Structure of Temperament Questionnaire (STQ)

               

What is the STQ                            Temperament vs. Personality                                 

Validation history of the STQ            References                  

Versions of the STQ                         Testing forms and processing   

                Rusalov`s model  STQ-150       Contact us

                Trofimova`s model, STQ-77                                   

                                           

About the authors

Vladimir M. Rusalov, Ph.D.  graduated from Lomonosov Moscow State University in 1963 as an anthropologist, then obtained his Ph.D. in from the Institute of Psychology in 1972, and a full doctorate degree in psychology in 1982 from the same Institute. He was a Head of the Nebilitzyn Laboratory of Differential Psychology and Psychophysiology in the Institute of Psychology, Russian Academy of Sciences from 1972. He is teaching in many Russian Universities and he was an invited professor in several American Universities. Professor Rusalov is one of the leading specialists in psychophysiology, psycho diagnostics and differential psychology, including temperament research. He is working in this field for more than 40 years. His book `Biological bases of psychological individual differences` (1979) became one of the most popular books in Russian psychology since 1990. He is an author of five other books and more than 200 articles.

 Irina N. Trofimova, Ph.D., C.Psych. click here for the web-site

William Sulis, M.D. (psychiatry), M.A., FRCP, Ph.D. (mathematics), Ph.D. (theoretical physics) click here for the web-site

What is the Structure of Temperament Questionnaire (STQ)

1. Purpose and format: The Structure of Temperament Questionnaire (STQ) is a self-report (for adult versions) or observer-administered (for children) questionnaire measuring 12 biologically-based characteristics of behavior. These characteristics are the most consistent aspects of behavior of an individual across his or her lifespan and are relatively independent of the content of the situation. Initially all versions of the STQ were validated on adult samples and were designed for the purposes of organizational, educational and clinical psychology. Now there are Child versions of the Short and Compact STQ, for administration by observers and guardians of the child in question. Items in all versions of the STQ are given in the form of a statement, with a response following the Likert scale format: "strongly disagree (1)," "disagree (2)," "agree (3)," "strongly agree (4)".

2. Experimental background of the STQ models: The STQ is based on the Easterd-European tradition of experiments investigating the types and properties of nervous systems. This tradition is the longest among all traditions of temperamental research (over 100 years old) . It started from extensive experiments on several species of mammals, and then continued with human adults and children within the Pavlovian Institute of Highest Nervous Activity (Pavlov, 1941, 1957). It then was continued within the Laboratory of Differential Psychophysiology and Differential Psychology (Institute of Psychology of the Russian Academy of Sciences), supervised by Teplov (1963), then Nebylitzyn (1972), and then Rusalov (1979). The STQ-77 structure was also mapped recently to the functionality of neurotransmitters, presented as Functional Ensemble of Temperament model (Trofimova, 2016, Trofimova & Robbins, 2016).

3. Activity-specific approach: Rusalov used his training in anthropology and his experience in working with his PhD supervisor, famous neuropsychologist Alexander Luria to analyse "partiality" of individual differences. After inheriting the Laboratory of Differential Psychology and Differential Psychophysiology (Institute of Psychology of Russian Academy of Sciences) from Nebylitzyn, he recorded EEGs and measured evoked potentials, absolute thresholds in visual, auditory, and tactile modalities, strengths of excitation and mobility in auditory and visual modalities, problem solving in deterministic and probabilistic conditions, and the speed of solving problems using a variety of intellectual tests. He also measured endurance (he called it `ergonicity`, i.e. the ability to sustain a prolonged activity) using the time spent attempting to solve unsolvable problems and the number of times that the subject gave up while attempting to solve such a task. Rusalov (1989) concluded that temperament traits are activity-specific: the energetic level or tempo of performance might differ for the same individual when engaged in physical, social or intellectual activities. Therefore, aspects of performance in these activities should be assessed and analyzed separately according to these three types of activity at least. For example, someone who enjoys performing prolonged and/or intense physical work might tire of social conversations very quickly; likewise, a fast-talking person might not necessarily be able to manipulate objects swiftly or perform rapid mental calculations, and so on.

All versions of the STQ therefore, share the same property: they differentiate between temperament traits related to physical, socio-verbal and mental aspects of behavioral regulation (activity-specific approach).

Models and versions of the STQ

The STQ has several versions, which are based on two models of the structure of temperament: Rusalov`s model and Trofimova`s model. Both models and all modern versions have 12 temperament scales.

Rusalov`s  model  (Rusalov, 1997, 2004, Rusalov & Trofimova, 2007):

Rusalov`s model, presented in The Extended and Short versions of the  Structure of Temperament Questionnaire, uses 12 scales, which are grouped by 3 types of activities and 4 dynamical aspects of activities:

Fig. 1. Rusalov`s  model of the structure of temperament using 12 temperament scales

 

Dynamical aspects

Types of activities:

`Ergonicity` (endurance, or the ability to sustain prolonged activity)

Plasticity

(the ability to effectively change a course of action in short time)

Tempo

(how fast an individual can perform the activity)

Emotionality (sensitivity to failure or success in a given activity)

Intellectual

Intellectual Ergonicity

Intellectual Plasticity

Intellectual Tempo

Intellectual Emotionality

Social-verbal

Social Ergonicity

Social Plasticity

Social Tempo

Social Emotionality

Physical

Motor Ergonicity

Motor Plasticity

Motor Tempo

Motor Emotionality

There are two versions based on this model: an Extended STQ (STQ-150) and a Short STQ (STQ-26).

