Personality profiles and the prediction of categorical personality disorders

Robert R. McCrae, Jian Yang, Paul T. Costa, Xiaoyang Dai, Shuqiao Yao, Taisheng Cai, Beiling Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Personality disorders (PDs) are usually construed as psychiatric categories characterized by a unique configuration of traits and behaviors. To generate clinical hypotheses from normal personality trait scores, profile agreement statistics can be calculated using a prototypical personality profile for each PD. Multimethod data from 1,909 psychiatric patients in the People's Republic of China were used to examine the accuracy of such hypotheses in the Interpretive Report of the Revised NEO Personality Inventory. Profile agreement indices from both self-reports and spouse ratings were significantly related to PD symptom scores derived from questionnaires and clinical interviews. However, accuracy of diagnostic classification was only modest to moderate, probably because PDs are not discrete categorical entities. Together with other literature, these data suggest that the current categorical system should be replaced by a more comprehensive system of personality traits and personality-related problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-174
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of personality
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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