Previous research shows that correlations tend to increase in magnitude when individuals are aggregated across groups. This suggests that uncorrelated constellations of personality variables (such as the primary scales of Extraversion and Neuroticism) may display much higher correlations in aggregate factor analysis. We hypothesize and report that individual level factor analysis can be explained in terms of Giant Three (or Big Five) descriptions of personality, whereas aggregate level factor analysis can be explained in terms of Gray's physiological based model. Although alternative interpretations exist, aggregate level factor analysis may correctly identify the basis of an individual's personality as a result of better reliability of measures due to aggregation. We discuss the implications of this form of analysis in terms of construct validity, personality theory, and its applicability in general.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology