Acta psychiat. scand. (1975) 52, 107-115 Psychopharmacology Laboratory (Head: S.Fisher, Ph.D.), Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.


An Amarican version of the MNT Inventory (Sjobring peasonality dimensions) was administered to three separate groups of American subjects. Normative data on the Sjobring dimensions, including correlational data between the dimensions, was reported for these groups and compared to published normative data from prior studies in Sweden and in the United Kingdom. For the American groups, the correlations between dimensions were negligible or very small, in accord with Sjotning theory. There were similar patterns to the scale scofes and to the correlational data for the American groups and comparable Swedish groups. The readts s u g w that the American version of the MNT inventory is a valid tool for obtaining Sjobring dimension scores on American subjects. Key words: MNT Inventory - Sjobriag - personality - p n a l i t y dimensions - normative data - currelational data The personality trait system of Henrik Sjobring has begun to attract increasing attention in English speaking countries. There have been attempts to establish relationships between the Sjobring dimensions and those of Eysenck (Coppen (1966), Schdling (1970), Segruves (1971)). Coppen (1966) also sought to establish normative data on the dimensions for a group of British subjects. There has been a recent report (Bmrett (1972)) on the use of the MNT Inventory, the principal instrument used to obtain Sjobring dimension scores for English speaking subjects, on an American population. The purpose of this paper is to report normative data for three of the Sjobring personality dimensions on three separate groups of American subjects, including an examination of the relationships between the dimensions. This material will be compared to published normative data obtained in other studies. The results of these comparisons will be discussed. SJOBRING PERSONALITY IDIMENSIONS The Sjobring dimensions have been briefly described in several sources (EssenMotler (1956), Hugnell (1966), Nymun & Murke (1962), Sundquist (1973)) and


will not be repeated here. Further, it is the author's view that these brief descriptions, although necessary, can not properly convey the nature of each dimension because of the complexity of Sjobring's system. For a detailed description in English of the dimensions and of the underlying theoretical constructs, the reader is referred to the recently available English translation, Sjobring (1973) and to Nymun (1956). In the material presented here, the instrument used to obtain ratings on the (solidity) So,{stability) St, and (validity) V dimensions was a translation of the (MarkeNyman Temperament) MNT Inventory felt to be appropriate for American subjects (Burrett (1972)). Scoring was as in the Swedish version, with a possible score range of 0-20 on each of the above three Sjobring dimensions. The fourtb Sjobring dimension (capacity) C, is not measured by the MNT Inventory, as current tests of intelligence are felt to be satisfactory for this purpose. It thus will not be included in the present material.

MATERIAL Data are reported for each of three groups of American subjects. All groups were administered the previously described English translation of the MNT Inventory. The composition of each group is described separately, as follows: Group A . 101 subjects, 40 male and 61 female. During 1970-1971, subjects were obtained from a variety of source!^ (wark associates ar friends of the wthw, class% at Columbia University; classes at Simmons College). In general, this group can be considered relatively uuselwted ewept for educational level, which was college or higher. For the males, age range was 18 to 36 years (mean = 26.4); for the females, age range was 18 to 48 years (mean = 25.1). Group B. 805 subjects, 329 male and 476 female. Subjects were students at Boston Univmity who registered to take psychology courses during 1970. At registration they received a packet of self-administering forms, including the MNT Inventory, as part of a procedure to select subjects to be used in other research projects. This group thus can be cansidered as mpresentative of a large urban college, fmhman-sophomore class level, br0ad-W as regards s o c i o e c ~ status. c It was a young group with a relatively narrow age range. Actual values wem, far the d e s , age range 17 to 24 (mean = 18.7). F a the females, wmge was 17 to 50 (mean = 18.6). Group C. 647 subjects; 272 male and 375 female. This group was obtained in a fashion identical to group B but was selected 1 year later (1971). It thus should be similar in a31 essential respects to group B. Age range for males was 17 to 27 (mean = 18.7); for females the age range was 17 to 25 (mean = 18.4).

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Means on Sjobring dimensions

Means and standard deviations, presented separately by sex, on the So, St, and V dimensions for each of the three separate American populations are given in Table 1. There were significant (P 2 .05) differences between the sexes on St for all three groups and on V for two groups (B and C). There were no significant sex differenceson So.


Table 1. MNT normative data on three groups So dimension Group






St dimension mean




V dimension


s.d. n a :


Group A (n = 61) Group B (n = 476) Group C (n = 375) Sexes combined Group A (n = 101) Group B (n = 805) Group C (n = 647)

8.6 8.4 8.6

3.3 3.3 3.2

5.5 5.7 6.0

2.9 3.3 3.2

11.5 10.2 10.5

4.0 3.7 4.0

8.8 8.4 8.6

3.2 3.2 3.1

7.1 6.2 6.3

4.1 3.4 3.2

11.8 10.7 10.8

4.2 3.8 3.9

So = solidity; St = stability; V = validity.

