Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

2020 Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Psychoticism (Eysenck’s Theory)

  • Per BechEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-24612-3_1103



Psychoticism was the third personality trait in the Eysenck personality model. Psychometrically, the personality factor emerged orthogonal to the neuroticism (Bech 2017a) and extraversion-introversion (Bech 2017b) factors in the Eysenck factor analysis. Whereas the neuroticism dimension when associated with introversion identified dysthymia (or depression), the association between neuroticism and extraversion identified cyclothymia (or bipolarity).

The psychoticism dimension was finally incorporated in the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (H. J. Eysenck and Eysenck 1975) with most justification in this regard provided in their “Psychoticism as dimension of personality” (H. J. Eysenck and Eysenck 1976). However, Eysenck et al. ( 1985) later on revised the EPQ, especially due to problems with the 25-item psychoticism subscale in the 1975 version. This resulted in a 32-item version of the psychoticism subscale in the EPQ-R. Table 1...
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bech, P. (2016). Measurement-based care in mental disorders. New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bech, P. (2017a). Neuroticism (the Eysenck neuroticism scale). In V. Zeigler-Hill, & T. K. Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of personality and individual differences Springer.Google Scholar
  3. Bech, P. (2017b). Extraversion-introversion (Eysenck’s theory). In V. Zeigler-Hill, & T. K. Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of personality and individual differences Springer.Google Scholar
  4. Bech, P., Christensen, E. M., Vinberg, M., BechAndersen, G., & Kessing, L. V. (2011). From items to syndromes in the Hypomania checklist (HCL-32): Psychometric validation and clinical validity analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 132(1–2), 48–54.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2011.01.017
  5. Eysenck, H. J. (1995). Genius. The natural history of creativity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Eysenck, H. J., & Eysenck, S. B. G. (1969). Personality structure and measurement. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  7. Eysenck, H. J., & Eysenck, S. B. G. (1975). Manual of the Eysenck personality questionnaire. London: Hodder and Stoughton.Google Scholar
  8. Eysenck, H. J., & Eysenck, S. B. G. (1976). Psychoticism as a dimension of personality. London: Hodder and Stoughton.Google Scholar
  9. Eysenck, H. J., & Gudjonsson, G. H. (1989). The causes and cures of criminality. New York: Plenum Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Eysenck, S. B. G., Eysenck, H. J., & Barrett, P. (1985). A revised version of the psychoticism scale. Personality and Individual Differences, 6(1), 21–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kendler, K. S., Heath, A., & Martin, N. G. (1987). A genetic epidemiologic study of self-report suspiciousness. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 28(3), 187–196. doi:0010-440X(87)90026-5 [pii]Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CopenhagenHillerødDenmark

Section editors and affiliations

  • Beth A. Visser
    • 1
  1. 1.Lakehead UniversityOrilliaCanada