Personality Trait Structure as a Human Universal

Personality, Stress, and Coping Section, National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.
American Psychologist (Impact Factor: 6.87). 06/1997; 52(5):509-16. DOI: 10.1037//0003-066X.52.5.509
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Patterns of covariation among personality traits in English-speaking populations can be summarized by the five-factor model (FFM). To assess the cross-cultural generalizability of the FFM, data from studies using 6 translations of the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (P.T. Costa & R. R. McCrae, 1992) were compared with the American factor structure. German, Portuguese, Hebrew, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese samples (N = 7,134) showed similar structures after varimax rotation of 5 factors. When targeted rotations were used, the American factor structure was closely reproduced, even at the level of secondary loadings. Because the samples studied represented highly diverse cultures with languages from 5 distinct language families, these data strongly suggest that personality trait structure is universal.

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Available from: Paul Costa, Sep 01, 2015
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    • "3. Personality traits and test validity The most commonly assessed personality attribute is that of the personality trait and while there are a variety of trait approaches, traits are generally seen as intra-individual 'temperament-like variables' (Matthews, Deary, & Whiteman, 2003; McCrae & Costa, 1995; McCrae et al., 2000). The identification of traits has been guided by the lexical approach to personality (traceable to Galton, Thurstone, and Cattell, amongst others—Digman, 1990; Goldberg, 1990; Matthews et al., 2003), utilising trait-term adjectives in language , as well as factor-analytic studies, to develop hierarchical models that identify higher level broad factors from clusters of lower level traits and specific acts (Eysenck, 1991, 1997; Goldberg, 1990; Matthews et al., 2003; McCrae & Costa, 1997). Traits are commonly considered latent variables that underlie differences in observable test performance—''a trait is not an observable attribute of an individual. "
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