Matters of conscience and conscientiousness: The place of ego development in the Five-Factor Model.

The Five-factor model (FFM; Digman, 1990; Goldberg, 1990) and Loevinger’s (1994) theory of ego development are two active research traditions that are often construed as incompatible approaches to the study of personality. For example, each theory proposes a different view of the concept of conscientiousness. Loevinger argued that FFM conscientiousness, which emphasizes attributes such as order, self-discipline, and achievement striving, lacks a moral component and is more similar to the conformist stage in her theory. To investigate these claims, we administered the Revised NEO–Personality Inventory (NEO–PI–R; Costa&McCrae, 1992) and theWashington University Sentence Completion Test (WUSCT; Hy & Loevinger, 1996) to 120 university students on 2 separate occasions. Together, the five traits of the FFM significantly predicted item sum scores from the WUSCT (multiple R = .54). Unique linear relationships of Openness to Experience and Agreeableness with ego level demonstrated that the two theories proposed similar constructs.We argue that these two FFM dimensions have conceptual relevance to the cognitive and interpersonal aspects of the ego development construct. We draw further connections between these FFM dimensions, ego development, and human values.

Main Author: Kurtz, John E.
Other Authors: Tiegreen, Sara B.
Language: English
Published: 2005
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