Big Five Personality Factors 1
Running Head: THE BIG FIVE PERSONALITY FACTORS
The Big Five Personality Factors and Personal Values
The Open University of Israel
Lilach Sagiv, Shalom H. Schwartz, and Ariel Knafo
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Key Words: Five factor personality model, Personal values
In Press, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2002, 28, 789-801.
Sonia Roccas, Department of Psychology and Education, The Open University of Israel,
16 Klausner St. P.O.B. 39328, Ramat-Aviv, Tel Aviv 61392, Israel. Ph:972-3-6465424
(office) 972-2-5346480 (home) Fax: 972-2-5346480 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lilach Sagiv, School of Business Administration, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount
Scopus, Jerusalem, 91905 Israel. Ph: 972-2-588-3115 Fax: 972-2-6521841
Shalom H. Schwartz Department of Psychology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem,
Jerusalem 91905, Israel Ph: 972-2-5882964 (office) Fax: 972-2-5881159 (office)
Ariel Knafo, 11/9 Hamerry st. Givataim, 53296, Israel, Ph: 972-2-5883024 (work),
Fax: 972-2-5881159, e-mail: email@example.com
Big Five Personality Factors 2
We relate Big-5 personality traits to basic values in a sample of 246 students. As hypothesized,
agreeableness correlates most positively with benevolence and tradition values, openness with
self-direction and universalism values, extroversion with achievement and stimulation values,
and conscientiousness with achievement and conformity values. Correlations of values with
facets of the five factors reveal nuances of the facets and clarify ambiguities in the meanings of
the factors. Values and personality traits exhibit different patterns of correlation with religiosity
and positive affect. Findings support the idea that the influence of values on behavior depends
more on cognitive control than does the influence of traits.
Big Five Personality Factors 3
The five-factor model (FFM) is the dominant approach for representing the human trait
structure today. The model asserts that five basic factors describe most personality traits:
neuroticism, openness to experience, extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.
Researchers have used the model to predict individual differences in numerous settings: clinical
(reviewed in Costa, 1991), industrial and organizational (e.g. Barrick & Mount, 1991, 1996;
Barry & Stewart, 1997; Mount & Barrick, 1995), counseling (McCrae & Costa, 1991), and
Some consider any stable individual difference an expression of a personality trait.
However, this encompassing view obscures important distinctions between traits and other
stable individual differences like needs, motives, goals, and values. Several studies have
contrasted traits with needs, motives, and goals (e.g. Costa & McCrae, 1988; Craig, Loheidi,
Rudolph, Leifer, & Rubin, 1998; Winter, John, Stewart, Klohnen, & Duncan, 1998). Here, we
examine relations between traits and personal values. We first note very briefly how values
differ from other constructs.
Values are cognitive representations of desirable, abstract goals (e.g., security, justice:
Rokeach, 1973; Schwartz, 1992). Like needs, motives, and goals, values motivate actions
(Rohan, 2000; Seligman, Olson, & Zanna, 1996). Values differ from specific goals (Emmons,
1989; King, 1995; Roberts & Robins, 2001; Winnel, 1987) because values are transsituational.
Unlike needs and motives (McClelland, 1985; Bilsky, 1996), values are inherently desirable and
they must be represented cognitively in ways that enable people to communicate about them.
Explicating the relations of personality traits to values will deepen our understanding of both.
We first discuss conceptual differences between values and traits. We then empirically test
hypotheses that specify a systematic pattern of associations between the five personality traits
and ten types of values. We also demonstrate the distinctiveness of the constructs by relating
them to religiosity and to positive affect.
To study values we adopt the value theory developed by Schwartz (1992). It defines
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values as desirable, transsituational goals that vary in their importance as guiding principles in
people’s lives. The crucial content aspect that distinguishes among values is the type of
motivational goal they express. Schwartz derived ten types of values, each of which expresses a
distinct motivational goal: power, achievement, hedonism, stimulation, self-direction,
universalism, benevolence, tradition, conformity and security. He also specified the structure of
relations among these values. The theory has been tested in more than 200 samples from over 60
countries. In the vast majority of samples, both the distinctiveness of the ten values and the
structure of their relations have been verified (Schwartz, 1992; Schwartz & Sagiv, 1995;
unpublished data). The set of ten values has been used to explain a wide variety of attitudes,
behaviors, and subjective states across many nations (see Schwartz & Bardi, 2001).
The relative stability of both values and traits across context and time makes them useful
psychological constructs. We now highlight their differences. Traits are “dimensions of
individual differences in tendencies to show consistent patterns of thoughts, feelings and
actions” (McCrae & Costa, 1990, p. 23). Hence, traits are enduring dispositions. In contrast,
values are enduring goals. Traits describe “what people are like,” rather than the intentions
behind their behavior. Values refer to “what people consider important,” the goals they wish to
pursue. Traits vary in the frequency and intensity of their occurrence, whereas values vary in
their importance as guiding principles (ranging from at least minimally to supremely
important). People believe their values are desirable, at least to a significant reference group,
whereas traits may be positive or negative. People may explain behavior by referring to traits
or to values, but they refer to their values when they wish to justify choices or actions as
legitimate or worthy. Finally, values—but not traits—serve as standards for judging the
behavior of self and others.
