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Gülay Karadere (Dipl.-Psych.)
+49 (0)651 201-4934
The B5T® Big Five personality test measures the five basic personality dimensions neuroticism (N), extraversion (E), conscientiousness (C), agreeableness (A) and openness (O) as well as the three basic motives achievement motive (LM), power motive (MM) and security motive (SM). There are a total of 72 items. Reliability: The reliability of the scales ranges between Cronbach's alpha = .76 and alpha = .90. Validity: The factorial validity could be confirmed in several large samples. In addition, significant correlations with education, occupation, and income were found. Further evidence is provided by more than 100 bachelor's and master's theses that have been written since the test was published. Norms: The test was re-normed in 2020 using a large representative sample (n = 14,383). Norms by gender and age groups are available.
Leibniz Institute for Psychology (ZPID). (2021). Open Test Archive: B5T®. Big-Five-Persönlichkeitstest. Available at: https://www.testarchiv.eu/en/test/9008218
Satow, L. (2021). B5T®. Big-Five-Persönlichkeitstest [Verfahrensdokumentation, Testdokumentation und Fragebogen deutsch, englisch, französisch, italienisch, spanisch]. In Leibniz-Institut für Psychologie (ZPID) (Hrsg.), Open Test Archive. Trier: ZPID.
Short Name B5T®
English Name Big Five Personality Inventory
Authors Satow, L.
Published in Test archive 2021
Copyright/Licence Copyright Author; CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0
Key words Five Factor Personality Model, Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openmindedness, Interpersonal Compatibility, Seriousness
Language versions deu eng ita spa fra
Construct Big Five
Application age 16 years and older
Item number 72 items
Subscales B5 personality dimensions: (1) neuroticism, (2) extraversion, (3) conscientiousness, (4) agreeableness, (5) openness; basic motive scales: (1) achievement motive, (2) power motive, (3) security motive; 1 control scale.
Application Time 15-20 min.
Interpretation time <1 min.
Reliability Internal consistency: Cronbach's alpha = .76-.90.
Validity Findings on factorial and incremental validity.
Norms N = 14 383 (2020); gender- and age-specific norms.
Applications Individual diagnostics, Personnel selection, Personnel development, Coaching, Research
The Big Five Personality Test (B5T®) was developed for assessing the five fundamental personality dimensions of Neuroticism (N), Extraversion (E), Conscientiousness (C), Agreeableness (A), and Openness (O) (Allport, 1937; Cattell, 1957, 1965; Eysenck, 1947; Goldberg, 1981, 1993; Norman, 1963; Tupes & Christal, 1961). With a convincing factorial structure and high reliability (Cronbach's alpha), the B5T® is shorter than previous inventories (McCrae & Costa, 2004) and is also suitable for use in a professional context (e.g., career counseling, personnel selection, personnel development, coaching).
Personality assessment according to the big five factor model and measurement of basic needs. The B5T® can be used in the following areas: Career counseling, coaching, clinical diagnostics, personnel selection, personnel development, and research and teaching.
The B5T is a psychometric questionnaire with 72 Likert items available as a paper pencil test, Excel test, and Online test. It includes the five fundamental personality dimensions of Neuroticism (N), Extraversion (E), Conscientiousness (C), Agreeableness (A), and Openness (O). To also measure the potential and direction of a person, the inventory was supplemented by three scales for capturing the basic needs for achievement (achievement motive), power (power motive) and security (security motive), and a control scale was included.
Background and Construction
The B5T® is a theoretically well-founded, Big Five personality inventory that has been developed based on classical test theory. The first version of the B5T® was constructed by Dr. Satow in 2010 and comprised 70 items (14 per personality dimension). The professional context has been a focus of this measure from its conception. All items were formulated as statements to which respondents indicate their agreement on four-point scales with response options ranging from 1 (does not apply at all) to 4 (applies exactly). Item formulations were carefully chosen to avoid that they are perceived as too private, inappropriate, or unpleasant. The 2010 version was later included in the Test Archive of the Leibniz Institute for Psychology (ZPID).
In 2012, the version was optimized based on a large sample (N = 5,520; Satow, 2012). In this version, the number of personality items could be reduced from 70 to 50 - with even better psychometric quality criteria.
To measure the potential and direction of a person’s development, three scales consisting of 6 items were added to assess an individual’s basic motives for achievement, power and influence, and security.
The 2020 version retains the 72 items of the 2012 version in their original formulations except for minor linguistic adjustments. New are a plausibility check to detect suspicious response patterns as well as English, French, Italian, and Spanish language versions of the B5T®. All language versions and further details are available at www.drsatow.de and in the Open Test Archive.
Empirical Examination and Criteria
Between June 2019 and July 2020, the B5T® was carried out a total of 23,912. After the gradual exclusion of non-usable cases, 21,048 data records remained in the validation sample. Most cases (n = 2,702) were excluded because people indicated that they “only wanted to try the test” or because they had already taken the test several times. Most of the persons in the validation sample were female (n = 13,123), between 20 and 30 years old (n = 7,547), had a high school diploma (n = 9,275), and were employed (n = 8,758). To validate the inventory, psychometric scale parameters (selectivity, Cronbach's alpha) and the interscale correlations were determined. The factorial structure of the Big Five scales and the motive scales was then validated using confirmatory factor analysis. Finally, the relationships between the scales and occupational status were analyzed.
