Cooperativeness is a personality trait concerning the degree to which a person is generally agreeable in their relations with other people as opposed to aggressively self-centred and hostile.[1] It is one of the "character" dimensions in Cloninger's Temperament and Character Inventory. Cloninger described it as relating to individual differences in how much people identify with and accept others. Cloninger's research found that low cooperativeness is associated with all categories of personality disorder. Cooperativeness is conceptually similar to and strongly correlated with agreeableness in the five factor model of personality.[2]


Cloninger described cooperative individuals as socially tolerant, empathic, helpful, and compassionate, as opposed to intolerant, callous, unhelpful, and vengeful. He compared cooperativeness to Carl Rogers' description of facilitative people who show unconditional acceptance of others, empathy with others' feelings and willingness to help without a desire for selfish domination. Cloninger regarded high cooperativeness as a sign of psychological maturity and of advanced moral development as described by Kohlberg.[1]


Cooperativeness is assessed with five subscales in the Temperament and Character Inventory:[1]

  1. Social acceptance vs. intolerance (C1)
  2. Empathy vs. social disinterest (C2)
  3. Helpfulness vs. unhelpfulness (C3)
  4. Compassion vs. revengefulness (C4)
  5. Principles vs. self-advantage (C5)

Relationship to other personality traitsEdit

Cooperativeness is similar in content to and strongly correlated with agreeableness in the Big five personality model.[2] It is inversely correlated with Aggression-Hostility and psychoticism in Zuckerman's Alternative five model and the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire respectively.[3]


Researchers have suggested that a combination of low self-directedness and low cooperativeness form a general factor common to all personality disorders.[4] The specific combination of low self-directedness, low cooperativeness, and high self-transcendence has been described as a "schizotypal personality" style by Cloninger and colleagues,[4] and has been found to be associated with high levels of schizotypy (proneness to psychotic symptoms).[5]


  1. ^ a b c Cloninger, C.R.; Svrakic, DM; Przybeck, TR (December 1993). "A psychobiological model of temperament and character". Archives of General Psychiatry. 50 (12): 975–90. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1993.01820240059008. PMID 8250684.
  2. ^ a b De Fruyt, F.; Van De Wiele, L.; Van Heeringen, C. (2000). "Cloninger's Psychobiological Model of Temperament and Character and the Five-Factor Model of Personality". Personality and Individual Differences. 29 (3): 441–452. doi:10.1016/S0191-8869(99)00204-4.
  3. ^ Marvin Zuckerman and C. Robert Cloninger (August 1996). "Relationships between Cloninger's, Zuckerman's, and Eysenck's dimensions of personality". Personality and Individual Differences. 21 (2): 283–285. doi:10.1016/0191-8869(96)00042-6. PMC 4486314. PMID 26146428.
  4. ^ a b Laidlaw, Tannis M.; Dwivedi, Prabudha; Naito, Akira; Gruzelier, John H. (2005). "Low self-directedness (TCI), mood, schizotypy and hypnotic susceptibility". Personality and Individual Differences. 39 (2): 469. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2005.01.025.
  5. ^ Danelluzo, E.; Stratta, P.; Rossi, A. (Jan–Feb 2005). "The contribution of temperament and character to schizotypy multidimensionality". Comprehensive Psychiatry. 46 (1): 50–5. doi:10.1016/j.comppsych.2004.07.010. PMID 15714195.