ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (3): 460-478.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.00460

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The Evolution and Comparison of Personality Tests Based on the Five-Factor Approach

CHEN Jiyue1; XU Jianping1; LI Hongyan1; FAN Yexin1,2; LU Xiaolan1   

  1. (1 School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University; Beijing Key Lab for Applied Experimental Psychology, Beijing 100875, China) (2 Xuanwu Hospital Capital Medical University, Beijing 100053, China)
  • Received:2014-02-28 Online:2015-03-15 Published:2015-03-15
  • Contact: XU Jianping, E-mail:


This review aims to examine different aspects of existing personality tests that have been developed to fit the five factor approach. The analyses indicated that there are more than 30 types of five-factor approach personality tests of various lengths and forms. These tests can be classified into three board categories: self-report inventory, adjective checklist and nonverbal inventory. Each test appears to have unique advantages and disadvantages when applied to different research and practical situations. Their reliability and validity also varies across situations. Taken together, these results suggest that researchers should be careful when choosing personality tests and take into account factors such as the test length, the test purpose, and cultural differences.

Key words: five-factor approach, big five, five-factor model, personality test