On artifacts and meaning in person-centred analyses: comment on McCrae, Terracciano, Costa and Ozer (2005)


  • This commentary was accepted by the previous editor Ivan Mervielde.


McCrae et al.'s (2006) analyses of the California Adult Q-Set (CAQ) are flawed in two respects. First, they misunderstand the meaning of Q-factors by claiming that high Q-correlations between the first Q-factor and item endorsements or the social desirability of items are an artifact. Second, their attempt to overcome this ‘artifact’ by conducting a Q-factor analysis of interindividually standardised items induces, ironically, a real artifact because this approach ignores meaningful interindividual differences in the intraindividual means and standard deviations of the standardised Q-sort profiles. Instead of closing doors on person-centred analyses of personality data, more of these doors should be passed through. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.