The Extended STQ is a 150-item self-report measure with 144 items assigned to 12 temperament scales (12 items each), 1 validity scale (6 items), and 6 indexes, which combine these scales. The values on each of temperament scales vary between 12 and 48. The validity scale is designed to measure a social desirability tendency. The value on this scale varies from 6 and 24, and protocols having a score higher than 17 on this scale are considered to be invalid.

There was also an initial version of Rusalov`s model, STQ-105, which used the same items and scales as the 8 scales of the STQ-150 (Extended) version, with the exception of the three scales related to intellectual aspects of activities (Intellectual Ergonicity, Intellectual Plasticity, Intellectual Tempo, Intellectual Emotionality). Rusalov upgraded his model to 12 (4 x 3) components implemented in his Extended Structure of Temperament Questionnaire (STQ) in the mid-1990-s.

Administration of the Extended STQ in practice was rather time-consuming, so Rusalov and Trofimova agreed to develop shorter, more compact versions of the STQ, which would be more suitable for screening purposes in clinical, organizational, vocational and educational settings. The items with the highest item-total correlations were selected for these versions. Rusalov developed the Short version of the STQ, and Trofimova developed the Compact version of the STQ (STQ-77). The Short STQ (STQ-26) is composed of 2 out of 12 items on each scale of the Extended STQ, including the validity scale. This version was adapted for the assessment of adults, teenagers, preschool and early school children (Rusalov, 2004).

Rusalov VM. 1997 Oprosnik formal’no-dynamicheskih svoystv individual’nosti. [Questionnaire of formal-dynamical properties of individual. Manual.] Moscow: Russian Academy of sciences, IPAN.

Vorobieva EV. 2004. Modern psychogenetic studies of intelligence and theory of motivation for achievements. J Appl Psychol 3 53–59.

Rusalov, V.M. & Trofimova, I.N. (2007) The Structure of temperament and its measurement. PSP: Psychological Services Press, Toronto.

Vasyura SA. 2008. Psychology of male and female communicative activity. Spanish J Psychol, 11, 289–300. doi:10.1017/s1138741600004327.

Trofimova, I. (2009) Exploration of the benefits of an activity-specific test of temperament. Psychological Reports, 105, 643-658. See PDF

Trofimova I. 2010 Exploration of the activity-specific model of temperament in four cultures. Intern J Psychol Psychol Ther 10/1:79-95.

 

Trofimova`s model

(Rusalov & Trofimova, 2007; Trofimova, 2010b, 2010c, 2016, 2018, Trofimova & Sulis, 2010, 2011)

Trofimova re-worked the arrangement of the dimensions of temperament into functional groups, based on Luria's model of 3 neuroanatomic functional "blocks" regulating human behavior. These blocks are represented as columns in her model, and temperament traits are presented as regulatory subsystems playing specific functional roles in various aspects of the construction of an action:

Fig. 2. Trofimova`s  model of the structure of temperament with 12 temperament traits ("Functional Ensemble of Temperament, FET") that is the basis of the ("Compact") STQ-77.

The FET model links temperament traits to neurotransmitter systems in the following pattern :

Bold shadowed text highlights the names of temperament traits and their abbreviations. Blue font highlights neurotransmitter systems. Note: 5-HT: serotonin; DA: dopamine; NE: noradrenalin; ACh: acetylcholine; GH: Growth Hormone; SOM: Somatostatin; PRL: prolactin; OXY: oxytocin; SubP: Substance P; NPY: Neuropeptide Y; NP: neuropeptides; KOPr, MOPr, DOPr: kappa-, mu- and delta-opioid receptors correspondingly.

Functional aspects of behavior:

Behavioral orientation

to types of reinforcers:

(NE+...)

Dynamical aspects

Preferred speed of integration of actions (DA+…)

Energetic aspects:

The ability to sustain prolonged and/or intense activities: (ACh, 5-HT+…)

Implicit, more probabilistic,

Mental aspects

... to learning causality and probabilities of events

Sensitivity to Probabilities

PRO

NE+DA

(in generation of new behavioral programs in changing situations)

Plasticity

PL

DA+5-HT

(Sustained Attention)

Intellectual (Mental) Endurance

ERI

NE, ACh

Explicit, more deterministic:

Social-verbal aspects

to others people’s motivation and feelings

Empathy-autism

EMP

NE+OXY, VSP

(speed of pre-learned social-verbal elements of actions)

Social Tempo TMS

DA+ PRL, OXY

(Sociability)

Social-verbal Endurance

ERS

5-HT+NP, OXY

Physical-motor aspects

to physical sensations and to an increase of HPA arousal

Sensation Seeking

SS

NE+NPY/SubP

(speed of using pre-learned physical elements of actions)

