Revised NEO Personality Inventory: (NEO-PIR): what it is and what it measures

Personality psychology deals with the search for universal personality factors, which can define what people are like. The most widely accepted model is the Big Five model of Costa and McCrae (1992).

In this article we will know the revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PIR), a personality test which assesses these 5 factors. We will know these factors, as well as the characteristics or facets that compose them. We will also see the features of NEO-PIR.

    NEO’s Revised Personality Inventory: What is it?

    The revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PIR or NEO-PIR) is a measure of personality; that is, a test that assesses the personality. More precisely, it evaluates 5 personality factors; in turn, each factor consists of six characteristics or dimensions.

    this inventory was developed in 1999 by Paul T. Costa and Robert R. McCrae. The original version of this personality test dates from 1983 and was developed by the same authors. The theoretical model in which this test is supported is the Big Five Model (or Models of the Big Five, 1992) of personality (the 5 big factors), also by the same authors.

    Big Five Model

    The Big Five Model is one of the most important models of personality psychology and offers several factors that make up the personality of all people; the highest or lowest scores for each factor would determine individual personality differences.

    These 5 factors proposed by the Big Five are: neuroticism (represented by an N), extraversion (E), openness to experience (O), kindness (A) and responsibility (C). As we will see throughout the article, these factors can also take other names, used as synonyms.

      Features of the NEO-PIR

      In terms of format and structure, the revised NEO Personality Inventory is a self-assessment inventory, made up of 240 items on 5-point Likert-type scales (0 to 4). Each of the 5 factors you are evaluating has 48 items. In turn, each factor is composed of 6 characteristics, which we will detail later, and which make up 30 specific scales (each of 8 items).

      As we have seen, the revised NEO Personality Inventory assesses all of the factors inherent in the “Big Five” model (5 factors), widely known in personality psychology and psychological assessment.

      The main difference with the previous version (the NEO-PI), is that the revised personality inventory of NEO assesses the last two factors introduced (compliance and awareness) explicitly and not implicitly. Later, we will see the characteristics of the version of the NEO-PI and those of its predecessor (the NEO).

        Personality factors

        More precisely, the NEO-PIR evaluates the 5 factors mentioned, and which we will see below. Let’s also see what it means to get high and low scores on each of the factors:

        1. Neuroticism

        Neuroticism is a first order factor consisting of the following traits: anxiety, hostility, depression, self-awareness, impulsivity and vulnerability.

        Neuroticism is a factor or personality trait that indicates some emotional lability and hypersensitivity, as well as a tendency to frequently experience negative emotions and suffer from somatic alterations. These features will show up in people who scored high on neuroticism.

        Conversely, getting a low score on neuroticism indicates being an emotionally stable person.

        2. Extraversion

        The second first-order factor, like all factors in the revised NEO Personality Inventory, also corresponds to the Big Five model. Extraversion (also called emergence) has six characteristics: warmth, friendliness, assertiveness, activity, research and emotivity.

        A high score in extraversion indicates being an expansive social person, uninhibited, with a tendency to take action and to experience strong emotions. It is also a trait of impulsive people. Instead, he was rated low indicates being an introverted, rather calm, reserved, thoughtful, orderly and withdrawn person.

        3. Openness to experience

        The third factor in the revised NEO Personality Inventory is openness to experience. This factor includes the following characteristics: fantasy, values, ideas, aesthetics, sensitivity and action. This factor has also been called “culture” on some occasions.

        A high Openness to Experience score is typical of people who seek and enjoy experiences, who have a taste for the unknown, and who enjoy exploring new terrains or areas.

        A low score on this factor is more typical of “home made” people (who like to be at home), who find it difficult to get out of their “comfort zone”, who are not interested in trying new things and experiment., etc.

        4. Compliance

        The compliance factor is also synonymous in the revised NEO Personality Inventory; like that, also known as cordiality or kindness. Its opposite would be in antagonism / oppositionism.

        Conformity is made up of the following traits: confidence, selflessness, fulfillment, tenderness, modesty and obedience.

        Getting high scores on this trait involves being an empathetic and cooperative person. This factor in fact corresponds to a quality of social interactions and a self-concept, a social attitude and a philosophy of life, which are linked to this empathy and this cooperativity. This is typical of people who are sensitive to others and have a collaborative attitude..

        On the other hand, an average rank in conformity indicates people who are rather selfish, who do not think much of others, and even a little haughty (neither humble nor modest).

        5. Consciousness

        The final factor in the revised NEO Personality Inventory is awareness (also referred to as accountability). Its characteristics are: order, competence, freedom, success, discipline and reflection.

        People who exhibit this factor are organized and persistent people who are in control of situations and are motivated by goal-oriented behaviors. According to the revised NEO Personality Inventory, the opposite factor is negligence.

        Previous versions

        There are two versions that precede the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PIR); the NEO and the NEO-PI, as well as a reduced version of the NEO-PIR. Let’s see what each assesses:

        1. NEO (McCrae and Costa, 1983)

        Thus, as we have seen, the original version of this inventory was the NEO of McCrae and Costa (1983), which assesses the following factors: neuroticism, extraversion and openness to experience.

        2. NEO-PI (McCrae and Costa, 1985)

        The second version of the NEO Personality Inventory was the NEO-PI, which was developed in 1985. It assesses the above factors, as well as two new ones: compliance and awareness. These two factors are assessed implicitly in the inventory.

        3. NEO-FFI (reduced version)

        There is a reduced version of the revised NEO Personality Inventory, called NEO-FFI; this version it only includes 60 items and evaluates the same factors as the NEO-PIR.

        Bibliographical references:

        • Bermúdez, J. (2003). Personality psychology. Theory and research (vol. I and II). Madrid: UNED.
        • Buela-Casal, G .; Serra, JC (1997). Manual of psychological assessment. 21st century ed. Madrid.
        • Costa, PT and McCrae, RR (1992b). The five-factor personality model and its relevance to personality disorders. Journal of Personality Disorders, 6: 343-359.
        • Moreno, C. (2005). Psychological assessment. Concept, process and application in the fields of development and intelligence. Ed. Sanz and Torres. Madrid

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