Positive and negative valence within the five-factor model

Robert R. McCrae, Paul Costa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tellegen and Walker (in press) have argued that highly evaluative adjectives provide significant information about personality and should not be excluded from trait taxonomic studies. Their analyses have identified two evaluative dimensions labeled Positive Valence (PV) and Negative Valence (NV). This study examines the meaning of these evaluative dimensions from the perspective of the five-factor model. Participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (N = 412) completed Tellegen, Grove, and Waller's (1991) Inventory of Personal Characteristics 7; self-reports and spouse and peer ratings on the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) were also available. PV and NV were not related to measures of response bias and did not moderate self/observer agreement. Joint factor analysis showed that in a five-factor solution, PV and NV had substantial communality and defined several factors. Correlations with NEO-PI-R facet scales suggested that PV and NV are associated with substantive aspects of personality, with PV related especially to Assertiveness and low Modesty, and NV related to Depression and low Competence. Although PV and NV are not fundamental factors in the description of personality, they are potentially important in understanding self-appraisals and social evaluations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-460
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)


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