Motor-Physical Tempo

TMM

DA+PRL+NP

 

Motor-Physical Endurance

 

ERM

5-HT+ACh, NP

Emotional amplifier /appraisal of orientational, dynamical and energetic aspects

Low tolerance of novelty and uncertainty, sensory alertness Neuroticism

KOPr→NA-HPA, KOPr>MOPr

Premature integration of actions, behavioral reactivity

Impulsivity

DOPr→(DA, MOPr, CREB)

(Over?)-approval of current

actions (or of its absence

Self-confidence

MOPr→(5-HT,DA) MOPr>KOPr

 

This model is called the Functional Ensemble of Temperament, because it considers ensemble-like interaction of neurotransmitters in regulation of temperament traits (i.e. there is no one-to-one correspondence between a single neurotransmitter and a single trait). It also views temperament traits as reflecting functional aspects of behavior in a diversity of situations:

* three dynamical aspects of the construction of an action (energetic, dynamic and orientational), presented here as three columns.

* similarly to Rusalov`s model, this model differentiates between physical-motor and verbal-social aspects of well-determined activities, and considers the probabilistic traits of temperament (3 top traits) as related to the mental, intellectual aspects of activities. Such differentiation is in line with the neuroanatomic localization of control over motor coordination (via parietal cortex), verbal functions (via left temporal cortex) and mental functions (via frontal cortex). Note: It is simplistic to associate the performance of social, physical and intellectual activities with precisely demarcated anatomic structures in the brain, given that any activity is performed by an ensemble of structures. It is reasonable, however, to suggest that `membership` in these ensembles changes with a change in the primary type of activity.

* two levels of situational complexity: high level, which requires a greater probabilistic tuning of behavior using higher cortical functions, and level of learned or simple (deterministic) situations, which allows an individual to rely primarily on well-learned habits. The top row in the Figure addresses probabilistic situations (high uncertainty), and the two middle rows of 6 traits relate to the more defined (deterministic) aspects of actions.

* two levels of situational emergency, associated with the degree of involvement of emotional response (whether or not an emotional amplifier is needed in the case of insufficient capacity to resolve the situation); these two levels divide the traits into the groups of Emotionality (the lower row with 3 traits) and Activity (the top 9 traits).

Trofimova`s model of the structure of temperament is presented in the Compact version of the Structure of Temperament Questionnaire (STQ-77), which consists of 12 temperament scales (6 items each), and a validity scale (5 items), i.e. in total 77 items. STQ-77 has adult and Early Childhood versions.

Versions in other languages: The Extended and the Compact versions were adapted to five languages: English, Russian, Chinese, Polish and Urdu (Rusalov & Trofimova, 2007). The Compact, STQ-77 was translated to 12 languages. You can download paper-pencil pdf forms and Excel files associated with the the STQ-77 version here.   

 

Rusalov, V.M. & Trofimova, I.N. (2007) The Structure of temperament and its measurement. PSP: Psychological Services Press, Toronto.

Trofimova, I. (2010) Questioning the "general arousal" models. Open Behavioral Science and Psychology, 4, 1-8. DOI: 10.2174/1874230001004010001 http://bentham-open.com/contents/pdf/TOBSJ/TOBSJ-4-1.pdf

Trofimova, I. (2010). An investigation into differences between the structure of temperament and the structure of personality. American Journal of Psychology. 123, 4, 467-480.  DOI: 10.5406/amerjpsyc.123.4.0467  PDF

Trofimova, I. & Sulis W. (2010). The lability of behavior as a marker of comorbid depression and anxiety. Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology, 1, 3, 190-199. DOI: 10.4236/abb.2010.13027. See PDF

Trofimova, I. & Sulis W. (2011). Is temperament activity-specific? Validation of the Structure of Temperament Questionnaire  -  Compact (STQ-77). International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy, 11(3), 389-400. PDF

Rusalov, V.M., Trofimova, I.N. (2011). Representation of psychological types in various models of temperament (О представленности типов психической деятельности в различныхмоделях темперамента). Psychological Journal, 32, 3, 74-84. PDF

Rusalov, V.M. (2012) Temperament in the structure of human individuality: psychophysiological studies. In Russian. Moscow, IPRAS, Russia.

Trofimova, I. (2016) The interlocking between functional aspects of activities and a neurochemical model of adult temperament. In: Arnold, M. C (Ed.) Temperaments: Individual Differences, Social and Environmental Influences and Impact on Quality of Life. Nova Science Publishers, Inc., NY. pp.77-147

Trofimova, I. & Christiansen, J. (2016) Coupling of temperament traits with mental illness in four age groups. Psychological Reports, 118, 2. DOI 10.1177/0033294116639430. PDF

Trofimova, I. & Robbins, T.W. (2016) Temperament and arousal systems: a new synthesis of differential psychology and functional neurochemistry. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 64, 382–402. DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.03.008. PDF

Trofimova, I. & Sulis W. (2016a). Benefits of distinguishing between physical and social-verbal aspects of behaviour: an example of generalized anxiety. Frontiers in Psychology, 7:338. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00338 PDF

