Towards an operationalization of the fundamental dimensions of agency and communion: Trait content ratings in five countries considering valence and frequency of word occurrence

Andrea E. Abele , Mirjam Uchronski , Caterina Suitner , Bogdan Wojciszke


Despite many convergences in theorizing and research on the two fundamental dimensions of social judgment the operationalizations differ considerably across studies and possible confounds (valence, frequency of word occurrence) are not always controlled. The present study was meant as a first step towards a more standardized operationalization by providing trait words which are clearly distinct in content (agency and communion) but comparable in valence and frequency of word occurrence in written language across different countries. We created a pool of 304 trait adjectives and reduced this pool in several pretests to a list of 69 trait words. These were clearly different in content and covered a large range of valence. In the main study N¼548 participants from five countries (Belgium, Germany, Italy, Poland and USA) rated the 69 trait words on agency, communion and valence. The results were quite consistent across countries. The trait adjectives’ agency ratings and communion ratings were negatively correlated; valence was correlated with communal content, but not with agentic content; word frequency was barely related to the content ratings. Cluster analyses suggest four clusters of trait words. Based on these findings we propose sets of agentic and communal trait words which do not differ in valence and word frequency. These item-sets can serve as a first step towards a standardized operationalization of the two fundamental content dimensions across languages.
Author Andrea E. Abele
Andrea E. Abele,,
, Mirjam Uchronski
Mirjam Uchronski,,
, Caterina Suitner
Caterina Suitner,,
, Bogdan Wojciszke (Wydział Zamiejscowy w Sopocie)
Bogdan Wojciszke,,
- Wydział Zamiejscowy w Sopocie
Journal seriesEuropean Journal of Social Psychology, ISSN 0046-2772, (A 25 pkt)
Issue year2008
Publication size in sheets0.75
ASJC Classification3207 Social Psychology
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)30
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2008 = 1.265; WoS Impact Factor: 2008 = 1.863 (2) - 2008=2.324 (5)
Citation count*238 (2021-04-13)
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