Are small measures big problems? A meta-analytic investigation of brief measures of the Big Five

B. Parker Ellen, Jeremy D. Mackey, Charn P. McAllister, Ian S. Mercer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Pressures to maximize survey space or mitigate respondent fatigue can lead researchers to employ abbreviated during data collection. This is problematic because short-form measures can suffer from reduced reliability and validity. Thus, we conducted a meta-analysis to determine whether the use of brief measures of the Big Five in business research tends to produce psychometrically sound and criterion-valid results. We compared scale internal consistencies and effect size estimates from our study with meta-analytic estimates for long measures of the Big Five, as established in the literature. Our results indicated that, in general, internal consistency estimates were not substantively different. However, the criterion-related validity comparisons indicated that several point estimates for individual measures did not fall within the credibility intervals obtained from prior meta-analyses. This suggests that although brief measures of the Big Five might appear acceptable for use in business research, caution should be exercised when choosing a brief measure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-592
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Business Research
StatePublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Big Five
  • Brief measures
  • Job performance
  • Meta-analysis
  • Personality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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