Introduction / Test Development
The Big 5/45 (“Big five forty-five”) test is
a clinical version of the AB5C inventory. The AB5C inventory was
developed by Dr. Lewis R. Goldberg of Oregon Research Institute in Eugene,
Oregon and placed by him in the public domain via the Internet (1).
The AB5C was developed to demonstrate the
feasibility of creating a range of facet scores for the Big Five
personality dimensions (references listed at the above web site). The
result was a 485-item questionnaire in Likert scale format with brief
personality descriptive phrases to which a person indicates his degree of
agreement or disagreement as to how well the phrase describes himself.
The instrument yields 50 scores: 9 facet scores for each of the Big Five
dimensions (totaling 45) and five total scores (one for each of the Big
Five dimensions). See Appendix 1 for a list of the dimension and facet
names, number of items in each, coefficient alpha reliabilities and sample
The AB5C was normed on a sample of adults in
the Eugene/Springfield, Orgegon community. The sample had the following
characteristics: N= 501. 58% women. Mean age 52. Primarily Caucasian.
Education range from 9th grade through graduate school. 208
employed full time, 75 part time, 120 retired, 43 home-makers, 406
married, 51 separated or divorced, 25 widowed.
Relationship between the AB5C and other scales
A. Relationship to Other Widely Used
The AB5C are 45 scales chosen from the 280
scales developed from the Internationality Personality Item Pool. Smaller
clusters of IPIP scales been found to have good statistical properties in
terms of reliability and validity compared to other personality
instruments. Details are provided at the web site referenced above, under
“Multiple Scales”. For example, 16 IPIP scales corresponding to the 16
scales in the 16PF test have an average alpha coefficient reliability of
.80 compared to .74 for the 16PF scales. The mean correlation between the
two sets of scales is .86 when corrected for attenuation. Similarly, 30
IPIP scales compared with the 30 corresponding scales in the NEO-PI-R have
a mean reliability of .80 versus .75. The mean correlation between the
scales of the two instruments is .94, corrected for attenuation. In
another study by Goldberg, the IPIP scales are found to be slightly more
valid predictors of behaviors (Drug Use, Friendship, Undependability,
Reading, Writing and Creative Achievements) than corresponding scales from
widely used commercial personality scales (16PF, HPI, NEO-PI-R, and TCI).
B. Relationship to Vocational Interests
Of the 501 persons who took the AB5C scales
in ORI research, 389 also completed the Campbell Interest and Skills
Survey. The CISS generates two scores for each content area. One
measures how skillful a person thinks he/she is in that job content area.
The other measures how much he/she would enjoy doing a job of that
content. Correlations between these self-rated skills and interests range
from .46 (for the “Sales” category) to .76 (for “Public Speaking”). The
median correlation is .69.(3) Thus, we tend to like doing what we think
we’re skillful at doing.
Correlations were computed by Goldberg
between the 36 scores of the CISS and the 50 scores of the AB5C
instrument. Many statistically significant correlations were found, some
as high as .60. In general, the correlation between a given personality
trait and a person’s estimated job skill was slightly higher than
between that personality trait and the job interest level.
Some of these relationships are as one might
expect. For example, the “Public Speaking” CISS job category correlated
significantly with the following Extroversion facets (expressed as
estimated skill): Gregariousness .40, Friendliness .25, Assertiveness .35,
Poise .37, Leadership .54. The “Writing” category correlated
significantly with several Intellect facets, including Introspection .29,
Intellect .60, Ingenuity .42, Reflection .25, Competence .34 and Quickness
Other relationships were not self-evident
but nevertheless interesting. The CISS category “Woodworking” correlated
significantly with several Agreeableness facets, for example: Warmth .18,
Cooperation .21, Sympathy .23, and Tenderness .27. As a hobby, the author
(McConochie) builds furniture. He recalls that while building a dining
table he had thoughts of wanting to please other people with the resulting
product. One of the Tenderness items is “Want to please others.”
The percent of AB5C scales that correlate
significantly with each of the CISS career categories are presented in
Appendix II. The average percent was 55 (27.5 personality scales per
Multiple regressions of the five most
predictive personality facets to CISS skill scores consistently yield
moderate to strong correlations, with both career area scores and
individual CISS items.
