2nd Australian Conference for Personality and Individual Differences Researchers 2003
Bore MR, Munro D and Powis DA
Psychoticism, Self-Control, and the facets of a trait of Aggression: initial findings.
Previous research by the authors (under review) has provided evidence of the construct validity of a measure of moral orientation and a measure of moral traits. Using a variety of marker scales, a three-factor structure consisting of Empathy, Assertiveness (or Aggressiveness) and Conscience (or Superego) was consistently found across several samples. In particular, Psychoticism (EPQ; Eysenck), Self-Control (16PF; Cattell) and moral orientation scores (Mojac; Bore, 2001) were found to load on Conscience while Narcissism (NACE scale; Munro, 1998), Power, Strength and Malevolence (Horney Coolidge Type Indicator; Coolidge, 2001), and Agreeableness (negatively; IPIP; Goldberg, 1999) loaded on Assertiveness. To further explore this structure select items from the measures used were examined and re-worded in a form similar to that used in Goldberg's 100 item IPIP Big 5 questionnaire. This experimental scale, named the SEA scale (Superego, Empathy and Aggression) was included in a test battery administered to 947 applicants to medical schools in Scotland and England. Factor analysis of the 52 SEA items yielded clear Empathy and Superego factors. However, the Aggression items produced three factors: willingness to use Anger against others, desire to Dominate others, and Passivity (negative – avoidance of conflict). While tentative, the findings support McKenzie's (1988) suggestion of a Superego versus Psychoticism trait and provide some insight into the possible facets of a trait of Aggression.
Munro D and Bore M
Empathy versus narcissism: two separate factors or (another) Big Sixth?
Previous work with personality variables associated with a moral/ethical orientation factor in medical school applicants and students has identified two primary dimensions of note, namely empathy and narcissism. In previous studies (see Munro & Bore, AJP in press) these have been identified as separate factors, with moral orientation as a third independent factor. On this basis a tentative theory of ethical behaviour has been put forward. The present study involved an attempt to replicate this factor structure in a sample (n=402) of applicants to a medical school in England. In addition to two instruments devised by the authors (Mojac, a measure of moral orientation, and NACE, a measure of personality dimensions including empathy and narcissism), applicants completed a version of Goldberg's 'Big Five' instrument, an expanded version of the Lovibond & Lovibond DASS instrument, and a reasoning test. Biographical details were also available. Analysis revealed separate 'Big Five' factors, two separate factors for moral orientation/conscience and reasoning, and a single bipolar factor involving empathy and narcissism. Implications for a dispositional theory of ethical behaviour are discussed.