Spinath, F. M. & Angleitner, A. (1995). Convergence of verbal and nonverbal personality assessment techniques. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, Supplement 1, 11, 28-29.


The vast majority of personality assessment techniques are based on the questionnaire approach. However, the answering process may be influenced by semantic similarity. Therefore, it seems advisable to have techniques based on nonverbal material. For the Personality Research Form (PRF) proposed to measure some of Murray's needs Paunonen, Jackson and Keinonen (1990) developed a nonverbal parallel test called NPQ consisting of 136 cartoon-like pictures. In two studies (80 and 60 subjects) the German PRF scales were applied together with the NPQ to test the equivalence of the verbal and nonverbal scales. In the second study the NEO-FFI and a peer-rating form of the NPQ were additionally given. In general, the reliabilities of the NPQ scales in self-rating format are quite comparable to the questionnaire scales (.70 vs. .62 and .72 on average) in the two samples. The peer-rating form of the NPQ yields an average reliability of .84. The mean correspondence between self- and peer-rating forms of the NPQ scales is .45, between verbal and nonverbal scales for the self-rating .39 in the first and .46 in the second study. The convergence between nonverbal peer-rating and verbal self-rating is lower (.33). The NEO-FFI scale Conscientiousness shows similar correlation patterns across all three sources of data whereas for the other NEO-FFI scales discrepancies appear especially for the peer-rating form of the NPQ showing only few correspondences to the NEO-FFI scales Openness, Agreeableness and Neuroticism. The results are discussed in the frame of advantages of objective tests and tests not relying on verbal input.


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