Reliability: The reliability (Cronbach's alpha) for the Big Five scales ranged between α = .76 and .90 and for the motive scales between α = .71 and .81. Overall, there were hardly any deviations from the values determined in 2012. The exclusion of items would not have led to a further improvement in reliability for any scale.
Table 1 (see Downloads "Test description")
Validity: Interscale correlations. The interscale correlations provided indications of the validity of the B5T® scales. The highest correlations were found between the scales of achievement motive and power motive (r = .57) and between Neuroticism and the security motive (r = .45): Achievement-motivated people often also have a higher need for power and influence. Anxious, unstable people have a greater need for security and peace.
Structural validity. The scale model of the B5T® was validated with the strictest conceivable confirmatory factor analysis: Five factors, with each item being assigned to exactly one factor and the measurement errors (residuals) being uncorrelated. This model already achieved a good fit (CFI = .84; RMSEA = .07; SRMR = .07). DWLS was used as the fit function due to the four-level response options. Almost all items achieved factor loadings of ajk = .30 and higher. Four items achieved lower loadings. Overall, just as the exploratory factor analysis in 2012, the confirmatory factor analysis again confirmed the scale model of the B5T®.
In addition to the five Big Five scales, which are each measured with 10 items, the B5T® also includes three scales for the three basic motives: need for achievement (NA), need for power (NP), and need for security (NS). Strict confirmatory factor analysis was used to examine the scale model of these basic motives. The model achieved an exceptionally good fit (CFI = .96; RMSEA = .06; SRMR = .05). All items, except for one, exhibited factor loadings of ajk = .30 and higher on their respective scales. Also, the scale model of the basic motives was confirmed by a strict test (3 factors; one-to-one assignment of the items; uncorrelated residuals).
Relationship with occupation and income. As in 2012, with the current sample we found significant relationships with education, occupation, and income for all B5T® scales (figure 1). All differences were verified by analyses of variance and are highly significant, with p < 0.01. The differences are particularly characteristic (e.g., self-employed achieved the highest values for Openness (O) and the lowest for Neuroticism (N)). Students achieved the second highest values for Openness (O). Civil servants had the highest scores for Conscientiousness (C) and the second lowest scores for Neuroticism (N). Blue-collar workers and unemployed showed high scores for Neuroticism (N) but only low scores for Openness (O) and Extraversion (E).
Figure 1. Big Five Factors (z transformed) and Occupation (see Downloads "Test description")
Typical patterns were also found for the basic motives, speaking for the validity of these scales. For instance, the self-employed have the highest values for the power motive (NP) and the lowest for the security motive (NS). Students scored the highest for achievement motive (NA). Unemployed people showed the highest values for the security motive (NS) and the lowest for the achievement motive (NA).
Norms: Norms were calculated in 2020 based on a large sample and are available by gender and age for all language versions. The most recent norms can be found at www.drsatow.de.
For responding to all items, a four-point Likert format is used. The four-point Likert scale has the advantage that it does not allow participants the possibility to choose a “neutral,” middle response option. In addition, the four-point scale is easy to understand and can be answered quickly:
- Does not apply at all
- Rather does not apply
- Rather applies
- Applies exactly
Neuroticism scale (N)
Items M SD rit
I am a fearful person. 2.4 0.83 .69
I often feel insecure. 2.5 0.93 .81
I often feel an inner restlessness. 2.6 0.96 .73
I often worry unnecessarily. 2.9 0.93 .74
I think a lot about my future. 3.1 0.86 .57
I often feel overwhelmed by my feelings. 2.7 0.93 .69
I am often sad for no reason. 2.3 1.01 .75
I am often nervous. 2.5 0.89 .75
I am often torn apart by my feelings. 2.6 0.92 .74
I often feel uncertain about my decisions. 2.6 0.92 .72
Extraversion scale (E)
Items M SD rit
I enjoy being with other people. 3.0 0.81 .78
I can quickly spread a good mood. 2.8 0.82 .64
I am an adventurous person. 3.0 0.79 .68
I like to be the center of attention. 2.1 0.88 .55
Usually, I prefer to be by myself. (-) 2.5 0.88 .71
I am a loner. (-) 2.7 0.93 .70
I like to go to parties. 2.4 0.99 .62
I am active in many clubs. 1.6 0.83 .45
I am a talkative and communicative person. 3.0 0.86 .73
I am very sociable. 2.8 0.89 .81
Conscientiousness scale (C)
Items M SD rit
I am a very dutiful person. 3.2 0.78 .67
I always complete my tasks very accurately. 3.1 0.71 .70
Even as a child I was very neat. 2.2 0.96 .56
When I do things, I always take a systematic approach. 2.7 0.81 .66
I have my principles and stick to them. 2.9 0.75 .49
Even small fines make me uncomfortable. 2.6 1.06 .38
Even small sloppiness bothers me. 2.5 0.85 .59
I make sure the rules are being followed. 2.8 0.79 .65
