Date of Award

Fall 2003

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

John D Mayer


The Life Space is divided into four domains that surround personality, which broadly encompass a person's biological foundations, owned possessions, interactions and daily activities, and group memberships. In Study 1, a revised measure of the Life Space (the College Student Life Space Scale) was developed. Factor analysis of the items within each domain resulted in 96 meaningful and reliable factor-based scales that provided a rich description of college students' personal surroundings and everyday behavior. A second-order (hierarchical) factor analysis of the first-order scales resulted in seven global Life Space dimensions. In Study 2, the first- and second-order Life Space scales were used as criterion measures to test the construct validity of Openness to Experience (Openness). Also in Study 2, cross-validated criterion-keyed Life Space scales were developed to compare individual Life Space items for high and low scoring individuals on Openness. The results of Study 1 replicated and expanded upon previous research on the structure of the Life Space. The results of Study 2 supported the construct validity or social significance of Openness. The value of a more detailed and comprehensive approach to studying personality within the context of the external systems that surround the person is discussed.