The same term (e.g., ambition, obedience) may refer either to a trait or a value, but the
two references have different meanings. For example, consider ‘competence’: The trait refers
to the frequency and intensity of competent actions and ideas that an individual exhibits. The
Big Five Personality Factors 5
value refers to the importance that an individual attributes to demonstrating competence as a
guide to action. Not all individuals who value competence as a guiding principle in their lives
have the ability to behave competently. Thus, not all individuals who attribute high importance
to the value ‘competence’ are characterized by the trait of ‘competence’. Nor do all people
who are highly competent view competence as a worthy life goal and pursue it as a guiding
principle in their lives.
To further clarify the nature of trait-value relations, we briefly compare the value theory
and the FFM in terms of their origins, content, and structure.
Origins. Schwartz postulates that three universal requirements of human existence, singly
or in combination, give rise to the set of ten distinct motivational goals: (1) basic needs of the
individual as a biological organism (a source, for example, of stimulation values); (2)
requirements of successful interaction among people (e.g., benevolence); (3) requirements for
the survival of groups and societies (e.g., conformity). He argues that for individuals to
coordinate their pursuit of these goals they must express them as values. Individual differences
in the importance of particular values derive from each person’s unique combination of
biological endowments, social experiences, and exposure to cultural definitions of the
desirable. People’s value priorities reflect strategies adopted to cope with these universal
requirements (Schwartz, 1992; Rohan, 2000).
The FFM was derived by inference from empirical analyses rather than deduced from
theory. Factor analyses of descriptions of self and of others, using trait adjectives from the
English lexicon (Goldberg, 1990; John, 1990; Tupes & Christal, 1992), and of the structure of
personality questionnaires (Costa & McCrae, 1988; Lanning, 1994) yielded five robust factors.
Recently, several theorists have traced the origins of the five factors to evolutionary
adaptiveness (e.g., Buss, 1996; MacDonald, 1998; McCrae et al., 2000). They interpret
variation in traits as expressing viable evolutionary strategies (see MacDonald, 1998). Thus,
both theories postulate adaptive evolutionary origins for their key psychological constructs.
Big Five Personality Factors 6
Attributing the emergence of particular human characteristics to universal evolutionary
processes implies that these characteristics are present across cultures and social contexts.
Congruent with this implication, research in varied cultures has demonstrated the near
universal distinctiveness of the ten types of values (Schwartz, 1992, 1994; Schwartz & Sagiv,
1995) and of the traits of the FFM (reviewed in McCrae & Costa, 1997; Church & Lonner,
Content. Both theories aim at comprehensive coverage of their basic domains of content.
They do not seek to specify every single value or trait. There is evidence that the value theory
may represent all broad motivational goals recognized and discriminated across cultures
(Schwartz, 1994). The FFM claims to represent comprehensively the basic factors that
organize human traits (e.g., Saucier & Goldberg, 1998). Although there is debate about the
existence of additional factors (e.g., Tellegen, 1993), only a few have been proposed.
Some disagreement exists regarding the precise meaning of each factor (McCrae & John,
1992). This may arise from the multi-faceted nature of the five-factors. Different theorists may
emphasize different components or nuances of the same broad factor (McCrae & Costa, 1997;
Sackett & Wanek, 1996; Hogan & Ones, 1997; Saucier & Ostendorf, 1999).
Structure. The value theory explicates the dynamic structure of relations among values
(Schwartz, 1992). Actions in pursuit of any value have psychological, practical, and social
consequences that may conflict or be congruent with the pursuit of other values. The total
pattern of relations of conflict and compatibility among values yields the structure represented in
Figure 1. Values that share compatible motivation goals correlate most positively and emerge in
close proximity going around the circle. Values that express conflicting motivational goals
correlate less positively, or even negatively, and emanate in opposing directions from the center.
Conceiving values as organized in a circular motivational structure has a critical implication
for the relations of values to other variables. It implies that the whole set of ten values relates to
any other variable in an integrated manner. Specifically, if a variable (e.g., a trait factor)
Big Five Personality Factors 7
correlates most positively with one value and most negatively with another, the expected pattern
of associations with all other values follows from the circular value structure: Correlations
should decrease monotonically in both directions around the circle from the most positively to
the most negatively associated value. When the whole pattern of associations is predicted, even
nonsignificant associations provide meaningful information (Sagiv & Schwartz, 1995; Schwartz,
Regarding the structure of relations among the five trait factors, there is disagreement.
Some studies treat the factors as conceptually independent (e.g., Costa & McCrae, 1985;
Goldberg, 1992), others emphasize relations among the factors (e.g., Hendriks, Hofstee, & De-
Raad, 1999). Various researchers have sought more basic factors that may underlie the five
factors. Digman (1997), for example, suggests two higher-order factors. Factor α consists of
traits that could represent the different degrees of success achieved by the socialization
process: Agreeableness (vs. Hostility), Conscientiousness (vs. Heedlessness), and Emotional
Stability (vs. Neuroticism). Factor β consists of traits that could represent self-actualization and
personal growth: extroversion and openness. Becker (1999) adds one factor to the Big-5 and
suggests two underlying, higher-order factors, mental health and behavior control.
