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Abstract

In this article we describe the derivation of a taxonomy of personality descriptive nouns. We argue that, contrary to traditional statements, nouns deserve their own special place in the domain of personality language. The ultimate aim is to provide a sound basis for the development of a representative and efective instrument for registering judgements on personality. Study 1 describes the steps that were followed to arrive at a list of personality descriptive nouns. Fourteen subjects took part, with different numbers of subjects at the various stages of selecting the nouns. Seven hundred and fifty-five nouns resulted from this study. Study 2 (N= 400) describes the determination of the internal structure of the domain of nouns through factor analysis of both self and partner ratings obtained from 200 Dutch-speaking Belgian subjects and 200 Dutch subjects. By applying a method of rotation to perfectly congruent weights the noun structure turned out to be invariant under self and partner conditions and under the diferent groups of subjects. The results show the existence of a well-delineated multidimensional noun structure comparable to that of adjectives and of verbs.