Conscientiousness means being serious about your work and putting a lot of effort into doing it in a careful way (see Cambridge Dictionary).

According to the psychologist Roberts, it "a broad personality trait describing the tendency to be self-controlled, responsible, industrious, orderly, and rule-abiding" (as quoted in from Franzen et al., 2021).

In the video below, Brent Roberts explains conscientiousness in much detail and explains it as a family of traits.

Franzen and colleagues took MacCann’s (2009) conscientiousness scale and shortened it using psychometric methods (hence the letter S in the abbreviation CCM-S). A shorter scale makes it easier to include it in larger studies.

Basic facts:

  • Conscientiousness is one of the five distinctive personality traits (BIG-5)

  • Conscientiousness is (with intelligence) one of the best predictors of academic success

Conscientiousness facets measured by the CCM-S

  • Industriousness

  • Perfectionism

  • Tidiness

  • Procrastination Refrainment

  • Control

  • Caution

  • Task Planning

Interpreting scores

Scores are measured on a five-point scale. The lowest score is 1 ("not at all like me") and the highest score 5 ("very much like me). The total score is the average for all 28 items on the scale.

For each of the seven facets you also get an average score.

The middle point of the score is 3.

In the article by Franzen et al (2021), no average scores for their population are given. Instead, they were more interested in how the CCM-S scores correlate with things such as exam scores.

Run the demo

It seems that the CCM-S can be used for research, but you need to acknowledge the authors and their research paper when writing about it (Valko et al., 2008).


This is a simple scale question with some reverse items.

The survey code for PsyToolkit

Copy and paste this code to your PsyToolkit account if you want to use the scale in your own online research project
scale: ccmsagree
- 1. Not at all like me
- 2. ..
- 3. ..
- 4. ..
- 5. Very much like me

l: ccms
t: scale ccmsagree
o: boxes
q: For each item, choose how much an item is like you.
Values range from “Not at all like me” (1) to “Very much like me” (5).
- I am always prepared.
- I do more than what's expected of me.
- I make an effort.
- I work hard.
- I behave properly.
- I look at the facts.
- I make careful choices.
- I think ahead.
- {reverse} I act impulsively when something is bothering me.
- {reverse} I do unexpected things.
- {reverse} I make a fool of myself.
- {reverse} I make rash decisions.
- I continue until everything is perfect.
- I detect mistakes.
- I go straight for the goal.
- I try to outdo others.
- {reverse} I am easily distracted.
- {reverse} I have difficulty starting tasks.
- {reverse} I put off unpleasant tasks.
- {reverse} I waste my time.
- I am a goal-oriented person.
- I do things according to a plan.
- I like to plan ahead.
- I make plans and stick to them.
- {reverse} I am not bothered by messy people.
- {reverse} I leave a mess in my room.
- {reverse} I leave my belongings around.
- {reverse} I often forget to put things in their proper place.

l: ccms_total
t: set
- mean $ccms

l: ccms_industriousness
t: set
- calc ( $ccms.1 + $ccms.2 + $ccms.3 + $ccms.4 ) / 4

l: ccms_caution
t: set
- calc ( $ccms.5 + $ccms.6 + $ccms.7 + $ccms.8 ) / 4

l: ccms_control
t: set
- calc ( $ccms.9 + $ccms.10 + $ccms.11 + $ccms.12 ) / 4

l: ccms_perfectionism
t: set
- calc ( $ccms.13 + $ccms.14 + $ccms.15 + $ccms.16 ) / 4

l: ccms_procrastination
t: set
- calc ( $ccms.17 + $ccms.18 + $ccms.19 + $ccms.20 ) / 4

l: ccms_taskplanning
t: set
- calc ( $ccms.21 + $ccms.22 + $ccms.23 + $ccms.24 ) / 4

l: ccms_tidiness
t: set
- calc ( $ccms.25 + $ccms.26 + $ccms.27 + $ccms.28 ) / 4

l: ccmsfeedback
t: info
q: Your scores on the Conscientiousness:
Scores are expressed on a 1 to 5 scale with 2.5 as the middle point.
Overall score: {$ccms_total}
Industriousness: {$ccms_industriousness}
Caution: {$ccms_caution}
Control: {$ccms_control}
Perfectionism: {$ccms_perfectionism}
Procrastination refrainment: {$ccms_procrastination}
Task planning: {$ccms_taskplanning}
Tidiness: {$ccms_tidiness}


  • Franzen, P., Arens, A. K., Greiff, S., van der Westhuizen, L., Fischbach, A., Wollschläger, R., & Niepel, C. (2021). Developing and Validating a Short-Form Questionnaire for the Assessment of Seven Facets of Conscientiousness in Large-Scale Assessments. Journal of Personality Assessment, 1–15. Advance online publication. Link to journal

  • MacCann, C., Duckworth, A. L., & Roberts, R. D. (2009). Empirical identification of the major facets of conscientiousness. Learning and Individual Differences, 19(4), 451–458.