CISS Skill Career Area
Score Highest AB5C
Correlates: on top 5 Facets
Selected CISS Items:
158 Make sales
166 Persuade others to
179 Private secretary
209 Being patient with
children Sympathy (.32) .43
243 Educating young
persons Ingenuity (.35) .46
278 Persuading others to
Thus, we can see that many personality
facets correlate significantly with career areas and that combining the
information from several facets improves these correlations. Personality
provides a rich basis for helping match specific persons with specific job
duties and jobs.
Big 5/45 Instrument. Introduction
The AB5C was developed by Goldberg as a
research instrument. The present author (McConochie) is a clinician and
I/O practicioner. He saw potential value in the AB5C as a tool valuable
in applied psychology. He developed a personal computer scoring and
report preparation system for it. This instrument he named the “Big 5/45"
to reflect its content. He also developed a system for predicting one’s
corresponding Career Area Predicted Preferences (CAPPs) scores based on
the obtained personality scores.
The author then administered this instrument
to several dozen clinical patients, personal friends and relatives.
The author does many evaluations of persons
applying for State and Federal welfare benefits by virtue of alleged
disabilities. Those with the worst job histories tended to get the lowest
scores on the Big 5/45 and had the lowest scores on the 36 career areas of
the CAPPs report. Personal friends and relatives of the author usually
obtained average to high scores and which seemed to correspond reasonably
well with their respective personalities and career and recreational
For example, among a secretary’s two highest
scores were Office Practices and Religious Activities. Two successful
business executives had high scores on Management and related career areas
such as Law/Politics, Sales and Supervising.
A skilled house painter had low scores on
business-related categories but among his highest scores were Mechanical
Crafts/Trades, Woodworking and Building/Making Things. He also had a high
score on Risk-Taking/Adventuresome Activities. His main hobby is riding a
motor cycle around the country for several weeks at a time between periods
A woman whose two highest scores included
Religious Activities said she had always secretly wanted to be a nun.
The scores did not always directly correlate
with a given person’s current career and avocational activities, but
often they did. The scores thus provided the author with what appeared to
be richly meaningful information with which to understand and guide
clients in terms of employability and career choice.
Validation Study of CAPPs scores
To further validate the CAPPs scores as a
measure of a person’s potential career areas, the author conducted
He created career area scores based on the
Big 5/45 scores and the known correlations between them and career areas.
They are expressed as a ratio of a person’s obtained score over the
highest possible score for that career area. Personality traits of the Big
5/45 which correlate significantly with a career areas are used to
generate the denominator of this ratio score. A given person’s obtained
personality scores are used to generate his numerator scores. The higher
or lower his personality scores on facets that correlate significantly
(positively or negatively) with a career area, the higher his numerator.
Thus, CAPPs scores on each career area can range from 0 to 1.00.
The author tried several different initial
scoring formulas, checking each by running correlations between the
obtained scores and self-ratings by a sample of 8 persons.
Reports for 8 adults were prepared with the
chosen scoring system. These subjects were asked to rate their estimated
skill on the 36 career areas on a 5-point Likert scale. Correlations
were then computed across all 8 persons and all 36 areas. The
correlations were between the CAPPs score and self ratings. Thus, the
correlation computed was based on 288 pairs of scores (self-ratings versus
CAPPs scores, 8 x 36). The results of this study are as follow:
Range Standard Deviation KR-21 Reliability
Self-ratings 2.719 1 to 5
CAPPs scores 56.75 0 to 100
Correlation between Self-rating and CAAPs
score = .294 (significance level = .000). Corrected for attenuation =
.35. This result provides evidence that these initial CAPPs scores were
valid indicators of a person’s corresponding self-ratings.
Expansion of the CAPPs Career Areas from 36 to 341
One reason the correlation between these
inital CAPPs scores and self ratings is modest (.35) may be the rather
gross nature of the career areas as presented, e.g. “Law/ or Political
Careers”, “Sales Careers”, “Medical Service Careers”. The CISS report
presents scores on only 36 career areas. All medical careers are subsumed
under one heading: “Medical Service Careers”. In this score there is no
differentiation between orderlies and surgeons, pediatricians and LPNs, or
between family practicioners and specialists. Thus, a person might be
very interested in being a surgeon but have no interest at all in being a
nurse. His “Medical Service Careers” score will necessarily be “muddied”
by this ambivalence.
