Do adjectives exhaust the personality lexicon? A psycholexical study of the Lithuanian language

Background: The psycholexical approach is based on the assumption that the most important individual differences that people can observe have been encoded into the natural language. Thus, by studying the structure of these lexicons, we are able to identify individual differences that are universal across cultures as well as dimensions that are unique to some of them. The aim of the study was to develop a psycholexical taxonomy of the Lithuanian language including different parts of speech.
Participants and procedure: The authors analysed over 76,000 entries included in a dictionary of Lithuanian and identified 9625 person-descriptive terms: adjectives, attribute-nouns, type-nouns, and participles. The selected lexical material was classified by a team of six judges into 11 subcategories making up six higher-order categories. The authors performed the psychometric validity and consistency of the judges’ classification decisions.
Results: The analysis of proportions between types of lexical units describing dispositional traits showed that nearly 20.00% of terms in the personality lexicon did not have an adjectival form and were expressed by means of other - morphemically non-redundant - parts of speech.
Conclusions: The present study points to the necessity of taking into account various parts of speech describing dispositional traits in order to avoid the error of reductionism; it also contributes to the debate on universals in personality description. The results of the study can be used to determine the structure of the description of individual differences for the Lithuanian personality lexicon, for type-nouns or attribute-nouns, and for non-dispositional categories, including emotions, social effects, and worldview.
personality, individual differences, psycholexical taxonomy, Lithuanian language
Current Issues in Personality Psychology, 2018, Vol. 6, Issue 3, s. 171-180
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