International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

The Impact of Cognitive Complexity on Frequency-Based Measurement Big Five Measures
Kyle E. Chapman, Mark C. Bowler, Jennifer L. Bowler, John G. Cope

Recent research on the factor structure of the Five-Factor Model has called into question the assumption that the five factors are universal across all individuals. Whereas individuals demonstrating average levels of cognitive complexity exhibit the common five factor pattern, both Bowler, Bowler, and Phillips (2009) and Bowler, Bowler, and Cope (in press) noted that individuals with higher levels of cognitive complexity exhibit more than five factors and individuals with lower levels of cognitive complexity exhibit less than five. The present study sought to examine the impact of cognitive complexity on a five-factor measure that utilized a frequency-based response format developed by Edwards and Woehr (2007). Overall, results concurred with previous findings, with cognitive complexity influencing the number of factors evidenced. Specifically, individuals with low, average, and high levels of cognitive complexity exhibited five-, six-, and seven-factor models of personality, respectively. Implications of the appropriateness of frequency-based personality measurement are discussed.

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