Using Multiple Measures of Openness to Experience to Capture Positive, Negative, and Disorganized Dimensions of Schizotypy

Kathryn C. Kemp, Chris J. Burgin, Michael L. Raulin, Thomas R. Kwapil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The underlying vulnerability for schizophrenia-spectrum disorders is expressed across a continuum of clinical and subclinical symptoms and impairment known as schizotypy. Schizotypy is a multidimensional construct with positive, negative, and disorganized dimensions. Models of normal personality provide useful frameworks for examining the multidimensional structure of schizotypy. However, the relationship of schizotypy with openness to experience has been largely limited to studies using the five-factor model of personality, which may not adequately capture maladaptive expressions of openness. Therefore, this study examined the relationship of positive, negative, and disorganized schizotypy with multiple measures of openness that capture adaptive and maladaptive aspects of the construct. MTurk and university participants (n-1,281) completed the Multidimensional Schizotypy Scale and five measures of openness. As hypothesized, positive schizotypy was generally associated with elevated openness, especially measures tapping oddness and eccentricity, whereas negative schizotypy was inversely associated with openness, especially measures assessing openness to feelings. Disorganized schizotypy was generally unassociated with openness. Principal components analysis of 15 openness facets revealed four factors: Fantasy/Feelings, Ideas, Eccentricity, and Nontraditionalism, and provided more nuanced understanding of the associations of schizotypy and openness. Positive schizotypy was associated with each factor (albeit inversely with Nontraditionalism), negative schizotypy was inversely associated with Fantasy/Feelings but positively associated with Eccentricity, and disorganized schizotypy was only associated with Eccentricity. These results support the construct validity of the Multidimensional Schizotypy Scale and highlight that the association of schizotypy and openness is best understood by considering the multidimensionality of both constructs and evaluating adaptive and maladaptive openness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-269
Number of pages10
JournalPersonality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2020


  • Openness
  • Personality
  • Schizophrenia spectrum
  • Schizotypy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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