed by studying the frequency of the use of popular personality adjectives in causal clauses (because he is a kind person) on the Internet and in books as attributes of the word person (kind person).

Results
In Study 1, the 40 most frequently used adjectives had a cumulative usage frequency equal to that of the rest of the 295 terms studied. When terms with a higher-ranking dictionary synonym or antonym were eliminated, 23 terms remained, which represent 23 different facets. In Study 2, clusters of synonymous terms were examined. Within the top 30 clusters, personality terms were used 855 times compared to 240 for the 70 lower-ranking clusters.

Conclusions
It is hypothesized that personality facets represented by the top-ranking terms and clusters of terms are important and impactful independent of their correlation with abstract underlying personality factors (five/six factor models).
Compared to hierarchical personality models, lists of important facets probably better cover those aspects of personality that are situated between the five or six major domains.
 
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