Means and standard deviations for the sexes combined are also presented, as this was the custom in several of the earlier articles. However, it is the author’s view that the sexes should be considered separately, as it does appear that the norms vary with sex, at least for St and for V, and thus real differences can be masked depending on the relative proportion of subjects in each sex group for each particular study. Comparison with other reported means

Means on the three Sjobring dimensions from published data by other investigators in Sweden and in the United Kingdom are presented in Table 2. The intent was to be comprehensive and to include studies published in English which provided MNT data on normals. Also included in the table, for comparison purposes, are the means for the three American populations. The ordering in the table places first within each country data obtained on students, for ease of comparison with the U. S. groups. In order to make meaningful comparisons, the study populations used by these other authors are briefly described, in the order that each appears in the table. Sundquist (1973). The sample was drawn from students enrolling for their first year at the University of Uppsala. Original sample size was 200, drawn r a n d d y and stratified so that students enrolled in the disciplines of English, French, History, and Mathematics were equally represented (50 each). MNT data was obtained at two separate points in time: at entrance, and 2 years latm. Only the data obtained at entrance is reported here, as the appropriate group for comparison with the U.S. group. Usable data was obtained an 195 subjects. Eighty-five were male, with an age range of 18 to

110 49 (mean = 20). One hundred and ten were female, with an age range d 18 to 32 (mean = 19). Nyman & Marke (1962). These authors studied three groups. The first two, A and B, were used in the development of the MNT Inventopy itself. The third, C, w e d i to establish the applicability of the scale to subjects of different educational levels and to examine changes with age. Each group is described separately.

Group A: Subjects were drawn from three separate student groups: teacher trainees; nurse trainees; and technical college students. There were 323 in the sample; 147 were male and 176 ware female. Age range was given as 19 to 25, with the majority in their early twenties (means were not given). Group B: This group included different students from the same source as Group A, but it also included students from two other sourw: social work trainees and students of economics. Them were 359 in the mup, with 179 malw and 180 females. Age range for both was described as similar to the p d i n g group. Group C: MNT Inventories were mailed to 3,300 car owners of different ages and social status. The authors report data only for male respondents of certain age groups (Ci: age 18-30; C2:age 41-45; Cs: age 56-65). Included here are those of approximately comparable educational level (completion of university student exam). Sample sizes are 88 for CI,77 for CZ,and 64 for CS. Segraves (1971). Using an English translation of the MNT sale (Coppen (1966)) this author obtained MNT data on 100 British students at a technical college in England. All were male; the age range was 18 to 27 (mean = 20.5). Coppen (1966). In this study the a u W s intent was to obtain MNT data on normals in

order to contrast their scores with those of psychiatric patients. He drew his sample from relatives of patients attending a surgical outpatient c h i c of a general hospital. This group thus represents a baosder age and educational level than the rmes previously described. The sample consisted of 113 subjects. 62 were male; age range was not given (mean = 30.0). 51 were fenale; age range not given (mean = 32.3). From Table 2, it can be seen that there is some consistency with the American scores, particularly between group B and group C as would be expected. Within males for all three age groups, lowest scores were always obtained on the St dimension, highest scores on the V dimension, with scores on So falling in between. A similar pattern existed for females. Comparing across the sexes, males and females were generally similar on So. There were differences on St, where females were always loww, and on V where males were always higher. This pattern of scale scores by sex is of interest when compared to the Swedish groups. The groups examined by Sundquist were most directly comparable with respect to age and educational level, and the pattern of the scale scores was entirely similar: both males and females were lowest on St, highest on V, and intermediate on So. Compared to males, the females were lower on St and on V; they w m also lower on So compared to the Swedish males than were the American females compared to the American males. Nyman & Marke's group B also showed the same pattern - females lower on St and on V - but with males and females again similar on So, as was the case with the American groups Neither of the British groups would be expected to be similar to either the


Table 2. MNT normative data: United States; Sweden; United Kingdom

1 I I1 I

Country ~wstimtor


E United States Barrett Group A Oroup B Group c Sweden Sundquist(1973)



40 61 101 9.1 8.6 8.8 329 476 805 8.5 8.4 8.4 272 375 647 8.7 8.6 8.6

8.3 5.5 7.1 6.9 5.7 6.2 6.8 6.0 6.3

12.5 11.5 11.8 11.4 10.2 10.7 11.3 10.5 10.8

9.0 8.0 8.5

7.6 6.0 6.7

12.3 11.3 11.7

85 110 195

Nyman & M a k e (1962)

