The general factor of personality (GFP) has garnered significant attention by personality researchers in the last six years. The underlying nature of the GFP has been the focus of much research and debate. A cache of research findings suggest that the GFP is simply socially-desirable response bias; it is essentially measurement error. There is also a significant set of findings suggesting that the GFP represents something more fundamental; increasingly the GFP is interpreted as reflecting social-effectiveness. However, the social-effectiveness hypothesis has yet to be tested directly. In the current investigation multiple measures of personality (GFPs), socially-desirable responding and social-effectiveness allowed for an examination of the two leading interpretations of the GFP. The GFPs and measures of social-effectiveness were significantly correlated even after controlling for social-desirable responding. A composite GFP and composite measure of social-effectiveness exhibited a strong association and continued to share over 50% of their variance after controlling for socially-desirable responding.

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Personality and Individual Differences
Department of Psychology

Dunkel, C.S, & van der Linden, D. (2014). Evidence for the general factor of personality as social-effectiveness. Personality and Individual Differences, 64, 147–151. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2014.02.030