Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-2020

Faculty Advisor(s)

David Pincus


Personality tests aim to identify key traits that differentiate personality based on answers to questionnaires. Furthermore, it is possible that the intensity of identification with personality traits may be related to response times to the individual questions on the personality test. This current study looks to replicate the research conducted by Pincus et al. (2019) in Fractal Self-Structure and Psychological Resilience. Pincus investigates the hypothesis that the self is fractal and that its fractal structure can be captured within the distribution of response times to the MMPI-2. The current study attempts to replicate the methodology used in Pincus et al. (2019) using the Big Five personality traits as identified in a shorter, fifty item questionnaire (i.e., the M5-50). The same analytic technique will be used, examining the shape of the exponential distribution of response times to the 50 individual items for each participant. This study looks at the individual questions as measured by response time as predictive of fractal personality structure and tests whether the shape of the distribution (relatively steep or shallow) predicts levels of psychopathology (e.g., anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms). The significance of this study is to test if this methodology, specifically analysis of the reaction time distributions, can be applied to the M5-50 in a manner that measures fractal self structure and focuses on general personality traits.


Presented at the Spring 2020 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.