PQA - Measuing the personal qualities and abilities of aspiring health professionals

Traits of morality, Part 2: Evidence for a Big Three model of morality and interpersonal behaviour.

D. Munro & MR Bore

Department of Psychology, University of Newcastle, Australia

In this paper, available evidence for a new model of moral behaviour is examined. The model proposes that two or three dimensions can summarise individual differences in moral and interpersonal behaviour (for example, in medical professionals). These are 'Permissive' versus 'Rule-bound', 'Affiliative' versus 'Aloof' and (possibly) 'Stable/Agreeable' versus 'Neurotic/Narcissistic'. Both supportive and contradictory evidence comes from re-analysis of several thousand cases used for the initial formulation of the two scales, and several smaller samples from different cultures, using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, inter alia. Overall, the results indicate that the model may be regarded as a special case of current factor models of personality and values. It is argued that restriction of the domain to the case of moral and interpersonal dispositions yields potentially useful insights into the ways that the factors interact to guide behaviour, and that such domain-limited models may provide a way of specifying personality-behaviour links more precisely than is possible with the general models.