Thus, the author undertook an expansion of
the CAPPs system to include many specific careers. Descriptions for
several hundred careers appearing prominently in the U.S. economy, as
presented at a Department of Labor web site (4), were used to select 305
of the most representative careers, including 27 separate medical service
careers. Descriptions of these were prepared in a document totaling 31
pages in a format permitting 4-point Likert scale endorsement (very
unskillful, unskillful, skillful, very skillful) (the “Job Skills Rating
A sample of 201 adults was administered this
document and the Big 5/45 personality instrument over an Internet web site
(Funeducation.com), with whom the author collaborates. This sample of
persons was told they would get free reports of all their scores for
participating. They ranged in age from 16 to 64. Their mean age was 34.3
with a standard deviation of 10.3. 63% were women. As a group, they were
somewhat below average on Conscientiousness, compared to the Goldberg
normative sample. They were above average on Extroversion and a full
standard deviation above average on Intellect. They were average on
Agreeableness and Emotional Stability.
SPSS computer software was used to process
the data. Correlations were computed between the 50 personality scores and
305 career areas (15,250 correlations) and CAPPs scores (50 x 36 = 1800
The scores on the personality traits tended
to mirror those on the Goldberg sample, in that the standard deviations
were similar. Thus, the reliabilities of the 50 personality measures are
assumed to be similar to those reported above for the Goldberg sample. Of
equal importance, the job item scores were nicely distributed across the
four points allowed in the Likert scale, with means typically between 2
and 3 and standard deviations of about 1. Thus, the Job Skill Self Rating
items were assumed to have adequate reliabilities.
The resulting correlations between the 305
jobs and 50 personality traits were as richly informative as they had been
for the Goldberg study of the 36 CISS career areas. The number of
personality traits correlating significantly with a given job ranged from
quite high to low. For example, for the Job 1, President or CEO of an
organization, 31 of the 50 personality traits (62%) correlated
significantly with the skill self-ratings for this trait. The traits and
their correlations, almost all of which are significant at the .01 level,
1. .30 Gregariousness
2. .30 Friendliness
3. .53 Assertiveness
4. .40 Poise
5. .55 Leadership
6. .45 Provocativeness
8. .55 Talkativeness
10. .44 EXTROVERSION TOTAL
13. -.18 Morality
16. -.28 Cooperation
19. -.28 Nurturance
22. .30 Efficiency
24. .39 Purposefulness
25. .29 Organization
27. .22 Rationality
30. .20 CONSCIENTIOUSNESS TOTAL
31. .30 Stability
32. .34 Happiness
33. .17 Calmness
34. .22 Moderation
35. .28 Toughness
37. .31 Imperturbability
39. .17 Tranquility
40. .28 STABILITY TOTAL
41. .38 Intellect
42. .48 Ingenuity
44. .49 Competence
45. .44 Quickness
47. .48 Creativity
50. .41 INTELLECT TOTAL
The multiple correlation (R) for these
traits was .79, significant at the .000 level.
For some jobs the number of significantly
correlating traits was much fewer. For job 105, Surgeon, only six traits
correlate significantly (Friendliness, Dutifulness, Organization,
Orderliness, Conscientiousness Total, and Tranquility). All correlations
are positive except for Tranquility. The multiple R was .28, significant
at the .02 level. For job number 115, Veterinarian, 9 traits correlate
significantly, 6 of them negatively. The multiple R is .38, significant
at the .01 level. Thus, it will be important to consider the Confidence
Weights (percentage of personality traits correlating with a job) when
interpreting a given person’s CAPPs scores in the expanded version of the
Additional Validity Data
The data of this study provided a basis for
a further validation of the author’s initial system for predicting
preferred career areas from personality scores. Correlations were run
between the 36 CAPPs predicted career area preferences scores (based on
the Big 5/45 scores) and self-ratings on a variety of related specific
careers from among the 305 in the jobs form. The resulting correlations
were robustly rewarding, for the most part. For example, for the first
CAPPs score, “Managing/ Planning/ Influencing job activities”, the
correlations with self-rated skill in related specific management careers
were as follow:
Job Number, Correlation, Title
(All correlations significant at .01 level
except for jobs 2 and 12, which are not significant.)
