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I have raw scores (e.g., sums of the relevant question scores for each measure) from the Big Five Inventory (BFI). I would like to convert these into percentiles for interpretation. Where are the data or norms located to accomplish this?

My previous searches have yielded this link: https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~johnlab/pdfs/BFI%20Comparison%20Samples%20%28Ages%2021%20-%2060%29.doc

This doesn't align with the scoring of the BFI, though. The scoring of the BFI will yield numbers like 28, not 2.5. Elsewhere, they "transformed the 1-to-5 BFI metric into POMP scores by subtracting 1 and multiplying by 25." It looks like the link gives the average response score, and doesn't use POMP, but the paper uses POMP.

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The Big Five Inventory is quantified by averaging the score of a dimension (sum of x divided by N). This average will produce a potential range of 1 to 5 for each dimension, with higher scores indicating greater possession of that trait. Quantification instructions and additional information on the BFI can be found in the article: John, O.P., & Srivistava, S. (1999). The Big Five trait taxonomy: History, measurement, and theoretical perspectives. In L.A. Pervin & O.P. John (Eds.), Handbook of Personailty:Theory and Research (pp.102-138). New York: Guilford.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yes, but I am wondering about percentiles in particular. I have calculated it already $\endgroup$
    – BigMistake
    Commented Mar 7 at 19:02
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The link you posted contains the only published norms for the BFI. This data is all you need to convert to percentiles and establish where you rank based on these norms. All you need to do is transform these averages - including yours - into percentiles. Note that there is a lot of data on the document so you need to choose your age group to analyze as this will give you the most relevant information. Also, make sure you use the averaged version of these scores, which may indeed be a number such as 2.5, 2.8 and so forth. You can get your percentiles by following these steps for your averaged scores and those in the document within your age group:

To convert the averaged BFI scores into percentiles you will have to (1) determine the frequency of each mean dimension score, (2) calculate the cumulative frequency for each mean score (3) and then convert each cumulative frequency into a percentage [ c% = cf/N (100%) ]. While it is not essential, creating a cumulative frequency table will keeps things nice and in order. That is, you would create a column for averaged scores (x), a column for frequencies (f), one for cumulative frequencies (cf), and one for cumulative percentages (c%).

Once you have done this for each O.C.E.A.N. dimension, you can see where you rank based on your peers in the published data. Also, note that the document you have also contains the standard deviations for each dimension and age group so that will be useful to know as well. Does this answer your question? If not, let me know and I will see if there is anything else I can come up with. Thanks!

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