This paper explores the validity of the Typical Intellectual Engagement (TIE) construct in relation to the five factor model (FFM) of personality and locus of control (LOC). Validity was initially explored in terms of the general TIE construct and its three facets (1) problem-directed
thinking, (2) abstract thinking and (3) reading. A subsequent factor analytic exploration confirmed these three facets but suggested the existence of two others: (1) ‘intellectual avoidance’ and (2) ‘intellectual pursuits as a primary focus’. ‘Intellectual avoidance’
is similar to Dweck's (1986) notion of maladaptive motivation. Using a sample of 281 participants a number of differential predictions were made and supported, for example: TIE ‘problem-directed’ thinking was the primary associate of both internal LOC and C, while TIE ‘abstract
thinking’ was the primary associate of I. Further, TIE and both its facets/factors, but not I, were associated with LOC. It was argued, therefore, that while I and TIE are linked via abstract reasoning, they are measuring something distinct in terms of beliefs about personal agency.