Date of Conferral







Sandra Mahoney


The construct of personality exhibits utility in predicting group outcomes. However, quantifying a group personality construct has almost exclusively been accomplished by aggregating individual group member five-factor personality scores to derive the group personality score. This type of operationalizing rests on the assumption that collective personality exists and has a five-factor structure, makes results context specific, and limits cross-comparison of different types of groups. The purpose of this quantitative study was to apply a lexical approach and exploratory factor analysis to explore personality structure of a group at a group level. The research question focused on identifying if a construct of collective personality operationalized at the group level through use of a lexical approach would yield a five-factor structure. Exploratory factor analysis was applied to data collected from an anonymous on-line survey administered to a convenience sample of 11 staff at residential treatment facilities for children. Data were not able to be subjected to tests for sampling adequacy before primary component and factor extraction due to the low sample size and the resulting factors did not rotate in 25 iterations. Despite these limitations, results suggest the lexical approach can be applied to quantifying the construct of collective personality. Results also provide support for a collective personality structure that may differ from the five-factor model of individual personality structure. These findings inform on a possible new way of quantifying and studying group characteristics which could lead to social change through better ways of understanding, predicting, and changing group behavior in a wide variety of domains.