The Aachen List of Trait Words

  • Sara BritzEmail author
  • Siegfried Gauggel
  • Verena Mainz


In this study, we present the Aachen List of Trait Words (ALoT), including a total of 606 German adjectives with English translations, describing personality traits. The lack of ratings regarding the social desirability of traits led us to create a German trait database. Ratings of valence and social desirability were obtained from 100 participants. Statistical analyses of 99 participants indicated that valence and social desirability ratings were strongly correlated. However, there are several words showing a weak or no relationship. Furthermore, uncommon words were rated less positively (or desirable) than more common traits. Word frequency and word length were positively correlated, showing that short terms were more common than long ones. Social desirability and valence ratings are presented together with several psycholinguistic variables known to influence word processing (e.g. word length) in the ALoT. Scores for each word are provided as supplemental materials. The ALoT is intended to provide stimulus material for experiments dealing with the affective processing of German trait adjectives.


Database Personality attributes Valence Social desirability Psycholinguistic variables 



This study was financed by the Institute’s own funds (Institute of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology, University Hospital of the RWTH Aachen).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Medical Psychology and Medical SociologyUniversity Hospital of RWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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