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Abstract

This article describes the derivation of a taxonomy of personality-descriptive verbs. In the introduction the verb domain is delineated relative to other domains of the language of personality. It is argued that verbs are theoretically useful in bridging the gap between trait language and act language. The aim is to provide a representative and effective instrument for registering judgements on personality. In a first study the steps are described that were followed to arrive at a list of personality-descriptive verbs. Both the present authors and layjudges (n=22) took part in this. Five hundred and forty-three verbs resulted from this study. Study 2 (n=200) describes the determination of the internal structure of the domain of verbs through factor analysis of both self- and partner-ratings. By applying a method of rotation to perfectly congruent weights the verb-structure turned out to be invariant under the self- and partner-conditions. The last part of the study investigates the relationship between personality-descriptive verbs and adjectives. Regressions of verb-ratings on the adjective-ratings and of adjective-ratings on the verb-ratings were calculated and factor analyses were performed on the residual matrices. The results show the existence of additional verb-dimensions above those already established in the adjective domain.