Trofimova, I. & Sulis, W. (2016b). A study of the coupling of FET temperament traits with Major Depression. Frontiers in Psychology, 7: 1848. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01848. PDF

Trofimova, I. & Sulis W. (2018). There is more to mental illness than just negative affect: comprehensive temperament profiles in depression and anxiety. BMC Psychiatry. 18:125. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-018-1695-x

Trofimova, I. (2018). Functionality vs dimensionality in psychological taxonomies, and a puzzle of emotional valence. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Biology, 383/1744. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2017.0167

Validation history of the STQ

Evidence for construct, concurrent and discriminatory validity of the STQ-105, STQ-150 and STQ-77 was demonstrated through significant correlations with the following measures:

v     Pavlovian Temperamental Survey (PTS)

v     Big Five Questionnaire (NEO-PI)

v     Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ)

v     I7 Impulsiveness Questionnaire (Eysenck, S. et al., 1985) (I-7)

v     Rogers adaptivity scale

v     State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI)

v     Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale (MAS)

v     Rosenzveig Test

v     Motivation in Achievements Test

v     Motivation of professional choices measure

v     Liri Interpersonal Relations Test

v     Cattell 16 Personality Factors Test (16PF)

v     Wechsler IQ test

v     Gotshield IQ test

v     Shepard IQ test

v     Speed of reading

v     Auditory and visual sensitivity

v     Alcohol impact

v     Torrance Nonverbal Test of Creative Thinking

v     Dembo-Hoppe Level of aspiration

v     Dissociative Experiences Scale

v     Zuckerman Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS)

v     Rotter Locus of Control Scale (LOC)

v     EEG data

v     25 measures of Mobility and Plasticity

v     Verbal activity measures

v     Hamilton Depression Inventory (HDI)

v     Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)

v     Symptom Checklist (SCL-90)

v     high-school grades

More specifically, during the experimental validation of the Extended STQ the performance by participants on the following measures was compared with scores on STQ scales in a series of studies in the 1980-90s: speed of writing, reading and speed of generation of words, maximal and optimal tempo of performance in sensory-motor tasks and intellectual (including unsolvable) tasks, performance on nonverbal tasks, with which participants were unfamiliar, rigidity of perception in tactile and visual modalities, duration of the switch between one way of solving the task and another, mobility in attention, variability in line drawing (Rusalov, 1979, 1997, 2004; Rusalov & Trofimova, 2007).

Ergonicity scales of the STQ correlated positively with Eysenck Personality Questionnaire`s Extraversion scale (Rusalov, 1989; Brebner & Stough, 1993, Zin`ko, 2006), with the Big-Five Extraversion scale (Bodunov, Bezdenezhnykh & Alexandrov, 1996; Rusalov & Trofimova, 2007), with Strelau`s PTS Strength of Excitation scale (Ruch, Angleitner, & Strelau, 1991; Bodunov et. al., 1996; Strelau, 1999), with Torrance` Nonverbal Tests of Creative Thinking (Rusalov & Poltavtzeva, 1997), Rotter`s Locus of Control scale (Byzova, 1997), with goal-driven choice of profession as opposed to accessibility of profession (Rusalov, Rusalova, & Strel`nikova, 2000), and with the Motivation for Achievement scale (Vorobieva, 2004).

Plasticity scales of the STQ were found to have significant positive correlation with Strelau`s PTS Mobility scale (Ruch et.al, 1991, Bodunov et. al., 1996, Strelau, 1999; Rathee & Singh, 2001), with adaptivity of behaviour in Dembo-Hoppe Level of Aspiration experiment (Zin`ko, 2006), with 20 behavioral and experimental measures of plasticity  (Rusalov & Kalashnikov, 1988), with 8 measures of plasticity (Biryukov, 1992), with Torrance Nonverbal Tests of Creative Thinking (Rusalov, Poltavtzeva,1997), Rogers Adaptivity scale (Drozdov, 1998), Rotter`s Locus of Control scale (Byzova, 1997) and with Motivation for Achievement scale (Vorobieva, 2004). Rathee and Singh (2001) reported a comparison of 25 measures of Mobility, including English STQ Plasticity and Tempo scales. The authors found high correlation of the Plasticity scales of the English version of the STQ with the Alteration task, Flexibility of attention, proof-reading ability, and the number of trials needed for a subject to reach the optimal reaction time after alteration of stimulus. Plasticity scales also positively correlated with Eysenck`s EPQ Extraversion scale (Rusalov, 1989, Brebner & Stough, 1993, Zinko, 2006), with Big-Five Extraversion scale (Dumenci, 1995, Bodunov et. al., 1996), with PTS Strength of Excitation scale (Ruch et.al, 1991, Strelau, 1999).

Tempo scales of the STQ were reported to have significant positive correlation with the Strelau`s PTS Mobility scale (Ruch et.al, 1991, Bodunov et. al., 1996, Strelau, 1999), and multiple Mobility measures used by Rathee and Singh (2001) and by Rusalov and Kalashnikova (1992). In Rathee and Singh (2001) study the scores on the scale of Motor Tempo of the STQ was correlated with EEG α-general speed, with the time taken to generate simultaneous contrast, duration of `after-image` reaction, with critical flicker fusion and with a size of uncertainty interval.

