Psychological assessment scales need to be psychometrically sound, but previous research on the factorial structure of one of the most common measures of trait reactance, the Hong Psychological Reactance Scale (HPRS), has provided multiple latent structures and contradicting findings, and the statistical methodology of previous research can be criticized. These issues raise questions regarding the interpretability and usefulness of the HPRS as a measure of trait reactance. In this two-part study, we followed contemporary statistical recommendations and tested the fit of 12 previously observed factor solutions of the HPRS using confirmatory factor analysis in two relatively large Finnish samples (n = 624 & 518). Furthermore, we tested what factor structure was supported by a data-driven exploratory factor analysis approach. Both our confirmatory and exploratory factor analyses supported a one-factor solution for the HPRS. However, in the exploratory analyses, the single factor accounted for only approximately 40% of the total variance. Our results also indicated that a reduced scale provided the best fit in our confirmatory analyses. Combined, these findings imply that the HPRS could use some improvement. Finally, to shed more light on the reactance construct and the construct validity of the HPRS, we replicated previous research showing negative associations between trait reactance and the Big Five Agreeableness and Conscientiousness traits.
- Big Five
- factor analysis
- Hong psychological reactance scale
- latent structure