International Personality Item Pool – Johnson (IPIP-J)

The IPIP-J was developed by John A. Jonson and was published in October 2000. It was designed to measure the Big Five Traits of personality in adults. During this time, progress in the theory around the FFM constructs had become incredibly slow as there was limited access of researchers to personality measures due to copyright and the pay-to-use nature of the tests which created a financial barrier for some (Maples et al., 2014).

In response to this need for research, Lewis Goldberg established an international collaborative effort to develop and work on a pool of free personality items. This was called the International Personality Item Pool. So far it’s had a great impact on the literature, with a revised 300 item IPIP version of the NEO developed in 1997. The IPIP-NEO was developed by changing an existing item pool and administering it to an adult community sample to develop 10 item scales for each of the 30 FFM facets. The tools are available on the website and require no permission for use.

Though the IPIP-NEO was comprehensive and freely available, it was prohibitive to researchers with time or budget constraints and could also be seen to result in participant fatigue especially when a battery of assessments was required (Maples et al, 2014; Johnson, 2014). Thus underlies the rationale for the IPIP-J. The development of the scales built on what was previously established with the IPIP-NEO.

Johnson describes developing the IPIP-J in three steps (Johnson, 2014). Firstly, the reliability application on SPSS was used on the IPIP-NEO to generate corrected item-total correlations for each of the 10 items in each facet scale. The item with the lowest item-total correlation was removed and the application run again until four items remained. Secondly, a rational-intuitive strategy was employed whereby Johnson examined the items for near duplicates, fidelity to the original NEO-PI-R and any reference to disability or anything that would cause legal issues when using the scale for personnel selection. Finally, computation of alphas for domain and facet scales was calculated separately by sex. A few scales didn’t reach the rule of thumb of 0.7, but all were at least 0.6 which is considered adequate for four item scales in the development stage of research.

The scale was developed using an online sample of 21,588 adults and the author did not say where most of their respondents were from (Johnson, 2014).  Scores on the facets of the IPIP-J showed reasonably good internal consistency with α= 0.68 (Maples et al., 2014). The IPIP-J was also tested against the IPIP-NEO for correlations with the NEO- PI-R. Convergence with the NEO-PI-R was reasonably good with r= 0.66 (Maples et al., 2014).

So far the IPIP-J has been used in research to investigate an array of different areas such as collaborative task performance, personnel selection and psychopathic personality traits (Maples et al., 2014). The IPIP-J provides a time efficient way to administer personality assessment in a way that is open to all researchers. Sharing within the IPIP has resulted in advances in the field as many have participated and began to create common understanding. Perhaps one possible limitation with such a short inventory is that if one item is answered untruthfully for any reason, it would have a much greater impact on the data for that facet than a more comprehensive scale. Use of other measures to triangulate data could be a helpful suggestion to ensure robust collection of information.


Johnson, J. A. (2014). Measuring thirty facets of the Five Factor Model with a 120-item public domain inventory: Development of the IPIP-NEO-120. Journal of Research in Personality, 51, 78-89.

Maples, J. L., Guan, L., Carter, N. T., & Miller, J. D. (2014). A test of the International Personality Item Pool representation of the Revised NEO Personality Inventory and development of a 120-item IPIP-based measure of the five-factor model. Psychological assessment, 26(4), 1070.


Pictorial Personality Traits Questionnaire for Children (PPTQ-C)

The PPTQ-C was designed to provide an alternate measure of personality traits for children based on the Big Five model, using images within a questionnaire to help illustrate the traits as opposed to the traditional questionnaire methods.

Published in 2016, the PPTQ-C was designed specifically for children aged 7-13 years old using a Polish sample of 1028 children. There are 15 items on the questionnaires, which are responded to on a 3-point (for younger children, 7-9 years old) or 5-point (for older children, 10-13 years old) scale. (Maćkiewicz & Cieciuch, 2016)

The basis behind the pictorial design is that it was suggested the personality measure itself needed to be adjusted to better meet children’s developmental levels. It is suggest that many children may have difficulties, or lose interest completing word-based questionnaires, which may result in incomplete or inaccurate data. The PPTQ-C attempted to provide an alternative by using clear and simple images representing each end of the factors (eg. Extraversion vs Introversion), with a clear scale in between.

Convergence validity was demonstrated between the PPTQ-C and the Big Five Questionnaire for Children (BFQ-C) using a multitrait-multimethod analysis, suggesting the PPTQ-C to be a valid measurement of personality traits in young children. Structural validity was established through Exploratory Structural Equation Model. However openness to experience was the weakest fit in both groups with the lowest reliability estimates. This is thought to be as the factor itself includes abstract ideas that are quite hard to represent in the form of a simple image.  Or possibly the trait itself is not well differentiated in childhood (Mervielde et al., 1995); or better-observed using observer-reports instead of self-reports.  The other 4 factors reported acceptable reliability. The test/retest was not reported. No cross-cultural validations have been conducted as of yet.