Group A Group Group Group Group



United Kingdom Segraves (1971) Coppen (1966)

(Not available in a form comparable to the other group) 179 180 359 10.3 10.5 10.4 7.5 5.9 6.7 13.2 11.5 12.4

147 176 323 88 77 64 100 62 51 113

11.0 12.4 13.9

6.8 9.4 10.4

8.1 8.5 8.7

15.0 13.8 13.0

6.4 7.9 6.4

11.6 12.8 12.2

U. S. or the Swedish, with the possible exception of the technical students examined by Segraves. This male group had the lowest scores of any on So, a rather surprising finding and one which might raise questions about the validity of the particular translation of the MNT for this dimension on British subjects. St was also very low for males, compared to the Swedish students (Sundquist’s group and Nyman & Marke’s group B). With one exception, the Coppen figures were generally similar to those obtained by the author for group A. These groups were indeed more comparable with respect to age, although it can be assumed that the American group repre sented a higher educational level. The one exception was the high score on So for British women (10.4). This So score was higher for women compared to men within Coppen’s group, a pattern not customary in the other two countries with the exception of Nyman 8c Marke’s group B where the difference appears trivial.

Correlations between dimensions

According to Sjobring theory, the dimensions are orthogonal, and accordingly there should be no significant correlations between dimensions. However, this hypothetical finding assumes a true cross-section of a population, a condition


Table 3. Correlations between Sjobring dimensions (MNT derived)









v-so Male





United States

Barrett Group A Group 3 Group C

40 329 272

61 476 375

-.17 .06 -.16**-.09 -.02 -.08

Sundquist (1973) 85 110 Nyman & Marke (1962) Group A 147 176 Group B 179 180 Group CI 88 Group CZ 77 Group C3 64

(Not reported)

.07 -.02 -.05

-.14 -.07 -.20**

.22 .33** .19** .16** .17** .lo*

-.15 .02

.27 .13 .07 .02


-.04 -.09 -.29**-.09 .01 -.I0

-.19 -.13 -.23 -.18 -.23

-.09 .44**n.s.+



.13 .26**


United Kingdom

%graves (1971) 100 Coppen (1966) 62 +



-.22* as.+



Actual values not reported .05; ** P 2 .01,two tailed test

* P5

which certainly does not hold for any of the subject groups presented here. For American subjects, the correlations between dimensions were computed separately by sex for the three groups and are presented in Table 3. Also included in Table 3 are reported data an dimension intercorrelations for other studies, Swedish and British, where the MNT scale was the instrument used to obtain Sjobring dimension scores. Significance levels, when reported, for these correlation coefficients are also shown in Table 3, although the large 11’s in the American groups B and C allow significance to be reached with relatively low values of r. For the American groups, the actual values of r even if significance was reached were quite low, less than .25 with one exception (positive correlation of .33 between St and So for the older female group). Looking at the pattern across the three American groups, for the V-St comparison, there was considerable consistency, with essentially no correlation for females, a weak negative correlation for males, reaching significance for one group (B). The V-So comparison also showed considerable consistency, with essentially no correlation for males, a weak, always negative, correlation for females, reaching significance for one group (C). The third possible correlation, St-So, again showed consistency for both sex groups. It was always positive for each, was relatively larger than in the other two comparisons, reaching significance at the .05 level for five of the six groups.


Summarizing this American material, the between dimension correlations were either not significant or were very small. These results are in accord with Sjobring theory, that is, the dimensions appear essentially orthogonal. The correlational data for the Swedish groups revealed a pattern generally similar to that found with the American groups. For both sexes, V-St correlations were negative in direction and, with one exception, the males in Nyman & Marke’s group B, were not significant. V-So correlations were also negative in direction, small, and did not reach statistical significance for either sex group. St-So correlations were positive in direction, small, and did not reach statistical significance with one exception (r = .26 for the females in Nyman & Marke’s group B). The British data did not show the within-country consistency observed in the Swedish and American groups. Segrave’s group, all males, had a significant positive correlation (.40) between St-So and a significant negative correlation between V-So (-.22). Coppen’s male group showed no significant correlations for either of those two comparisons, but did show a significant positive correlation (.44) between V-St, the one comparison which was not significant in Segrave’s material. Comparing the British data to those of the other two countries, the V-St correlation in Coppen’s male group was unlike that found in any other group, both in direction (positive) and in size (A). The one other significant correlation found by this author, .55 for St-So in females, was the largest r fof any group, although here the direction was similar to that found in the American and Swedish female groups which also showed significant, although smaller, St-So correlations. In Segrave’s material, the significant positive St-So Correlation (.40) for males was similar to that found in the younger male American groups, although again the degree of correlation was considerably larger than that seen in the American groups. The significant negative V-So correlation (-.22) found by Segraves in males was not found in any of the other male groups, although the direction was similar to that seen in the Swedish and American groups. Summarizing the British material, the large positive correlation between V-St in Coppen’s normal males is at variance with all the other data reported here on normals. No simple explanation for this finding suggests itself. The significant negative correlation between V-So in males was also unique to the British, as was the size of r for the significant St-So correlation in females. Recalling the data presented earlier concerning So in the British groups - the low mean So score in males for Segraves’ group and the higher mean score on SO for females as compared to males, a reversal of the usual pattern - one is left with the impression that there may be difficulties with the validity of the items relating to the So dimension when the British version of the MNT Inventory is used with British subjects. Other differences between and across groups could be discussed. However, in any attempt to consider differences on the dimensions across national boundaries, one is always faced with the following dilemma: Do the scores r e present true differences on the dimensions (i. e., scale scores are valid and directly comparable from country to country; differences observed thus represent 8 ACTA PSYC522


