Is the Short Version of the Big Five Inventory (BFI-S) Applicable for Use in Telephone Surveys?

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The inclusion of psychological indicators in survey research has become more common because they offer the possibility of explaining much of the variance in sociological variables. The Big Five personality dimensions in particular are often used to explain opinions, attitudes, and behavior. However, the short versions of the Big Five Inventory (BFI-S) were developed for face-to-face surveys. Studies have shown distortions in the identification of the Big Five factor structure in subsamples of older respondents in landline telephone surveys. We applied the same BFI-S but with a shorter rating scale in a telephone survey with two subsamples (landline and mobile phone). Using exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM), we identified the Big Five structure in the subsamples and the age groups. This finding leads us to conclude that the BFI-S is a powerful means of including personality characteristics in telephone surveys.

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