Exploring Personality the Natural Way: An Inquiry into Open-Ended Self-Descriptions

Academic Article


  • A content coding system was developed for people‚Äôs open-ended self-descriptions. Self-descriptive statements of N=174 individuals were classified into content clusters based on similarity of meaning. Those clusters, in turn, were organized into content areas of personality functioning (cognitive, motivational and emotional, self-regulatory, social, and whole personality). An analysis of the clusters indicated that: a) the most commonly used clusters described simple and positive characteristics of an individual; b) many open-ended descriptions were similar to widely studied attributes (e.g., self-esteem); but also c) some self-descriptions reflected possibly neglected areas of study (e.g., self-authenticity). Significant correlations were found between self-report scales and self-descriptions with similar meaning. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)
  • Authors

  • Ivcevic, Zorana
  • Mayer, John D.
  • Brackett, Marc A
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • March 2003
  • Keywords

  • Behavioral and Social Science
  • Mind and Body
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 211
  • End Page

  • 238
  • Volume

  • 22
  • Issue

  • 3