Scores on Emotionality scales of the STQ correlated positively with those on the Neuroticism scale of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (Rusalov, 1989; Brebner & Stough, 1993; Zin`ko, 2006), with the Big-Five Neuroticism scale (Dumenci, 1995; Bodunov, et. al., 1996), on the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (Popov, 2006), with Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale (Popov, 2006; Zin`ko, 2006), and use of alcohol (Bodunov, et. al. 1996), and correlated negatively with scores on the Dissociative Experiences Scale (Beere & Pica, 1995; Eputaev et al, 2003; Vasyura, 2008), the Rosenzveig test (Zin`ko, 2006), PTS Strength of Excitation and Strength of Inhibition scales (Ruch et. al, 1991; Strelau, 1999), scores on A, H, Q2 and Q4 factors of the Cattell`s16-PF inventory (Vasyura, 2008), Torrance` Nonverbal Tests of Creative Thinking (Rusalov & Poltavtzeva, 1997), and the Motivation for Achievement scale (Vorobieva, 2004).

The STQ scales, which measure dynamic aspects of intellectual activity, had positive correlations with such measures of intelligence as the Wechsler, Shepard and Gotshield Figure tests, including the tasks measuring classification abilities (`Excluding the third`) and plasticity in nonverbal thinking (Rusalov & Dudin, 1995; Rusalov & Naumova, 1999). Intellectual activity scales had positive correlations with scores on the Locus of Control scale (Byzova, 1997), and goal-oriented choice of profession (Rusalov et.al., 2000), and negative correlations with the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (Popov, 2006), Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale (Popov, 2006; Zin`ko, 2006) and the access-oriented choice of profession (Rusalov et. al., 2000). Intellectual plasticity also correlated with PTS-mobility scale (Trofimova, 2009), with 25 measures of mobility in Rathee and Singh`s study (2001) and with the school grades of high-school students (Gritzenko, 1996).

In terms of the scales measuring the social-verbal aspects of activities, the STQ-150 scales were compared to the experimentally measured time of performance on a task involving the classification of common words. The most significant correlations between the speed on this task and the scales were found for the scales of Social Tempo, Social Endurance and Social Plasticity (r = -.20, -.18, and -.14, respectively) (Trofimova, 2009).

In an experimental study of a content validity of the STQ-150, the scales of this test were compared to the semantic perception of participants, via comparisons of contrast temperament groups. Participants with higher Motor Endurance or Social Endurance gave significantly more positive ratings to common abstract concepts used in the Semantic Projective method, in comparison to the participants with lower Endurance. Participants with high scores on the three Emotionality scales demonstrated significantly more negative estimations of common abstract objects than their contrast temperament group. Moreover, people with high emotionality did not have a universal negative bias in their perception, and their negative affect was specific to words describing potential areas of failure: people with higher Social Emotionality perceived social objects more negatively than other objects; people with higher Motor Emotionality perceived time-related objects more negatively than other objects  (Trofimova, 1999, 2013)

Factor structure of the STQ-150:

Factor analysis of the Russian version of the STQ-150 consistently showed four factors: Motor-physical activity (which includes Motor Ergonicity, Motor Plasticity, Motor Tempo), Social-Verbal activity (which includes Social Ergonicity, Social Plasticity, Social Tempo), Intellectual Activity (which includes Intellectual Ergonicity, Intellectual Plasticity, Intellectual Tempo) and Emotionality (3 scales of Emotionality) (Rusalov, 1997, 2004, Rusalov & Trofimova, 2007).

The administration of the English version of the STQ to American, Australian, and Canadian samples showed that the factor structure of this version is similar to the Russian language version, and that the English version possesses good reliability and internal consistency (Stough, Brebner & Cooper, 1991; Bishop, Jacks & Tandy, 1993; Dumenci, 1995, 1996; Bishop & Hertenstein, 2004; Rusalov, 2004; Rusalov & Trofimova, 2007; Trofimova, 2009).

Chinese (STQ-C), Urdu (STQ-U) and Polish (STQ-P) Extended versions of the STQ, administered among corresponding populations, showed reliability coefficients in the range 0.70-0.86, item-total correlations in the range 0.42-0.73, and all versions demonstrated robust factor structures similar to those of the original version (Trofimova, 2010a).

 

During the experimental validation of the Compact STQ (STQ-77) the studies of reliability and content, concurrent and discriminant validity showed that the reliability of these scales is in the range of .70-.86.

Due to the composition of the STQ-77, being partially based on the items and scales of the Extended STQ, which were already validated (see above), most efforts in validation of the STQ-77 were focused on the validity of new scales, discriminant validity of all scales and on the factor structure of the STQ-77.

Extraversion, as measured by the Big Five (NEO-FFI), correlates with the Social Endurance and the Impulsivity scales (r = .46 and .52, respectively). The Neuroticism scales of the NEO-FFI and the STQ-77 have positive correlation of r = .38, and all these values show large effect sizes (Trofimova, 2010b). The Openness to Experience scale of Big Five correlates most significantly with the STQ-77 scales of Intellectual Endurance (r =.31), Sensitivity to Probabilities (r =.40), Impulsivity (r =.25) and Empathy (r =.52). The scale of Agreeableness of Big Five correlates most significantly with the Empathy scale of the STQ-77 (r =.46). The scale of Conscientiousness of Big Five has the most significant correlation with the STQ-77 scales of Motor Endurance (r =.35) and Intellectual Endurance (r =.34).

