Cloninger's Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ) is a self-report inventory designed to assess Novelty Seeking, Harm Avoidance, and Reward Dependence, the three primary dimensions of his Biosocial Learning Model of normal and abnormal personality. We examined the structural validity of the TPQ and the relations among the TPQ lower- and higher-order scales to those of the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ; Tellegen, 1982) in a sample of 1,236 adults. The factor structure of the TPQ was congruent with Cloninger's predicted three-factor genotypic structure with one notable exception: the component scales of the Reward Dependence dimension share essentially no variance, and thus load on different factors. Both bivariate and multivariate analyses indicate that the TPQ and the MPQ share considerable variance, but that each inventory contains variance unpredicted by the other. In addition, the TPQ Harm Avoidance dimension appears to tap primarily a Negative Emotionality or neuroticism factor, rather than a disposition toward behavioral inhibition. These results support a number of Cloninger's predictions concerning the structural and external validity of the TPQ, but also suggest that the TPQ may fail to adequately operationalize several components of his model. © 1991, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.
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