cross-national differences in personality); or do the differences simply reflect the possibility that certain scale items, as presently translated in the different countries, will have different meanings and therefore be differently rated? In the absence of a culture-free criterion, presently not available, for determining an individual’s location on a particular dimension, this dilemma can not be resolved. On the basis of my clinical understanding of the dimensions and of the cultures involved, I would favor the former position (that the scores reflect true differences) when considering the Swedish and the American scale scores. This conclusion is of necessity impressionistic and subjective but is presented for completeness. A more conservative view would limit itself to comparisons within a particular culture and would avoid direct comparisons across national boundaries, at least until such time as independent validation criteria are available.

SUMMARY 1. For three separate groups of American subjects, separated by sex, means have been presented for each of three Sjobring personality dimensions (MNT derived). There was a consistent pattern to the scale scores within each group; mean scores for St and for V were higher for males, while mean scores for So were essentially the same for the two sexes. 2. The scale scores for the American groups were compared to previously reported scale scores on Swedish and British normals. There was considerable consistency, both in level and in pattern, to the scale scores between the American and the Swedish groups. 3. Correlational data between the dimensions was presented for the three American groups. This correlational data showed a high degree of consistency across the American groups. In accord with Sjobring theory, there was a very low degree of correlation between any of the Sjobring dimensions for all three of the subject groups. 4. The correlational data for the American groups was compared to the Correlational data for the Swedish and for the British groups. There was a high degree of consistency between the American correlational patterns and the Swedish correlational patterns, particularly when allowance was made for different cornpition of the subject groups. The correlational patterns for the British groups showed less consistency when compared to each other and to similar American or Swedish subject groups.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The author Wishes to expreas thanks to Dr. Carla DiScala, who perfarmed many of the statistical analyses, am3 to Dr. Douglas McNair, who gave helpful advice, including reading the manuscript. He also wishes to express his gratitude to Dr. Seymour Fisher for making available to him the resources of the Psychopharmacology Laboratory at Boston University Med-

ical Center.


REFERENCES Barrett, J . (1972): Use of the M-N-TInventory (Sjobring personality h s i o n s ) on an Amwican population. Acta psychiat. scand. 48, 501-509. Coppen, A . (1966): The Marke-Nyman temperament scale: An English uanelritim. Brit. J. med. Psychol. 39, 55-59. Essen-Moller, E. (1956): Individual traits and morbidity in a Swedish rural popul&n.



Hagnell, 0. (1966): A prospective study of the incidence of mental disorder. Svenska Bokforlaget, Stockholm. Nyman, G. E. (1956): Variations in personality. Acta psychiat. scand., Suppt 107. Nyman, G . E., & S. Marke (1962): Sjobring's differentiella psykologi: analys och skalkonstruktb. Gleerups, Lund. Schalling, D . (1970): contributions to the validation of some personality concept^. University of Stockholm, Rep. psychal. Lab., Suppl. 1. Segraves, R. T . (1971): Intercorrelations between the Sjobring and Eysenckian personality dimensions. Acta psychiat. scad. 47, 288-294. Sjobring, H. (1973): Personality structure and development. Acta psychiat. scand., Suppl. 244. Sundquist. U. B. (1973): Academic pcaformance and mental health in university students. Acta psychiat. scand., Suppl. 239.

Received October 4, 1974

James E. Barrett, Jr., M. D. Psychopharmacology Laboratory Boston University School of Medicine 80 East Concord Street Boston, Mass. 02118 U.S.A.

Sjöbring personality dimensions: norms for some American populations.

An American version of the MNT Inventory (Sjöbring personality dimensions) was administered to three separate groups of American subjects. Normative d...
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