Computer -administered visual -analog personality ratings: Validation of a measure and analyses of response patterns

Scott Eugene Hannan, Fordham University


This research examined a new method of personality that allows the measure of response latency without the confound of reading speed. This method allows a more accurate examination of the relation between self-schemas and response latency. In addition, individual patterns of responding were investigated in order to assess the extent to which individual responding matches group response patterns. After reading the description of a trait, Extraversion or Trait Anxiety, participants responded to a Computer Administered Visual Analog (CAVA) scale. Participants responded “True” or “False” 10 times to each of the 40 markers presented along the trait continuum. This allowed the measure of response consistency at each marker. It also allowed the measure of a personality score and the certainty that surrounds that score. Response latency was recorded at each location and was examined in relation to certainty of responding. Results suggested that response latency relates to self-schemas and the consistency with which one responds. In areas of consistent responding, response latency tended to be the fastest. This trend was seen when data was examined across participants and within individual data sets. Examination at the individual level allowed further insight into these patterns. A sequential hypothesis testing computer model was created that allowed an examination into how individuals make CAVA decisions. The CAVA measure demonstrated convergent validity with standard personality measures. It also was demonstrated that as participants proceed through the CAVA task, overall response latencies become faster. Finally, for the Anxiety task, it was demonstrated that the more schematic one is, the greater certainty they show in responding. The reason this occurred for the Anxiety CAVA but not the Extraversion CAVA may be related to the nature of the scale or the measure of certainty. Results support the notion that schemas aid our responses to personality information. Higher item certainty is associated with faster response latencies. Schemas allow information to be processed more efficiently. These patterns of responding were evident in both group and individual data. The CAVA has been demonstrated to be a valid measure of personality that allows schemas and decision processes to be thoroughly examined.

Subject Area

Cognitive therapy|Personality|Psychology|Experiments|Psychological tests

Recommended Citation

Hannan, Scott Eugene, "Computer -administered visual -analog personality ratings: Validation of a measure and analyses of response patterns" (2002). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3061334.