President or CEO
Chief Financial Officer
.27 H.R. Manager
Marketing and Sales Manager
Owner/Operator of Small Family-owned Business.
For CAPPs area 2, “Law/Politics”,
correlations with self-rated skills in related jobs were:
(All significant at .01 level except
Paralegal, not significant.)
.26 Title Examiner
For CAPPs area 4, “Public Speaking”, note
(** = Significant at .01, * at .05.)
.29** High school
Notice that the correlations for careers in
which public speaking is expected to be important are usually significant
at the .01 level and are higher than for careers in which public speaking
is not expected to be important (programmer, surveyor and chemist). The
low correlation for Clergy is puzzling.
For the CAPPs area “Sales”, the following
correlations are found:
.16 Retail sales
.26** Insurance sales
.26** Security sales
.32** Travel agent
161. .26** Product
.27** Real estate
Thus, most sales-related job skills are
clearly related to the “Sales” score generated by the scoring system. The
fact that some specific careers are not related to the “Sales” category
points up the importance of expanding the CAPPs system to predict not just
general career skills, such as “Sales” or “Public Speaking” but to predict
each specific career itself. This provides a sounder basis for
identifying the personality profiles unique to each specific career, such
as Clergy, Retail Sales Clerk and Telemarketer, which are not well
predicted by the general CAPPs areas of “Public Speaking” and “Sales”.
The importance of this was evident in
similar analyses for other job groups. The “Advertizing/Marketing” CAPPs
score did correlate significantly at the .01 level with specific
jobs of Marketing/Sales Manager, Radio/T.V. Announcer, Ad Sales Agent,
Commercial Artist and Creative Writer. However, the CAPP’s score
“Financial Services correlated significantly with Accountant , Tax
Preparer and Tax Examiner but not with C.F.O., Loan Officer,
Cashier, Security Sales, Bill Collector, Bookkeeper or Teller.
The “Office Practices” CAPPs score predicted
Office Machine Operator (.18*) but not Bookkeeing, Loan Clerk, Computer
Operator, Word Processor/Typist, Data Entry Keyer, Clerk, Insurance Claims
Clerk or Proofreader.
Thus, there is need to predict these other
specific jobs directly from personality profile scores.
This mixed performance was also evident in
the medical careers area. The CAPPs score for “Medical Services”
correlated significantly at the .01 level with Dietician/Nutritionist, G.P./Family
Doctor, Psychiatrist, Physical Therapist, Respiratory Therapist, Speech
Therapist and Emergency Medical Technician, and at the .05 level with
Pharmacist, Optometrist, Anaesthesiologist, Pediatrician,
Obstetrician/Gynecologist, Surgeon, Surgical Technician and Occupational
Therapist, but not with Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse,
Medical Lab Technician or 9 other medical careers, including Dentist and
Thus, again, we see the need for predicting
specific medical careers separately rather than as a group.
This mixed performance was also evident in
the trades area. The CAPPs score for “Mechanical Crafts and Trades”
correlated with most specific trades jobs but not with a few:
Reinforcing Iron Worker
.23** Sheet Metal
228 .36** Office
Telephone Equipment Installation and Repair
Electrical Motor Repair
.32** Auto Mechanic
.29** Bus and Truck
.29** Mobile Heavy
.15 Engine and
.27** Tool and Die
.13 Job Printer
The original CAPPs score for “Animal Care”,
is one of the weakest for predicting skills in specific jobs, having a
Confidence Weight of only .18. Only 18 percent of the 50 personality
trait measures correlate significantly with this career area score. As
might be expected, this score does not correlate significantly with many
of the specific job skill scores:
.14 Animal Control
.23** Farm and Ranch
A sense of the validity of CAPPs reports is
also gleaned from examining reports for known individuals. For example,
an experienced secretary, with over 10 years of successful employment as a
secretary and paralegal and with invitations to be an office manager, had
highest scores on the following career areas and jobs, all above .60:
Helping Job Duties
Culinary Arts/Cooking .61
Insurance underwriter .66
Biological or chemical
Adult remedial ed.
