Distinguishing general causality orientations from personality traits

Martin Hammershøj Olesen, Dorthe Kirkegaard Thomsen, Anette Schnieber, Jan Tønnesvang

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This study investigates the conceptual overlap and distinction between individual differences in the Five-Factor Model and Self-Determination Theory. Participants were 1287 freshmen (age M = 21.71; 64% women) who completed electronic questionnaires of dispositional personality traits (NEO-FFI) and general causality orientations (GCOS). Data were analyzed by confirmatory factor analyses. Results revealed that Autonomy items defined a factor separate from personality trait factors, whereas Control and Impersonal items defined both separate factors and showed overlaps with Agreeableness and Neuroticism, respectively. Hence, causality orientations are conceptually distinct from personality traits.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)538-543
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


  • social work and social conditions

Cite this