Statistically significant positive correlations were found between the new STQ-77 scales of Impulsivity, Sensitivity to Sensations, Empathy and the corresponding scales of Impulsiveness (r = .51), Venturesomeness (.64) and Empathy (.73) of Eysenck`s I-7 questionnaire (Trofimova and Sulis, 2009).

STQ-77 Sensitivity to Sensation scale showed significant positive correlation with the Impulsivity scale (r =.68) of the of Eysenck`s I-7 questionnaire (Trofimova & Sulis, 2009) and with the Zuckerman Sensation Seeking Scale (r =.37) (Trofimova, 2010b).

STQ-77 scales showed activity-specific correlations with high school grades (Trofimova & Sulis, 2009): the grades in athletics have significant positive correlations with the STQ-77 scales of Motor Endurance and Motor Tempo (r = .53 and .45, respectively), the grades in verbal assignments correlate positively with Social Endurance and with Social Tempo scales (r = .28 and r = .27, respectively), and the grades in math and science correlate with the scales of Intellectual Endurance and Plasticity (r = .26 and .22, respectively) (Trofimova and Sulis, 2009).

In an experimental study of the content validity of the STQ-77 using Semantic Projection Method the scales of this test were compared to the semantic perception of participants, via comparisons of contrast temperament groups (Trofimova, 2013). Similarly to the results of validation of the STQ-150, participants with higher Motor and Social Endurance gave significantly more positive ratings to abstract common concepts than participants with lower Endurance scores. Significant positive bias in estimations of men with higher Motor Tempo (TMM) was found in their evaluation of `timing` concepts. People with high scores on the Neuroticism scale demonstrated significantly more negative estimations of common abstract objects than their contrast temperament group, and their negative affect was specific to words describing potential areas of failure. Moreover, in this experimental study people with higher scores on the Sensitivity to Sensation (SS) scale of the STQ-77 gave more negative estimations of routine-related (work- and reality-related) concepts, than participants with lower SS scores .  

In another study, the Social Tempo scale of the STQ-77 was found to have a statistically significant correlation with the time, which people spent on completing two personality questionnaires (r = -.31) (Trofimova & Sulis, 2009). This scale, as well as the Self-Confidence scale of the STQ-77 also had significant negative correlations with the time of performance on a task involving the classification of common verbal material (r =-.36 and -.29, respectively) (Trofimova, 2010c).

Factor structure of the STQ-77:

The Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the Compact STQ (STQ-77) using data from a Canadian sample shows a satisfactory fit of the traditional 4-factor STQ activity-specific model, grouping the scales to the factors of Motor, Social, Intellectual activity and Emotionality and having 2 correlated residuals (from the new scale of Sensitivity to Sensations to Impulsivity and Neuroticism scales) with the CFI > .90, RMSEA < .07 and RMSR < .06 (Trofimova, 2010b).

 

* - opposite trait

Temperament vs. Personality

There is often confusion, even among psychologists, on the differences between temperament and personality.

Historically the concept and the study of temperament emerged in the European (UK included) tradition within the discipline of medicine about 2500 years ago, and then in differential psychophysiology from the beginning of the 20th century. The European tradition primarily used experimental methods on adult human subjects, children human subjects and animals. This tradition started from the work of Hippocrates and Galen and continued in the work of Kant, Pavlov, Heymans, Wundt, Stern, Lasursky, Jung, Adler, Kretschmer, Spränger, Teplov, Nebylizyn, Eysenck, Thayer, Gray, Tellegen, Rusalov, Netter, Watson and Tellegen, Strelau and Zavadsky, etc (references were removed). The majority of these authors suggested that temperament has at least two major dimensions, Emotionality (reactivity) and Activity (energetic aspect).

The North-American tradition of temperament research was scattered within three different disciplines: developmental psychology, psychiatry and personality theory using a lexical approach. Child temperament was studied within developmental psychology from the 1970s and is based on the parental and guardian observations of children (Thomas & Chess, Buss & Plomin, Windle & Lerner, Derryberry & Rothbart). Since then North American psychologists, especially in California, often consider temperament as applicable primarily to children. Adult temperament was analyzed within clinical research, uncovering a consistency of neuroticism (Kagan, Cloninger, Akiskal), sensation and novelty seeking (Zuckerman, Cloninger) and energetic traits (Cloninger, Akiskal) (references were removed).

