Development of the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire-55 abbreviated research scales

Craig A Marquardt, Mark D. Kramer, Auke Tellegen, Paul A. Arbisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ) is a normal range inventory for assessing a variety of empirically derived primary traits. These trait scores can be differentially weighted to estimate higher-order broad dimensions such as Positive Emotionality (PEM), Negative Emotionality (NEM), and Constraint (CON). However, broad trait scores are estimated using proprietary regression equations and necessitate near complete administration of the inventory. We aimed to increase measurement efficiency by creating abbreviated item-based approximations of these weighted scores. To parsimoniously delineate and differentiate the broad traits, classical test theory and item response theory approaches were used to identify five items from each primary trait scale approximating the weighted estimates while also maintaining the breadth of MPQ content coverage. Initial scale development relied on the MPQ-276 (standard form) normative sample (n = 1,237), which was followed by cross-validation using two samples of twins and cotwins from the Minnesota Twin Family Study (n = 1,304, n = 1,305). Additional validation was conducted using a third sample of undergraduate students (n = 201).The resulting item-based scales (PEM-20, NEM-15, CON-15) demonstrated strong convergence with the established proprietary broad trait estimates. Furthermore, these abbreviated scales exhibited similar associations with the external measures of personality and psychopathology. Abbreviated item-based scales may have utility for efficient estimation of the same broadband personality dimensions assessed by longer forms of the MPQ. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)952-961
Number of pages10
JournalPsychological assessment
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021

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  • Journal Article


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