Evidence-Based Interpersonal Circumplex Requirements

A ‘true’ interpersonal circumplex will meet a number of requirements.

​Requirement 1

The two main axes must be represented by the metamotives Agency and Communion, and perpendicular to each other (i.e., a 90° angle). The content of the two main factors (represented below by the axes) must be clearly recognised in the items (adjectives/sentences) in the scatter plot. 

Requirement 2

In the interpersonal circumplex tradition, the convention is to divide the circle into eight octants. Mathematically the midpoint of each of these octants must be at 45°. All item positions (plots or vectors) in one octant or scale are then averaged into one vector representing the octant or scale. From a scientific point of view, all eight vectors in the interpersonal circumplex must be as close as possible to 45° from each other. 

Requirement 3

Each vector representing one octant/scale has to be at the same distance from the centre. 

Requirement 4

Opposite scales (or octants, or poles) in the circle must show a negative correlation, but adjacent scales need to show a positive correlation (the correlations must become smaller the further the scales are from each other in the circle, because interpersonal behaviour shows a gradual transition or continuum of the behaviour).
In addition to the above criteria, each scale must contain enough items and have an internal consistency (internal reliability) of .70 (alpha coefficient) or above. See Redeker et al. (2012) for a more detailed discussion of the research underpinning the CLS360. 

The plot of the CLS360 scales from the 2013 Australian leadership norm data meets the requirements of a ʻtrueʼ circumplex (see the figure below).

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