I'm looking to gather peer reports and self reports of extraversion. Can I send out an item inventory that only has extraversion related items?


Yes. It is quite common to do a study that measures just one personality trait. There are many variations in this and reasons for doing this. Here are some examples:

  • You measure the Big 5, but you want to incorporate some other personality trait not captured as well by the big 5 (e.g., honesty/humility from HEXACO; dark triad, etc.)
  • Personality is a minor component of the study, so you just measure the one or two dimensions of interest.
  • You are specifically interested in the facets of a particular dimension so for example, you measure conscientiousness as well as many different facet scales of conscientiousness.

In these cases, items are often taken from a larger inventory. E.g., you take just the extraversion items from a measure of Big 5.

There are legitimate reasons for why you might want to only measure one personality trait. That said, if length is not a major issue, I would strongly encourage you to measure a broader set of traits. In particular, there are many benefits to getting a complete measure of the Big 5 (or perhaps HEXACO). You can then examine correlations in context and provide a much more complete picture.

  • $\begingroup$ Great! Thank you for your advice. $\endgroup$ Apr 24 '17 at 17:44
  • $\begingroup$ If I may be so bold as to add a thought: also strongly consider examining and reporting the factor loadings and reliability of your new use (this is good practice even when using known scales, but IMO gets more important the more you branch out from "originals"). $\endgroup$
    – mflo-ByeSE
    May 15 '17 at 15:33

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