A third line of temperament research in N. America emerged in the lexical approach to studying personality, which, after the use of factor analysis of personality descriptors, described 5 dimensions (factors) of personality (Fiske 1949; Tupes & Christal, 1961; Norman, 1963; Borgatta, 1964; Digman & Takemoto-Chock, 1981; Goldberg, 1993; McCrae & Costa, 1997). Since the appearance of the Big Five, Eysenck noted that the two largest factors in the Big Five model of personality were similar to the two basic temperament dimensions (i.e. Extraversion and Neuroticism) and overall just reflect aspects of socialization, rather than dynamical aspects of behavioral regulation. Lexical approach theorists, however, hesitate to admit that their approach did not bring anything new that temperament researchers had not known already for decades, at least in Europe. They continue promoting the two largest factors in the Big Five model as dimensions of personality, and not temperament, but naming it `biologically based personality traits.

Personality researchers often use the argument that personality is a product of integration between temperament (or other biological factors) and socio-cultural factors, and therefore there is no possibility to separate these factors. However, sex, age and mental illness (also based on neurochemical and physiological systems) interact with socio-cultural factors as well so they also contribute to personality but we don’t blend these concepts with personality. There are benefits to keeping our concepts differentiated. Temperament, in line with its original concept, is defined here as neurochemically-based individual differences noted both, in pre-cultural individuals (animals, infants) and adult humans, whereas personality is a socio-cultural concept describing individual differences primarily in humans. Temperament traits include consistent formal-dynamical individual differences in behavioral regulation (endurance, speed of behavioural integration, reactivity, sensitivity to specific reinforcers, emotionality), whereas personality classically is considered as comprising the content characteristics of human behavior (such as values, attitudes, habits, preferences, personal history, self-image etc).

Allport (1927), the father of the lexical approach that the Five Factor model of personality is based on, warned about the danger of mixing temperament with personality:  ...There is also confusion between personality and the factors underlying personality. Tests for physique, for intelligence, or for temperament are not tests of personality... If, then, personality is the object of inquiry, traits of personality should not be confused with qualities or quantities of intelligence, physique, or temperament.`

The concept of temperament was employed in the medical and social sciences for 2500 years and was a subject of intense experimental studies during all of the 20th century. There is no reason to make a confusing overlap of this concept with the personality concept now only because its use would otherwise compromise the fame of the Big Five model. After all, the Big Five model is based not on experiments, but rather on language descriptors, which by definition are created through social interaction and designed for social interaction. As we have far more words describing the degree of engagement of an individual in social interactions than we have words describing other important tasks, the main dimensions in the factor analysis of social descriptors will be biased in favour of social compliance vs. withdrawal differentiation.

Structure of personality traits (for example, in the FFM model) does not represent the structure of biologically-based traits, as temperament. Personality is the social level of integration of individual differences and it is affected by pro-social biases, which highlight some traits and downplay others. For example, FFM dimensions resemble societal expectations: sociability, assertiveness, conformity, obedience. Yet, individual differences such as physical endurance, plasticity of actions, sensitivity to specific reinforcers remain in the shadows. In spite of the rather aggressive spread of the FFM in psychology and its claim for describing “human universals”, it is often forgotten that the FFM is primarily a lexical model of peer perception (i.e. of how people see each other and express it in words (Trofimova, 2014), not a model of biologically-based differences. The lexical nature of this model together with people’s subjectivity inevitably create several language biases in the resulting factor structure. The massive number of cross-cultural studies is often used as an argument for the validation of this model, but these studies are designed to find universal features between cultures, not the structure of individual differences. What is being validated in these studies, therefore, are only the pro-social bias of language, the negativity bias of emotionality (emerging as Extraversion and Neuroticism factors) and people’s conflation of traits in their social perception, not taxonomy of biologically-based differences.

Another factor promoting the FFM was the use of factor analysis (FA) and its derivatives, such as structural equation modeling (SEM). These are the most popular mathematical methods in differential psychology (psychology of individual differences), and their use by psychometrists is often confused with the task of classifying individual differences. FA is not used in the mature sciences (biology, cosmology, chemistry, medicine and even mathematics itself) for their classifications due to the weaknesses of FA: linearity (even so-called nonlinear FA uses linear correlations), an incapacity to deal with highly integrated systems, etc. As described in our Editorial, it has been 100 years since the fist objections to using FA for psychological taxonomies emerged, and criticism of FA models (such as FFM) has continued throughout the century [112-113]. When everything is interdependent in biological processes, a correlation-based analysis collapses the complexity of measurements of these systems into a very limited number of dimensions which are not very useful for practical considerations.

The requirement of independence of scales is very convenient for mathematical purposes and is important in psychometric practice except for the fact that it doesn’t really exist in natural systems. For example, the independence of the dimensions in the Positive/Negative Affect model appears to be due, not to independence of the underlying regulatory systems, but rather to the fact that these interconnected systems act differently in response to positive or negative events. The priorities of psychometrists and differential psychologists, therefore, differ greatly, and psychometrists or statisticians are the last people to be consulted when developing taxonomies of biologically-based traits. Unfortunately this is not the case: there is a commonly held view in differential psychology that FA results of psychometric studies (i.e. how the items or scales in psychological tests were grouped) provide valid evidence of associations between real neurophysiological processes. This is, perhaps, a reflection of too much public trust being given to self-report tests and verbal descriptors in psychology, and too little awareness of their profound methodological weaknesses in comparison to neurophysiologic experiments. With the development of psychometrics (which demands independence of scales in psychological tests), FA became dominant in differential psychology. These days most of the discussion in this field cycles around the FA structure of self-report tests obtained from various populations (eg. what facet belongs to what factor as if this facet (or factor) relates to a real neurophysiological system). The confusion of mistaking psychometric evidence for experimental evidence is very wide-spread, “trumping” [1] psychometrically-derived models, such as the recent FFM, to a dominant position in psychology. As Norman and Streiner [114, p.144] noted, “factor analysis …- when applied blindly and without regard for its limitations, it is about as useful and informative as tarot cards.” Indeed, in spite of the ability to group variables in a way that resembles something real, like tarot cards, FA cannot enable us to differentiate between the components of integrated systems. That is what happened with the two major dimensions of psychological taxonomies, leading basically to a deadlock that appears as a single “doing good – doing bad” dimension.

