Information about Norms and Data Sets

No norms are available on the IPIP website, for reasons explained below.

One should be very wary of using canned "norms" because it isn't obvious that one could ever find a population of which one's present sample is a representative subset. Most "norms" are misleading, and therefore they should not be used.

Far more defensible are local norms, which one develops oneself. For example, if one wants to give feedback to members of a class of students, one should relate the score of each individual to the means and standard deviations derived from the class itself. To maximize informativeness, one can provide the students with the frequency distribution for each scale, based on these local norms, and the individuals can then find (and circle) their own scores on these relevant distributions.

That said, some researchers might still be interested in comparing their data to existing data sets or in reanalyzing an existing data set. There are two known data archives on the Web, neither of which is officially associated with the IPIP project. Use these data at your own risk.

An archive at personality-testing.info contains raw data collected online from a number of personality scales, including the 50-item IPIP inventory of the Big-Five factor markers. Those interested in these data should note that the site mistakenly uses the labels from the NEO PI-R for the five factors instead of the labels for the lexical factors and offers an unconventional scoring key. Users should refer to the IPIP website for the appropriate labels and scoring methods.

Those interested in raw data for the 300-item IPIP representation of the NEO PI-R or Johnson's (2014) 120-item IPIP-NEO can access an archive of such data at Johnson's data repository on the Open Science Framework.

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