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ERIC Number: EJ897253
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 76
ISSN: ISSN-1040-3590
A New Look at the Big Five Factor Structure through Exploratory Structural Equation Modeling
Marsh, Herbert W.; Ludtke, Oliver; Muthen, Bengt; Asparouhov, Tihomir; Morin, Alexandre J. S.; Trautwein, Ulrich; Nagengast, Benjamin
Psychological Assessment, v22 n3 p471-491 Sep 2010
NEO instruments are widely used to assess Big Five personality factors, but confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) conducted at the item level do not support their a priori structure due, in part, to the overly restrictive CFA assumptions. We demonstrate that exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM), an integration of CFA and exploratory factor analysis (EFA), overcomes these problems with responses (N = 3,390) to the 60-item NEO-Five-Factor Inventory: (a) ESEM fits the data better and results in substantially more differentiated (less correlated) factors than does CFA; (b) tests of gender invariance with the 13-model ESEM taxonomy of full measurement invariance of factor loadings, factor variances-covariances, item uniquenesses, correlated uniquenesses, item intercepts, differential item functioning, and latent means show that women score higher on all NEO Big Five factors; (c) longitudinal analyses support measurement invariance over time and the maturity principle (decreases in Neuroticism and increases in Agreeableness, Openness, and Conscientiousness). Using ESEM, we addressed substantively important questions with broad applicability to personality research that could not be appropriately addressed with the traditional approaches of either EFA or CFA. (Contains 7 tables.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany