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Understanding Personality Traits and Disorders: An Overview of the PID-5 Test


Task: How does the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5) help mental health professionals analyze personality traits and disorders, and what factors contribute to its reliability and validity, particularly in the context of South Africa?


About The Test

The PID-5 test is a tool employed by professionals of mental health and psychologists to analyze personality traits and disorders established according to the report published by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5).This test was primarily published in the year 2011 and since then it has undergone revisions to improve its reliability and validity (Markon et al., 2013).The PID-5 stands for Personality Inventory for the DSM-5. It is a self assessment tool created by a team of experts headed by Dr. Robert Krueger. It was designed for examining the personality traits of the individuals based on about 220 items or sub facets on the diagnostic measures that was summarized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

This personality test is based on the Five Factor Framework of personality suggesting that an individual’smental health can be determined using five comprehensive dimensions: negative selectivity, detachment, antagonism, disinhibition, and psychoticism. These 5 broad dimensions are further segmented into specific sub segments or facets providing an exact and subtle insight into an individual's personality and characteristics of mental health.This test manual provides the description of the instructions on how to administer, score, and interpret the results of this personality test.It includes information on the formulation,it's relativity, it's sub facets, characteristics of the personality traits to test is reliability and validity, as well as any constraints or potential biases.

Further, it is required to find out basic considerations when undertaking this tool in a clinical set up. The comprehensive manual for the PID-5 ensures to measure the accurate and effective analysis of personality traits and disorders in clinical settings.

Standardization Sampling Method of Testing

The sampling method is an necessary tool that involves surveying the Personality Inventory for the DSM 5.It involves determining a relevant sample of individuals and conducting the test on them according to their requirements from a relevant population.It is carried out to analyze and determine the accuracy of the test reflecting the personality traits of the population as a whole.

This method is particularly important given the varied cultural backgrounds and experiences of its people In the South Africa region.Itis fundamental to any personality inventory used in determining the personality disorders and analyzing their personality traits which have proven to be sufficient and reliable across different demographic groups. Therefore, researchers can ensure that their findings are centralized to the whole population using standardized sampling method for personality inventory testing.Also, it has been evolved as a crucial step in ensuring that the Personality Inventory for the DSM-5 can be used in South Africa very effectively. It helps researchers to collect accurate and meaningful data that can help improve their awareness of personality traits and their influence on mental health in this unique cultural context(The personality inventory for DSM-5 - – home, n.d.).

The test was formalized taking a large sample of individuals from various demographic backgrounds to ensure that it is valid and reliable across different populations of South Africa. The development process involves extensive research and testing to ensure that the questions accurately measure the intended criteria of examination.The development process of the test consisted of thorough research into the theoretical reinforcements of personality and psychopathology, as well as interviews with experts in the specific field of psychology.Since its initial publication, there have been significant revisions and adaptations made to the PID-5 to improve its precision and utility in clinical settings (Oliveira et al., 2021). Therefore, it has become an important device for clinicians and researchers alike for assessing the personality traits associated with mental health diagnoses according to DSM-5 criteria.

Test Details

The Test of Personality Inventory PID-5 implies a self-report model which is structured to assess personality traits that are relevant to the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders of an individual's personality .

The PID-5 comprises five common domains of personality traits:

  • Negative Affectivity

This pertains to the propensity to experience negative emotions like anxiety, fear, and sadness.

  • Detachment

Detachment reflects a lack of interest in social relations, interactions and emotional detachment from the society.

  • Antagonism

This refers to the predisposition to be insensitive, adverse, and manipulative towards others.

  • Disinhibition

Disinhibition is symbolized by impulsiveness and an absence of self-control.

  • Psychoticism

Psychoticism refers to eccentricity and unusual beliefs or ideas.

Within each domain, there are several specific facets or subscales that provide more detailed information regarding the personality profile of the individual. Itcomprises of several items that are rated on a 4-point scale, wherein the higher scores indicates higher levels of trait expression.

Here is a breakdown of the scales/subscales and what they measure:

Instructions for test administration

Personality Inventory for the DSM-5, is a widely used individuality assessment tool that provides clinicians with a comprehensive understanding of an individual's personality traits. The test has strong psychometric properties and is reliable and valid for use in clinical settings. There are several international and local studies conducted on the psychometric properties of PID-5 consistently showing that it is a credible and logical measure of personality traits.

According to the developers and publishers, PID-5 greater internal consistency, reliability linked to test-retest, and validity of convergent with other well-established identity assessments. Several international and local studies have also reported positive psychometric properties of the test, including its ability to distinguish between clinical and non-clinical populations. Studies have found that the test has good psychometric properties, including high reliability and validity (Quilty et al., 2013).PID-5 is a valuable tool of calculating individual temperament and personality analysis that submits insights into an individual's personality traits. It is advised to follow the instructions carefully by ensuring that the individual understands them fully. With proper administration and interpretation, PID-5 can be a verifiable tool for clinicians working in various settings.

• While conducting the PID test, it is necessary to ensure that the individual comprehends to the instructions clearly.

