Alpha and Beta Traits and Egoistic and Moralistic Self-Enhancement: A Point of Convergence Between Two Research Traditions
Article first published online: 2 JAN 2013
© 2012 The Authors. Journal of Personality © 2012, Wiley Periodicals, Inc
Journal of Personality
Volume 81, Issue 1, pages 39–48, February 2013
How to Cite
Vecchione, M. and Alessandri, G. (2013), Alpha and Beta Traits and Egoistic and Moralistic Self-Enhancement: A Point of Convergence Between Two Research Traditions. Journal of Personality, 81: 39–48. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2012.00786.x
- Issue published online: 22 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 2 JAN 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 20 MAR 2012 08:47AM EST
The current study investigated the relationship of egoistic and moralistic self-enhancement with Alpha and Beta, the two higher-order factors of personality encompassing the Big Five.
Four hundred sixteen Italian adults (59% females, mean age = 41.13) completed self-report measures of the Big Five and of egoistic and moralistic self-enhancement. They were also rated by acquaintances on the two self-enhancement measures. A cross-observer design within the framework of structural equation modeling was used to disentangle the variance shared by the constructs that is due to (a) substantive personality characteristics (i.e., the variance of egoistic and moralistic self-enhancement common to different informants), (b) response bias (i.e., the tendency to exaggerate agentic and communal qualities), and (c) halo effect (i.e., the common factor underlying all self-report measures).
Findings revealed significant correlations between Alpha and Beta and the substantive parts of egoistic and moralistic dimensions. Beta was primarily related to egoistic self-enhancement, whereas alpha was mostly related to moralistic self-enhancement. Nevertheless, a substantial portion of variance in Alpha and Beta was explained by response bias and halo effect.
Substance, bias, and method variance all represent important sources of covariation among the Big Five.