The test was developed by Paul T. Costa, Jr. and Robert R.
McCrae for use with adult (17+) men and women without
The original version of the measurement, published in 1978,
was the Neuroticism-Extroversion-Openness
This version only measured three of the Big Five personality
traits. It was later revised in 1985 to include all five traits and
renamed the NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI).
In this version, "NEO" was now considered part of the name of
the test and was no longer an acronym.
This naming convention continued with the third version, the
NEO PI-R, published in 1990.
The NEO-PI-3, an update to the NEO Inventory, was
published in 2005.
A mnemonic device for the five primary factors is the acronym
"OCEAN," or alternatively "CANOE".
The short version, the NEO-Five Factor Inventory (NEOFFI), has 60 items (12 items per domain).
The NEO PI-R and NEO-FFI were updated in 2010 in a
manual called the NEO Inventories for the NEO Personality
Inventory-3, NEO Five-Factor Model 3, and NEO Personality
While the NEO PI-R is still being published, the NEO-PI-3 and
NEO-FFI-3 feature updated normative data and new forms.
Based on Big Five personality dimensions
Rationally and factor analytically derived
Newest of the major personality inventories
Very popular with researchers
Composed of 5 domains, each with 6 facets
Easy to administer and score
AREA OF APPLICATION
The NEO PI-R has applications in occupational assessment
for selection and development
In the most recent publication, there are two forms for the
NEO, one for self report (form S) and one for observer
rating (form R).
Both forms consist of 240 items (descriptions of behavior)
answered on a five point scale, ranging from "strongly
disagree" to "strongly agree".
Finally, there is a 60-item assessment of domains only called
the "NEO FFI." There are paper and computer versions of
all forms available.
Costa and McCrae report that the assessment should not be evaluated if
there are more than 40 items missing.
They also state that despite the fact that the assessment is "balanced" to
control for the effects of acquiescence and nay-saying, that if more than
150 responses, or less than 50 responses, are "agree" or "strongly
agree," the results should be interpreted with caution.
Scores can be reported to most test takers on "Your NEO Summary,"
which provides a brief explanation of the assessment, and gives the
participants’ domain levels and a strengths-based description of three
levels (high, medium, and low) in each domain.
For example, low N reads "Secure, hardy, and generally relaxed even
under stressful conditions," whereas high N reads "Sensitive,
emotional, and prone to experience feelings that are upsetting." For
profile interpretation, facet and domain scores are reported in T Scores
and are recorded visually as compared to the appropriate norm group,
much like other measures of personality.
Test form- standard
No. of items- 243
Time taken- 35 min
The psychometric properties reported below relate to the UK
adaptation of the NEO PI-R.
Item analysis, (Cronbach’s Alpha) and factor analysis were carried out
on a sample of 609 respondents in the UK Anglicization study. The
UK results show close alignment with those from the US. The
domain scales show internal reliabilities which range from .87 to .92.
Facet scales show internal reliabilities ranging from .58 to .82.
Test retest reliabilities are all above .75
Validity data is extensive; for a full account the reader is referred to
the Professional Manual (US edition), and reference lists are available
from the publishers.
Characteristics of NEO-PI-R
N2 Angry Hostility
E5 Excitement Seeking
E6 Positive Emotions
O1 Openness to Fantasy
O2 Openness to Aesthetics
O3 Openness to Feelings
O4 Openness to Actions
O5 Openness to Ideas
O6 Openness to Values
C4 Achievement Striving
O Openness to Experience
NEO-PI-R Interpretation: Some
Emotional style: N & E
Interpersonal style: E & A
Vocational interests: E & O
Attitudes: O & A
Academics: O & C
Character: A & C
NEO-PI-R and Personality Disorders
Lord, Wendy (2007). NEO PI-R - A Guide to Interpretation and
Feedback in a Work Context. Hogrefe Ltd, Oxford.
B. Bell, C. L. Rose, & A. Damon (1972). "The normative
aging study: An interdisciplinary and longitudinal study of
health and aging". Aging & Human Development.
McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T., Jr., (2010). NEO
Inventories: Professional manual. Lutz, FL: Psychological
Assessment Resources, Inc.
Church, A. T.; Katigbak, M. S. (2002). "Indigenization of
psychology in the Philippines".International Journal of