• It requires to be performedunder a trained professional familiar with its management and scoring procedures of the test or someone who belongs to the respective area of expertise.

• The individual taking the personality test is expected to rate themselves on a scale from 0 to 6 on various statements related to their personality traits.

• The test takes approximately 30 minutes to complete, and individuals are requested to rate themselves as honestly as possible.

Instructions for scoring the test

• Scoring the test involves using a 4-point Likert scale to rate about 200 items based on their application to the individual being assessed.

• Next, thescores are required to be calculated across various facets of personality traits to analyze the overall score for respective domain (Fossati et al., 2013).

• A higher score indicates major severity of traits that is associated with different personality disorders.

• Higher scores on particular personality traits may indicate a greater likelihood of certain personality disorders.

• A thorough clinical evaluation should always be conducted before any diagnosisis carried out.

• When evaluating the test, it needs to be ascertained that the rating of the respective item is done on a four-point Likert scale that ranges from 0 (very false or often false) to 6(very true or often true).

• The total score for each trait of disorder can be calculated by adding its respective items.

Instructions for Interpreting PID-5 Test Scores

PID-5 is designed for use by trained professionals such as psychologists or psychiatrists holding up significant experience administering and interpreting psychological tests. Therefore, it is recommended to seek professional guidance when using this test for diagnostic or treatment purposes.

• The test is designed to measure the Five-Factor Model (FFM) of personality.

• The test consists of five broad dimensions of personality: negative selectivity, detachment, antagonism, disinhibition, and psychoticism.

• Each dimension has two scales to measure from 0 to 6 indicating a lower and an upper range.

• The test has a total of 220 items, with each item measuring one of the five domains.

• Scores on the PID-5 can be used to estimate someone's personality type or to diagnose a mental disorder.

• Use the scores to help make a diagnosis or to better understand an individual's personality (DeYoung et al., 2016).

• Use the information to provide treatment and interventions.

• Each dimension is scored on a scale of 0 to 6, where 0 indicates that the individual does not feel that way at all and 6 represents the most extreme feeling regarding that dimension.

• Higher scores indicate higher levels of that personality dimension.

Suitability of the Test in South Africa

The test PID5 has been widely applied in various settings to assess personality traits and disorders. However, when it comes to its suitability for the South African context, there were several factors that were taken into consideration while eating the test reliability and validity (Sellbom et al., 2017). The primary concern to consider was whether the test has been validated and normed on a South African population. Thissignificant because cultural and societal differences can significantly impact how individuals express themselves and feel while assessing their personality traits.Similarly, there was a necessity to evaluate the language proficiency of the test takers as well as any potential cultural preferences that may be present in the test items as well as differences in education levels may affect how well individuals understand and respond to the test items.It was also essential to evaluate whether the test takes into account unique factors such as trauma exposure or resilience that are prevalent in the South African context.

Overall, this test has proven to be a beneficial tool for assessing personality traits and disorders. However, its suitability for South African population should be estimateddeliberately with careful consideration given to cultural and contextual factors.Though, proponents of application of the test PID-5 in South Africa assert that it has major psychometric properties and can help to provide valuable insights into a person's personality and behavioral structure. It also considers that adaptations have been made to ensure its applicability in other countries with distinct cultural backgrounds (Crego&Widiger, 2014).Therefore, whether or not to use the test PID-5 in the South African context is highly dependent on a range of factors such as cultural sensitivity, language proficiency, and local validation studies. Careful consideration should be given to its appropriateness of self-examinationofindividualsfor any validation of utilizing PID5 as an assessment tool for mental disorders.


Crego, C., &Widiger, T. A. (2014).Psychopathy, DSM-5, and a caution.Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 5(4), 335–347.

DeYoung, C. G., Carey, B. T., Krueger, R. F., & Ross, S. E. (2016). Ten aspects of the Big Five in the Personality Inventory for DSM–5.Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 7(2), 113–123.

Fossati, A., Krueger, R. F., Markon, K. E., Borroni, S., &Maffei, C. (2013). Reliability and Validity of the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5).Assessment, 20(6), 689–708.

Markon, K. E., Quilty, L. C., Bagby, R. M., & Krueger, R. F. (2013).The Development and Psychometric Properties of an Informant-Report Form of the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5).Assessment, 20(3), 370–383.

Oliveira, S. E., Bandeira, D. R., Primi, R., & Krueger, R. F. (2021). Psychometric Properties of the personality inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5) in Brazilian samples.Psico-USF, 26(spe), 109–124.

Quilty, L. C., Ayearst, L. E., Chmielewski, M., Pollock, B. G., &Bagby, R. M. (2013).The Psychometric Properties of the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 in an APA DSM-5 Field Trial Sample.Assessment, 20(3), 362–369.

Sellbom, M., Dhillon, S., &Bagby, R. M. (2017).Development and validation of an Overreporting Scale for the Personality Inventory for DSM–5 (PID-5).Psychological Assessment.

The personality inventory for DSM-5 - - home.(n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2023, from


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