Once I make a decision, I stick with it. 2.6 0.76 .44
I never make careless mistakes. 2.2 0.76 .51
Openness scale (O)
Items M SD rit
I always want to try new things. 2.9 0.81 .63
I am a curious person. 3.3 0.69 .60
I travel a lot to get to know new cultures. 2.4 1.01 .49
I would prefer everything to stay as it is. (-) 2.7 0.85 .48
I like to discuss things. 2.9 0.90 .49
I always enjoy learning new things. 3.3 0.69 .67
In my free time, I love to spend time with art, music, and literature. 2.6 0.98 .54
I am very interested in philosophical questions. 2.8 1.01 .57
I read a lot about scientific topics, new discoveries, or historical events. 2.6 1.02 .58
I have many ideas and a vast imagination. 3.1 0.80 .58
Agreeableness scale (A)
Items M SD rit
I make sure that I am always friendly. 3.3 0.68 .67
I am a polite person. 3.5 0.60 .64
I help others, even if it is not appreciated. 3.2 0.70 .60
I am frequently engaged in disputes with others. (-) 3.2 0.77 .52
I am a selfish person. (-) 3.0 0.84 .58
I always show gratitude if somebody helps me. 3.5 0.59 .57
I would never let my bad mood affect others. 2.5 0.82 .48
I can easily put my needs aside for others. 2.8 0.80 .58
I am very good at putting myself in somebody’s position. 3.3 0.75 .55
I get along well with others, even if they do not share my opinion. 2.9 0.71 .62
Need for Achievement scale (NA)
Items M SD rit
I have always felt the strong need to be the best according to my own standards. 2.9 0.90 .63
I have always felt a strong need for recognition and admiration. 2.6 0.89 .81
I would give up a lot for more admiration. 2.0 0.78 .69
I am happiest when many people admire me and like what I do. 2.6 0.86 .73
Deep inside, I long to be the best. 2.7 0.99 .77
I often dream of being famous. 2.0 0.96 .65
Need for Power scale (NP)
Items M SD rit
I often dream of making important decisions for politicians or other powerful people. 1.8 0.92 .74
If I had the choice, I would like to make decisions of great importance in my life. 2.5 0.95 .73
Deep inside, I long for power and influence. 2.2 0.93 .75
To have more influence, I would give up a lot of things. 2.0 0.74 .76
I am happiest when I can take responsibility and make important decisions. 2.6 0.86 .64
I understand people who say that there are things, that are more important than power and politics. (-) 1.7 0.75 .48
Need for Security scale (NS)
Items M SD rit
I have always felt a strong need for safety and quietness. 3.0 0.80 .74
If I had the choice, I would choose to live in security and peace. 3.2 0.76 .75
I would give up a lot for a safe life without any bad surprises. 2.5 0.81 .71
Deep inside, I long for safety and peacefulness. 3.2 0.76 .79
Often, I dream of a peaceful life without any unpleasant surprises. 2.8 0.94 .71
I am happiest when I feel safe. 3.2 0.74 .68
16 years or older.
15 to 20 minutes.
The B5T® was developed to measure the five basic personality dimensions (Big Five). The inventory was later expanded to include three scales to capture the basic needs for achievement, security, and power. After an initial validation in 2012, the inventory was subjected to another validation in 2020 using a large sample (N = 21,048). The scales achieved convincing psychometric parameters for reliability (Cronbach’s alphas between .76 and .90), which hardly differed from the parameters from 2012. Both the most selective items and the interscale correlations underline the content validity. The factorial structure could also be confirmed in confirmatory factor analyses. There were clear associations with education, occupation, and income, which also suggest that the inventory is suitable for use in a professional context. The self-employed, for example, achieved the highest values for Openness and need for power, but the lowest for Neuroticism (N). Civil servants had the highest scores for Conscientiousness (C) and the second lowest scores for Neuroticism (N). Students scored the highest for achievement motive (NA). Unemployed people had the highest values for the security motive (NS) and the lowest for the achievement motive (NA).
In summary, the B5T® has been successfully validated, and its scales have been confirmed in a sample of more than 21,000 respondents. The inclusion of three further scales for assessing the basic needs for achievement, security, and power makes it possible to measure not only the phenotypic structure of personality (Big Five factors), but also the inner drive and thus the direction of individuals' development as well as their potential.
The B5T® is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. All language versions and further details are also available from www.drsatow.de.
B5T® is a registered trademark of Dr. Lars Satow in Germany.
First published in
Satow, L. (2020). B5T® Big-Five-Persönlichkeitstest: Test- und Skalendokumentation. https://www.drsatow.de/tests/persoenlichkeitstest/
- B5T® questionnaire German [PDF]
- B5T® Test documentation [PDF]
- B5T® questionnaire English [PDF]
- B5T® questionnaire Spanish [PDF]
- B5T® questionnaire Italian [PDF]
- B5T® questionnaire French [PDF]
- B5T® Test description [PDF]
- B5T® questionnaire Online test [HTML]
- Homepage of Dr. Lars Satow with further information and materials [HTML]
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