Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Kenneth A. Blick


The concept that personality traits serve as a priori self schemata cognitive structures in memory was investigated. College students from University of Richmond were tested on recall of 160 content-specific adjectives and then administered the Personality Research Form. After being shown the list of adjectives, subjects were given a five-minute distractor task and then given fifteen minutes to recall as many adjectives as possible. A correlational analysis was performed on the scores on the personality traits of achievement, affiliation, autonomy, dominance, endurance, nurturance, order, play, sentience, and understanding and with the recall of content-specific adjectives. The correlation between the trait of endurance and the recall of endurance specific adjectives was significant. Other significant correlations were: achievement trait with endurance recall, sentience trait with play recall, nurturance trait with understanding recall, and sentience trait with nurturance recall. An interesting finding was that six out of ten traits correlated higher with their content-specific adjectives than with any other adjectives. The correlation between recall of adjectives and their social desirability scale was also significant. The study supported previous research which showed that some of the variance in the recall of adjectives can be attributed to the social desirability of the adjectives.

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