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How to assessing Interpersonal Traits

The Interpersonal Check List (ICL; LaForge & Suczek, 1955) was the first IPC inventory. The ICL was designed to assess 16 segments of the interpersonal circle. Each segment was assessed by eight adjectives or verb-phrases (yielding a total of 128 items), each of which was weighted according to one of four levels of extremity. The ICL has been used in numerous studies (for a bibliography, seeClark& Taulbee, 1981).

However, it has psychometric inadequacies. Specifi cally, the ICL has noteworthy measurement gaps in the top-right and bottom-left quadrants, and scales opposite each other on the circle are not actually polar opposites (Kiesler, 1983; Lorr & McNair, 1965; Paddock & Nowicki,1986a,b; Wiggins, 1979, 1982). Wiggins (1979) and Wiggins, Trapnell, and Phillips (1988) developed the Interpersonal Adjective Scales (IAS) to address these inadequacies. Since the IAS has proven to have more desirable psychometric and circumplex properties than the ICL,  IAS is now the preferred measure of interpersonal traits.

Moreover, the basic methods used to develop the IAS have served as the model for developing all subsequent IPC measures. The most recent version of the IAS (Wiggins, 1995) consists of 64 interpersonal adjectives. Example items are shown in Table 15.1. Respondents rate each adjective with respect to how accurately it describes a target (typically the self) on a scale ranging from 1 (Very Inaccurate) to 8 (Very Accurate) scale. The adjectives are combined into eight scales that assess each octant of the IPC. The IAS has acceptable internal consistency and a clear circumplex structure (Gurtman & Pincus, 2000; Wiggins et al., 1988), and its scales show a sensible sinusoidal pattern of correlations with numerous other self-report personality measures (Wiggins & Broughton, 1985, 1991) as well as ratings of nonverbal interpersonal behavior (Gifford, 1991; Gifford & O’Connor, 1987). One problem with the IAS is that respondents may fi nd some of the adjectives (such as “uncrafty” and “uncunning”) odd and unfamiliar.

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