Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology


Psychologists have been interested in personality characteristics for decades. One characteristic of personality studied by researchers is that of conscientiousness. Conscientiousness can de defined as a "degree of organization, persistence, and motivation in goal-directed behavior" (Costa & McCrae, 1985, p.2) This study divided the terms defining conscientiousness into three categories for purpose of item development: organization, persistence, and motivation. Organization incudes, but is not limited to, being organized, reliable, and practical. Persistence includes concepts of responsibleness, thoroughness, and commitment to hard-work. Motivation involves characteristics of enthusiasm, morality, cautiousness, and seriousness. The purpose of this study was to develop a measure that is sensitive to the short-term state rather than the long-term trait aspects of conscientiousness. Short-term states would include behaviors that may be temporary, brief, and extrinsic in nature and traits would include more enduring patterns of behavior. This study consisted of three parts: (a) an investigation of content validity on draft questions, (b) a preliminary study of consistency reliability of a new scale of state conscientiousness, and (c) a preliminary examination of the construct validity of the new scale. Questions were generated to tap the three domains of conscientiousness as listed by Costa and McCrae (1985). The investigation of the content validity on 63 draft questions yielded a final set of 24 items. The internal consistency study was completed on 87 subjects from a Northwest university. Internal consistency ranged from .86 in the trait scenario to .94 in the state scenario. Examining the construct validity with the relationships between the new scale and the Goldberg trait measure of conscientiousness, a Pearson correlation of .73 was obtained, which was significant at the .001 level.