Respiratory therapist .60
Medical and clinical lab.
Medical records tech. .71
Retail sales or
Billing and posting clerk
Order or stock clerk
Word processor or typist
Data entry keyer
Insurance claims clerk .79
Office machine operator
Cooking machine operator
Sewing machine operator
Furniture and cabinet
Of interest in this list are the many
occupations directly and indirectly related to the job of secretary or
Upgrading and Expanding the CAPPs Report
correlations between the 50 personality traits and 305 job self-ratings
were entered into the CAPPs portion of the report preparation computer
program, extending the CAPPs report to a total of 341 predicted career
areas of greatest skill/satisfaction based on personality scores (the
original 36 CISS areas and the additional 305).
An improved scoring system for computing
ratio scores was devised by trying formulas and testing them against
self-ratings by the 201 adults’ job skill ratings for a few careers. Two
formulas were found to be superior to the third. The simplest of these to
compute is now used to calculate predicted skill level for each of the 36
CISS job areas and the 305 specific jobs in the CAPPs report. For one of
the jobs tested the correlation between the computed score and
self-ratings for 201 persons was .32, significant at the .01 level.
The Big 5/45 with CAPPs report is intended
for use to aid self-understanding and career planning. Knowing one’s
personality profile in detail can help one understand oneself. Knowing
the profiles of one’s spouse or partner or child can also improve
understanding and awareness. We can be more tolerant of each other if we
know that our behaviors are shaped largely by our unique personality
Some of us are innately more conscientious
than others. Laziness is not simply “disobedience”. Some of us are
destined for highly responsible roles as leaders, by virtue of our very
high scores on many personality facets. Indeed, combined with
intellectual aptitudes and training, our personalities largely determine
who we are and who we have the potential to become. Knowing ourselves
well can help guide us into our most fulfilling lives, both in terms of
careers and hobbies.
Go to Researchers, Goldberg, IPIP scales.
2. Goldbert, Lewis R., The Comparative
Validity of Modern Personality Inventories: Applications of a
Consumer-Testing Framework, Oregon Research Institute, 2003, E-mail email@example.com
3. Campbell, David P., Hyne, Susan A. and
Nilsen, Dianne L., “Manual, CISS, Campbell Interest and Skills Survey.”,
NCS, Minneapolis, MN, 1992.
Appendix I .
Name: Number of items: Reliability:
Sample descriptive phrase item:
10 .83 Am the life of the
10 .85 Make friends
.75 Turn plans into actions.
.82 Feel comfortable around people.
.82 Am the first to act.
11 .72 Dare to say
.78 Am open about myself to others.
.84 Do most of the talking.
.66 Enjoy being part of a loud crowd.
total 93 .96
10 .81 Like to be of
service to others.
.84 Know how to comfort others.
.73 Would never cheat on my taxes.
12 .76 Have a good word for
9 .70 Sense others’
12 .73 Value cooperation
12 .74 Am concerned about
13 .74 Want to mean
something to others.
13 .71 Wouldn’t harm a fly.
20. Agree. total
13 .75 Accomplish my work on time.
.83 Make plans and stick to them.
Dutifulness 13 .78 Behave
Purposefulness 12 .81
Am not easily distracted.
.78 Have an eye for detail.
Cautiousness 12 .77
Rationality 14 .67 Do
things in a logical order.
.76 Continue until everything is perfect.
.78 Like order.
Total 106 .98
.86 Seldom get mad.
10 .84 Look at the bright
side of life.
10 .83 Take things as they
10 .76 Easily resist
12 .84 Can stand criticism.
36. Impulse Control
11 .78 Let others finish
what they are saying.
9 .84 Seldom get
10 .73 (Don’t) try to
11 .76 Am relaxed most of
40. Stability Total
.81 Have a rich vocabulary.
.84 Have excellent ideas.
10 .75 Take time to reflect
8 .74 Learn quickly.
10 .84 Can handle complex
12 .71 Enjoy
.81 Like to solve complex problems.
10 .78 Have a vivid
.77 Tend to analyze things.
Total 89 .91
Total Personality Score
Appendix II. Percent of 50 AB5C Scale Scores
Correlating Significantly with CISS scales.
Percent of Significant Correlations
Plant and Garden