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Social Processes: Methodology · Types of test

The Edwards Personal Preference Schedule (EPPS) is a forced choice, objective, non-projective personality inventory, developed by Allen L. Edwards and derived from the theory of H. A. Murray. The EPPS measures the rating of individuals in fifteen normal needs or motives. On the EPPS there are nine statements used for each scale. Social Desirability ratings have been done for each item, and the pairing of items attempts to match items of approximately equal social desirability. Fifteen pairs of items are repeated twice for the consistency scale.
1. Achievement : A need to accomplish tasks well
2. Deference: A need to conform to customs and defer to others
3. Order: A need to plan well and be organized
4. Exhibition: A need to be the center of attention in a group
5. Autonomy: A need to be free of responsibilities and obligations
6. Affiliation: A need to form strong friendships and attachments
7. Intraception: A need to analyze behaviors and feelings of others
8. Succorance: A need to receive support and attention from others
9. [Dominance]]: A need to be a leader and influence others
10. Abasement: A need to accept blame for problems and confess errors to others
11. Nuturance: A need to be of assistance to others
12. Change: A need to be of assistance to others
13. Endurance: A need to follow through on tasks and complete assignments
14. Heterosexuality: A need to be associated with and attractive to members of the opposite sex
15. Aggression: A need to express one's opinion and be critical of others
(Edwards, 1959/1985)

The inventory consists of 225 pairs of statements in which items from each of the 15 scales are paired with items from the other 14 plus the other fifteen pairs of items for the optional consistency check. This leaves the total number of items (14x15) at 210. Edwards has used the last 15 items to offer the candidate the same item twice, using the results to calculate a consistency score. The result will be considered valid if the consistency checks for more than 9 out of 15 paired items. Within each pair, the subjects choose one statement as more characteristic of themselves, reducing the social desirability factor of the test. Due to the forced choice, the EPPS is an ipsative test, the statements are made in relation to the strength of an individual's other needs. Hence, like personality, it is not absolute. Results of the test are reliable, although there are doubts about the consistency scale.


The manual reports studies comparing the EPPS with the Guilford Martin Personality Inventory and the Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale. Other researchers have correlated the California Psychological Inventory, the Adjective Check List, the Thematic Apperception Test, the Strong Vocational Interest Blank, and the MMPI with the EPPS. In these studies there are often statistically significant correlations among the scales of these tests and the EPPS, but the relationships are usually low-to-moderate and sometimes are difficult for the researcher to explain. Since the MMPI is still actively used today on a worldwide basis as a major brand test this comparison might be the most interesting to study.

Suggested Uses[]

The EPPS has been designed primarily for personal counselling, but has found its way into recruitment as well. The EPPS is very suitable for these purposes.


The EPPS has been published for a long period of time through The Psychological Corporation, now known as Harcourt. In 2002 the worldwide publishing rights have been returned by Harcourt to the Allen L. Edwards Living Trust. Internationally there is one known translation in Dutch, which has been published in the Netherlands legally until 2002 (by Swets Test Publishers/Harcourt).

Currently copyrights are held by The Allen L Edwards Living Trust worldwide. For the European region there is a startup company publishing the EPPS (including the Dutch version) called Test Dimensions.

See also[]

References & Bibliography[]

Key texts[]


  • Edwards, A.L. (1959) Edwards Personal Preferences Manual. London:The Psychological Corporation


  • Piedmont,Ralph L. McCrae,Robert R. and Costa Jr.,Paul T.(1992).An Assessment of the Edwards Personal Preference Schedule From the Perspective of the Five-Factor Model. Journal of Personality Assessment, Vol. 58, No. 1, Pages 67-78. (doi:10.1207/s15327752jpa5801_6)

Additional material[]


  • Helms, J.E. (1983). A practioners guide to the Edwards personal preference schedule. ISBN 0398047405.


External links[]

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