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Social Processes: Methodology · Types of test

Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ) is a personality test.[1] It was devised by C. Robert Cloninger. A newer version of the questionnaire is called Temperament and Character Inventory.

As the name indicates TPQ seeks to measure three dimensions (traits) of the personality. These personality traits are novelty seeking, harm avoidance and reward dependence. Each have four subscales. There are 100 true-false questions which form the basis for the computation of the traits.

The personality test also exists in Chinese,[2] French[3] and German[4] versions


TemperamentNeurotransmitter system
Novelty seekingLow dopaminergic activity
Harm avoidanceHigh serotonergic activity
Reward dependenceLow noradrenergic activity

Cloninger suggested that the three dimensions, novel seeking, harm avoidance and reward dependance, was correlated with low basal dopaminergic activity, high serotonergic activity, and low basal noradrenergic activity, respectively.[5] Much research has gone into examining these links, e.g., with personality genetics.


  1. C. R. Cloninger, T. R. Przybeck & D. M. Svrakic (December 1991). The Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire: U.S. normative data. Psychological Reports 69 (3 Pt 1): 1047–1047.
  2. Wei J. Chen, Hsing-Me Chen, Chwen-Cheng Chen, Chiao-Chicy Chen, Wu-Yang Yu & Andrew T. A. Cheng (March-April 2002). Cloninger's Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire: psychometric properties and construct validity in Taiwanese adults. Comprehensive Psychiatry 43 (2): 158–156.
  3. J. P. Lepine, A. Pelissolo, R. Teodorescu & M. Teherani (November-December 1994). [Evaluation of the psychometric properties of the French version of the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ)]. L'Encephale 20 (6): 747–743.
  4. Weyers P et al. Pers. Ind. Diff 1995 19:853:861.
  5. C. R. Cloninger (Autumn 1986). A unified biosocial theory of personality and its role in the development of anxiety states. Psychiatric Developments 4 (3): 167–166.