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[1] We can use the term “trumping” in science for cases in the sociology of science associated with the aggressive spread of rather weak theories while avoiding stronger opponents. A trump card in card games refers to a card of low value that can take a leading position, overpowering more deserving cards merely because of a temporary advantage. In our time, when educational systems around the word suffer from insufficient funding of biological studies and evolutionary research, it creates an advantage for relying upon easy-to-use statistical methods and simplified models, rather than experimental research.

 

References (only STQ-related)

 

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Rusalov, V. M, Rusalova, M. N., & Strel`nikova, E. V. (2000) Temperament cheloveka i osobennosti vibora mejdu veroyatnostyu dostijeniya tseli i ee tzennostyu [Temperament of man and peculiarities of choice between the probability of goal achievement and its value. Zhurnal Vysshey Nervnoy Deyatel`nosti [Journal of Higher Nervous Activity], 50(3), 388. [in Russian]

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Testing with the STQ-77: forms in pdf and Excel files for processing

 

Join us in our 10 year anniversary of the Compact STQ-77 and 30 year anniversary of the first STQ: use the STQ-77 for free!

These forms are for testing of adults (individuals aged 16-120):

STQ-77C-S (Chinese-Simplified) paper-pencil form in  pdfSTQ-77C-S (Chinese-Simplified) Excel file (testing, processing, data collection)

STQ-77Du (Dutch) paper-pencil form in  pdfSTQ-77Du (Dutch) Excel file (testing, processing, data collection)

STQ-77E (English) paper-pencil form in  pdfSTQ-77E (English) Excel file (testing, processing, data collection)

STQ-77Es (Estonian) paper-pencil form in  pdfSTQ-77Es (Estonian) Excel file (testing, processing, data collection)

STQ-77Fi (Finnish) paper-pencil form in  pdfSTQ-77Fi (Finnish) Excel file (testing, processing, data collection)

STQ-77Fr (French) paper-pencil form in  pdfSTQ-77Fr (French) Excel file (testing, processing, data collection)

STQ-77Ge (German) paper-pencil form in  pdfSTQ-77Ge (German) Excel file (testing, processing, data collection)

STQ-77Hi (Hindu) paper-pencil form in  pdfSTQ-77Hi (Hindu) Excel file (testing, processing, data collection)

STQ-77It (Italian) paper-pencil form in  pdfSTQ-77It (Italian) Excel file (testing, processing, data collection)

STQ-77No (Norwegian) paper-pencil form in  pdfSTQ-77No (Norwegian) Excel file (testing, processing, data collection)

STQ-77Po (Polish) paper-pencil form in  pdf,  STQ-77Po (Polish) Excel file (testing, processing, data collection)

STQ-77Pt (Portuguese) paper-pencil form in  pdf,  STQ-77Pt (Portuguese) Excel file (testing, processing, data collection)

STQ-77Ru (Russian) paper-pencil form in  pdfSTQ-77Ru (Russian) Excel file (testing, processing, data collection)

STQ-77Se (Serbian) paper-pencil form in  pdfSTQ-77Se (Serbian) Excel file (testing, processing, data collection)

STQ-77Sp (Spanish) paper-pencil form in  pdfSTQ-77Sp (Spanish) Excel file (testing, processing, data collection)

STQ-77Sw (Swedish) paper-pencil form in  pdfSTQ-77Sw (Swedish) Excel file (testing, processing, data collection)

STQ-77Ur (Urdu) paper-pencil form in  pdf,  STQ-77Ur (Urdu) Excel file (testing, processing, data collection)

These forms are for testing of children (pilot versions) (individuals aged 0-15); these forms are to be completed by children's guardians:

STQ-77E-C1 (English), Early Childhood, age 0-3 Excel file (testing, processing, data collection) - pilot; pdf form

STQ-77E-C2 (English), Childhood, age 4-7 Excel file (testing, processing, data collection) - pilot; pdf form

STQ-77E-C4 (English), Teens, age 12-15 pdf Letter form, pdf A4 form, Excel file (testing, processing, data collection)

STQ-77R-C3 (Russian) Childhood, age 7-11 Letter, pdf form, pdf A4 form, Excel file (testing, processing, data collection)

STQ-77R-C4 (Russian) Teens, age 12-15 Letter pdf form, pdf A4 form, form,  Excel file (testing, processing, data collection)

 

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