Neurotic Styles and the Five Factor Model of Personality

Brian Norensberg, Peter Zachar

Abstract


This study investigates the relationship between David Shapiro's (1965) concept of neurotic styles (a categorical model) and the five-factor model of personality (a dimensional model). Although the neurotic styles are often thought of as being discrete categories, Shapiro's description of these categories can be interpreted as being organized along a dimension called mode of cognition, with diffuseness at one end and rigidity at the other. Shapiro's description of diffuseness and rigidity parallels certain facet scales that make up the Openness to Experience and Conscientiousness domain scales of the five-factor model. Therefore, a traditional categorical model and the modern dimensional model may be integratable. To test this possibility, three scales were used: the NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R; Costa and McCrae, 1992), the Clinical Multiaxial- Inventory (MCMI-III; Millon's, 1997) and a new scale constructed for this study called the Cognitive Diffuseness Questionnaire (CDQ). The results provide mixed support for the current model in the context of the five-factor model. This study provides limited support for the existence of a single continuum with diffuseness on one end and rigidity on another. Instead, diffuseness and rigidity appear to best be described as two separate continua.

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References


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