Linking Traits and Personal Constructs: An Exploratory Study throughout Levels of Personality

Jesús García Martínez, Francisco J. Cano-García, Luis Rodríguez-Franco, Milagros Buero-Gallego, Elísabet Alcocer-Gómez, Rafael Guerrero-Gómez


This article presents a preliminary study of links between personal constructs and traits. The conceptual framework for this study is the domains of personality model postulated by McAdams (1995) and McAdams & Pals (2006), and we tried to find concomitances between variables of two different levels, the dispositional level and the identity level. A repertory grid and the NEOFFI inventory were distributed to a total of 273 individuals, 146 representing the general population, and 137 having pathologies. By applying an exploratory design ex post facto in which Pearson’s correlations and ANOVAs were used, we found associations between the content of the constructs used and the traits. The neuroticism trait was most closely related to the content of the constructs. There were also clear associations between construct structure and scores on traits. Neurotic subjects were more rigid, whereas agreeable and conscientious subjects were more complex. However, the type of sample (normal or pathological) is a basic modulator of the relationships between constructs and traits.


Personality; Levels of Personality; Traits; Personal Constructs; Big Five Model; Repertory Grid Technique; McAdams’ Model; Implicative Dilemmas

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