Dimensions and categories: the "big five" factors and the DSM personality disorders. Academic Article uri icon


  • The five-factor model of personality, which has been widely studied in personality psychology, has been hypothesized to have specific relevance for DSM-defined personality disorders. To evaluate hypothesized relationships of the five-factor model of personality to personality disorders, 144 patients with personality disorders (diagnosed via a structured interview) completed an inventory to assess the five-factor model. Results indicated that the majority of the personality disorders can be differentiated in theoretically predictable ways using the five-factor model of personality. However, while the personality disorders as a whole appear to be differentiable from normal personality functioning on the five factors, the patterns are quite similar across the disorders, a finding that may provide some insight into the general nature of personality pathology but may also suggest problems with discriminant validity. Third, it does not appear that considering disorders as special combinations of features (as might be expected in some categorical models) is more informative than considering them as the sum of certain features (as might be expected in a dimensional model).

published proceedings

  • Assessment

author list (cited authors)

  • Morey, L. C., Gunderson, J., Quigley, B. D., & Lyons, M.

citation count

  • 40

complete list of authors

  • Morey, LC||Gunderson, J||Quigley, BD||Lyons, M

publication date

  • September 2000