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The Procedure of Conducting the Convergent and Divergent Validation for the Construct Personality Essay

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Updated: Aug 26th, 2019


According to a study by Cronban (2009) on children and adult personality, it shows that there exist quite several differences between the two types of people.

The research studies that have been conducted on children, their trait differences, as well as their behaviors have been found not related to how such people behave in later stages in life. However, the research conducted on adults has been focused on the personality traits that include how different people think, feel and behave when confronted with certain issues in life (Campbell & Fiske, 1959).

It has been realized that the early stages of development prepare an individual towards certain personality traits at later stages in life. Therefore, a study carried out by Archembeau (1979) has determined that the personality of an individual starts from “childhood temperament” focusing on the adult personality development. This further implies that the personality traits of an individual at the adult stage should be seen in “light of their childhood developments” (Cronban, 2006).

There have been several debates on the issue of personality traits in adults and these have been due to the emergence of several works that have cited similarities and differences in the personality of people according to Cronban (2009). The personality of an individual can be attributed to genetic factors in the given person that often differ from one person to another.

However, other behavioral differences in human beings can be influenced by the environment where the individual inhabits but research shows that the personality of people seem to be “alike” than being different from person to person (Campbell & Fiske, 1959). To know personality in different people, it is important to understand some definitions related to personality traits.

Academic Definitions of Personality

Personality can be defined as the characteristics of an individual, the way that individual thinks, feels, and the “uniqueness” of the given person’s behavior. A personality which is a Latin word “persona” that implies a “mask” shows how a given person behaves in a given situation. Cronban (2009), describes personality as a way of knowing a person’s way of behavior and this kind of behavior is as a result of traits in the given person. Traits such as possession of “psychophysical system” that dictate the behavior of an individual.

Anastasia (1982) defined personality as a trait in the human beings that make an individual have emotional and behavioral components that are considered to “shape” the given individual’s life. He further goes on to compare the personality of an individual to one that consists of a “structure and process”. These two components are the ones that shape the experiences of the person and are a demonstration of the given genes in the person.

Multi trait-Multi method Approach to Construct Validity

Campbell and Fiske (1959) gave clear guidelines on how one should proceed in establishing convergent validation for the constructs. This ensured that their multi trait multi-method matrix (MTMM Matrix) was important in providing an understanding to the “validation process” of human personality.

Through this method, one can in addition assess the “discriminate” validity and the effect method variance. However, this method has some problems associated with it such as the use of the traditional bivariate analysis method of the MTMM matrix (Campbell & Fiske, 1959).

This method is best suited in situations where there are “multiple” traits and these are being studied at the same time. Moreover, these traits are to be studied using a certain method of measurement. The use of convergent and divergent validation methods presents ways that a researcher can be able to determine the coefficients of the MTMM matrix method. This method consists of the linear way of assessing the variety of traits.

Construct Validation

This method proposes a way of analyzing the validity of a measure such as the personality of an individual. They continue to assert that the validity of a measure must talk in depth about the “content validity” that refers to the way the given measure samples the variety of the behavioral characteristics that are needed in the personality traits. Nevertheless, it consists of the criterion validity that is the relationship of the given measure to other variables in the validity construct that are to be assessed at the same period, or in future time.

Construct validity which is part of the validation measure that is the “extent to which the given measure assesses the given” variable which it is to measure (Cronban, 2006).

The construct validation is intended to give a measure of construct with several variables in the construct personality. The MTMM matrix method procedure in establishing the convergent and divergent validation gives a “summary index” with other “relative” magnitude correlations. This implies that the procedure should have an index for the convergent and divergent matrix.


The first step requires a researcher to have in advance a way of identifying the correlations between the construct measure and other criterion variables. This implies that the one doing the research is not needed to make assumptions about a given measured parameter apart from those that are being studied.

The second step MTMM matrix in this step will require assumptions that are independent on “simple product moment correlations” (Campbell & Fiske, 1959). This independence ensures that the personality traits are assessed using independent methods. This model makes use of the biases where by one trait is assumed to be independent of the other trait.

After that the method assumes that the situational factors and the person situation factors are that affect the person’s traits are independent of the situation and the person’s situation factors that affect other persons. The method also assumes that the rating biases are not dependent on the other situation and the person’s situation that affect the interaction between people. Nevertheless, the rating biases and the situation factors need to be independent of the “global disposition”.

This shows that the MTMM matrix method has several independence assumptions usually a sum of 21, when making a convergent validation for a construct personality. For example if a study has seven variables it shows that there exist 21 (7*6/2) relationships of which the model assumes to be zero.

After determining that the assumptions are independent and are correct, then the correlations come up with the differences in the “unobserved disposition” personality that is to be used in the construct personality validity. Afterwards, there is a question that needs to be answered and its specific in nature with one degree of freedom. This question is intended to know whether the researcher has made the right assumptions in the variables between a single and the multiple variables.

Obtaining the Convergent and Divergent Validity Coefficients

According to Campbell and Fiske (1959), convergent validity coefficients can be defined as the “correlations” that exist when the same traits in a given study are getting through using varied measurement methods. They can be called the mono trait-hetero method (MTHM) coefficients. This implies that they obtains a linear relationship between a convergent and a divergent validity method and this should have variables of type same type. Finding these coefficients is part of the MTMM validity procedure.