The PPTQ-C is available online through the PsychTEST database. The test is intended for research purposes and no permission is required for research or teaching use.


Maćkiewicz, M., & Cieciuch, J. (2016). Pictorial Personality Traits Questionnaire for Children (PPTQ-C)—A New Measure of Children’s Personality Traits. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 498. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00498

Mervielde, I., Buyst, V., and De Fruyt, F. (1995). The validity of the Big-Five as a model for teachers’ ratings of individual differences among children aged 4–12 years. Personality and Individual Differences, 18, 525–534. doi: 10.1016/0191-8869(94)00175-R


Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI)

The Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI), developed in the USA by Gosling, Rentfrow and Swan (2003) was designed to measure the dimensions of the Five Factor Model (FFM) of personality. Gosling et al. (2003) recognised that time is often a luxury in research and therefore designed a short instrument that would allow for quick administration and interpretation. Thus, the TIPI takes approximately one minute to complete.

Aiming to cover the breadth of the FFM, the items comprising the TIPI were culled from descriptors from existing Big-Five instruments such as the Big Five Inventory (BFI, John & Srivastava, 1999). The TIPI consists of 2 items for each of the 5 domains represented in the FFM. One item contains two desirable descriptors and the other, two undesirable descriptors (E.g. for Extraversion: extraverted, enthusiastic and reserved, quiet). Each of the ten items are rated on a 7-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (disagree strongly) to 7 (agree strongly).

 Gosling et al. (2003) recruited 1813 university students to complete the TIPI and the BFI. Six weeks later a sub-sample of 180 participants completed the tests again.

The TIPI reported low internal consistency (Extraversion, a = .68; Agreeableness, a = .40; Conscientiousness, a = .50; Emotional Stability, a = .73; Openness, a = .45). Gosling et al. (2003) recognised that with only two items per scale internal consistency would be compromised (where multi-item scales bolster internal consistency as several items may overlap in content). Thus researchers did not expect high levels of reliability and instead emphasised validity. The TIPI was tested against the BFI to determine convergent validity. Results revealed substantial significant convergent correlations (E, r = .87; A, r = .70; C, r = .75; ES, r = .81; O, r = .65). When using measures with few items. Wood and Hampson (2005) recommend test-retest procedure be utilised to verify reliability. The TIPI demonstrated adequate six-week test retest reliability (r = .72). Normative data for the TIPI were also reported (E, M  = 4.44; SD = 1.45; A, M = 5.23; SD = 1.11; C, M = 5.40, SD = 1.32; ES, M = 4.83, SD  = 1.42; O, M = 5.38, SD = 1.07).

The TIPI has been translated into a number of languages including Spanish (TIPI-SPA), Catalan (TIPI-CAT; Renau, Oberst, Gosling, Rusinol, & Chmarro, 2013) and German (TIPI – G; Muck, Hell & Gosling, 2007). Cross cultural validation revealed similar results on all three measures to those obtained in the study of the English-language TIPI (Gosling et al., 2003).

The TIPI is freely accessible online (via and can be utilised without permission.

A note from the researchers –

“We hope that this instrument will not be used in place of established multi-item instruments. Instead, we urge that this instrument be used when time and space are in short supply and when only an extremely brief measure of the Big Five will do.” (Gosling et al, 2003, p. 525).


Gosling, S.D., Rentfrow, P.J., & Swann, W.B., Jr. (2003). A very brief measure of the Big Five personality domains. Journal of Research in Personality, 37, 504-528. doi: 10.1016/S0092-6566(03)00046-1

Gosling, S.D., Rentfrow, P.J., & Swann, W.B., Jr. (2003). Ten Item Personality Inventory, accessed at on 06/03/17.

John, O. P., & Srivastava, S. (1999). The Big Five trait taxonomy: History, measurement, and theoretical perspectives. In L. A. Pervin, & O. P. John (Eds.), Handbook of personality: Theory and research (pp.102–138). New York: Guilford Press.

Muck, P.M., Hell, B., & Gosling, S.D. (2007). Construct validation of a short Five Factor Model instrument: A self-peer study on the German adaptation of the Ten-Item Personality Inventory (TIPI-G). European Journal of Personality Assessment, 23, 166-175. doi: 10.1027/1015-5759.23.3.166

Renau, V., Oberst, U., Gosling, S.D., Rusinol, J., & Chamarro, A. (2013). Translation and validation of the Ten-Item Personality Inventory into Spanish and Catalan. Aloma.Revista de Psicologia, Ciencies de l’Educacio I de l’Esport, 31, 85-97.