The Big Seven Model of Personality and Its Relevance to Personality Pathology


  • Leonard J. Simms, Department of Psychology, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York.
    The author thanks David Watson, Ericka Nus Simms, and Kevin D. Wu for their comments on a previous draft of this paper, Sara Bestany, Amy Ference, and Stephanie Spencer for their help with data collection, and the participants who provided the data included in this study.

concerning this article should be addressed to Leonard J. Simms, Department of Psychology, Park Hall 218, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Buffalo, NY 14260. E-mail:


ABSTRACT Proponents of the Big Seven model of personality have suggested that Positive Valence (PV) and Negative Valence (NV) are independent of the Big Five personality dimensions and may be particularly relevant to personality disorder. These hypotheses were tested with 403 undergraduates who completed a Big Seven measure and markers of the Big Five and personality pathology. Results revealed that PV and NV incrementally predicted personality pathology dimensions beyond those predicted by multiple markers of the Big Five. However, factor analyses suggested that PV and NV might be best understood as specific, maladaptive aspects of positive emotionality and low agreeableness, respectively, as opposed to independent factors of personality. Implications for the description of normal and abnormal personality are discussed.