Divergent validity procedure composes correlations of only two kinds. The first correlation is for measures that have varied traits that can be obtained using the same method of measurement. They can be called the (HTMM) coefficients. These coefficients need to be calculated as it is part of the procedure for obtaining the construct personality.

Construction of Minnesota Multiphase Personality Inventory

In the development of the divergent and convergent validation questions, the method of multi trait multi method matrix considered the issues that are associated with personality inventories. The two validation methods had questions that were selected through test developers. These questions were constructed through the contrasting method. In evaluating the convergent and divergent validity for construct personality, there are various coefficients that are associated with that method.

From the MTMM matrix method, the results make come with several differences in the personality of the human since include the behavior. This method is used to investigate these differences that are explained by the divergent and convergent validation through test respondents. In this method, it is being observed that the test constructor is able to pick the results that depended on the observed variables and those variables that affected the behavior of an individual (Cronban, 2009).

Clearly, the use of multi-trait multi method has been significant in construct validity. This can also be used to prevent the occurrence of random and systematic error during the process of personality measurement. This eased the need for a method that would multi method and take the assumptions and estimate the measurements of validity.

The MTMM method that made use of matrix made it impossible to assess the validity of personal measures ion personality development. In light to this problem of personal validity and the divergent and convergent validation the Minnesota Multi phasic Personality Inventory – 2 (MMPI-2), was to be constructed to aid in eradicating these challenges in of personality assessment (Anastasia, 1982).

Campbell and Fiske’s contribution would not find much attention since it was a problem to use this method in testing the personality theories “empirically” since the assumption with this method is that all the factors are linearly related. This would not be possible without the use of “valid” personality measures (Cronban, 2009).

This shows that the construction of the Minnesota Multi phasic Personality Inventory must have been influenced by the challenges presented by Campbell and Fiske’s method of personality measurement. Nevertheless, this method is being seen by many scholars as being “complicated” as it has little to offer to the students who find them learning only definitions such as a valid measurement (Cronban, 2006).

This further shows that they are not able to learn how such validations are taking place and have made most of the personality psychologists incompetent. As time went by, clearly the results obtained from such methods as MTMM matrix were not useful in the clinical field or at times they were inaccurate.

This method made it possible to find a variety of differences empirically. This was possible since there was accurate data between people and other persons in the clinical field. The MMPI is now considered as the perfect way that made use of the empirical key test and this made it to circulate widely in the personality measure.

With the use of the MMPI in personality assessment, activities such as diagnosis, mental illness, predicting a person’s behavior, and the emotions of an individual are accurately considered by the clinician. This is because of the accurate measurement provided by this method and it is vital in knowing the small differences that exist in a person due to personality. The development of the MMPI was through seeing personal development as being critical and the need to be accurate data in the inventory.

Other challenges that existed in the convergent and divergent validation was the creation of a reliable database that would be used in the psychology and Neuroscience. This would help in bringing a clear connection between the frequently used methods, and enhance the availability of data to clinicians who need the information for their practice.

This kind of investigation made the MMPI method to replace the MTMM matrix method because of its effectiveness, and ever available data for the practitioners. For example, the MMPI method would help in “depression assessment” that is closely connected to BP of 5HTTR in the brain just like in the coronary assay something that was lacking in the MTMM validity.


This paper deals in detail the procedure of conducting the convergent and divergent validation for the construct personality. Clearly, there exist differences in human beings and this can be explained through the existence of the convergent and divergent validity coefficients. These coefficients are important in the study of the personality of human beings.

The procedure that is followed through the MTMM matrix method adds to the already done research on this topic that was done through various variables. Several studies such as the CFA denote the existence of various traits and other factors and their relationship with the measures of such factors (Anastasia, 1982).

The MTMM matrix method outlined in this study, considers the differences between the various measures of correlation and it concentrated on the process of determining the differences of the measures of correlation. However, it is worth to note that this procedure can be used even with other data that is not available through assumptions such as the “multi normality” and “missing at random”, and this can be applied once the researcher gets the information under study by the maximum likelihood method (Cronban, 2009).

With time, it emerged that the use of MTMM for personal assessment lacked vital information and it was inaccurate and this prompted the construction of the MMPI that was reliable and would be used without bias.

From above, apparently there is need to have accurate test scores and they have to be reliable and accurate. Therefore having a method that measures a given trait accurately and “consistently” would enable the medical practitioners to rely on such data for their practice. However, there is a possibility of tests being reliable but lack reliability.

The debates that have long been on the books have concentrated on studying people’s relationship and how they behave. They possess certain traits that differ from person to person and this makes them either alike or different from each other.


Anastasia, A. (1982). Psychological testing. New York: Macmillan.

Archembeau, J. (1979). Personality Traits. Journal of Assessment Center, 3, 34-76.

Campbell, D., & Fiske, W. (1959). Convergent and discriminant validation by the Multi trait-multi method matrix. Psychological Bulletin, 56, 81-105.

Cronban, J. (2006). Construct validity in psychological tests. Psychological Bulletin, 62, 281-302.

Cronban, J. (2009). Essentials of psychological testing. New York: Harper &Row

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1. IvyPanda. "The Procedure of Conducting the Convergent and Divergent Validation for the Construct Personality." August 26, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/personality-essay/.


IvyPanda. "The Procedure of Conducting the Convergent and Divergent Validation for the Construct Personality." August 26, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/personality-essay/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "The Procedure of Conducting the Convergent and Divergent Validation for the Construct Personality." August 26, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/personality-essay/.


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