Several mechanisms may link traits and values. First, inborn temperaments may give rise to
parallel traits and values. For example, people born with a high need for arousal are likely to
develop the trait of excitement-seeking as well as to value stimulation and devalue security.
Values and traits may also mutually influence one another. Values may affect traits
because, other things equal, people try to behave in ways consistent with their values
(Rokeach, 1973; Schwartz, 1996). For example, valuing conformity fosters compliant rather
than unconventional behavior. Values serve as ideals or oughts and hence as guides for self-
regulation. People may strive to reduce discrepancies they sense between their values and
behavior by changing their behavior (Carver & Scheier, 1981; Kluger & DeNisi, 1996).
Big Five Personality Factors 8
Traits may affect values because people who consistently exhibit a behavioral trait are
likely to increase the degree to which they value the goals that trait serves. This permits them
to justify the behavior. In this vein, Schwartz and Bardi (1997) explained the high value that
people living under communist regimes attribute to obedience versus autonomy. Such value
priorities justify the behavior required to adapt to a totalitarian regime (cf. “value justification”
in Kristiansen & Zanna, 1994). Self-perception theory (Bem, 1972) might suggest that traits
influence values because people infer what is important to them from their consistent (trait-
Two past studies have examined relations between values and the FFM (Dollinger, Leong,
& Ulicni, 1996; Luk & Bond, 1993). We discuss their findings in conjunction with those of the
present study which goes beyond them in several ways. First, we derive integrated hypotheses
that relate each trait factor to the full set of ten values. These integrated hypotheses shift the
focus from studying relations between single trait factors and single values to studying
relations between the structures of values and of traits. Second, we present the first inclusive
hypotheses relating values to the facets of each trait factor. This sheds light on the nuances of
meaning of both traits and values. Finally, we compare relations of values and of traits with
two other variables (religiosity and positive affect). This enables us to assess whether values
and traits, though systematically related, are conceptually and empirically distinct constructs.1
We present a set of hypotheses that relate each of the five factors to values. We postulate
that each factor is compatible with the motivational goals of some values and incompatible
with the goals of other values. If the behavioral tendencies that characterize a factor facilitate
attainment of the motivational goal of one value, they are likely to interfere with attainment of
the goals of values in opposing positions in the circular value structure. For example,
‘compliance’ traits may facilitate attaining the goals of conformity values, but they probably
interfere with attaining the goals of self-direction values. For each personality factor, we first
Big Five Personality Factors 9
derive hypotheses regarding its strongest positive and negative correlations with values. Then,
by drawing upon the circular structure of values (Figure 1), we formulate an integrated
hypothesis that specifies the expected order of correlations. We also present hypotheses for the
facets of each factor. Due to the large number of facets, we present hypotheses only for the
most positive correlations of specific facets. Note that each of these positive correlations
implies an integrated hypothesis with all ten values.
Extraversion. Individuals who score high on extraversion tend to be sociable, talkative,
assertive, and active; those who score low tend to be retiring, reserved, and cautious.
Extraversion is compatible with pursuing excitement, novelty, and challenge, the goals of
stimulation values. Moreover, the active and assertive aspects of extraversion facilitate the goal
of achievement values, success through demonstrating competence according to social
standards. Extroverted behavior is also likely to facilitate the pursuit of pleasurable experience,
the goal of hedonism values. We therefore hypothesize that extraversion correlates positively
with attributing importance to stimulation, achievement, and hedonism values.
In contrast, we expect a negative correlation between extraversion and tradition values.
These values emphasize humility and moderation in feelings and actions, and submission to
life’s circumstances. The passivity and self-abnegation inherent in tradition values conflicts
with the novelty, excitement, and assertiveness that characterize the extraversion trait.
Combining these hypotheses with the circular value structure, we formulate an integrated
hypothesis that predicts the order of correlations between extraversion and all ten values. This
order, stated as ranks from the most positive to the most negative correlation, is: stimulation
(1), hedonism and achievement (tied as 2); self-direction, power (tied as 4.5); universalism,
security (tied as 6.5); conformity, benevolence (tied as 8.5), tradition (10).
Regarding the facets of extraversion: We expect achievement values to correlate most
strongly with the assertiveness and activity facets, stimulation and hedonism values to correlate
Big Five Personality Factors 10
most strongly with the excitement-seeking facet, benevolence values to correlate with the
warmth facet, and power values to correlate with the assertiveness facet.
Agreeableness. Individuals who score high on agreeableness tend to be good-natured,
compliant, modest, gentle, and cooperative. Individuals who score low on this dimension tend
to be irritable, ruthless, suspicious, and inflexible. Agreeableness is highly compatible with the
motivational goal of benevolence values— concern for the welfare of people with whom one
has personal contact. Agreeableness is also quite compatible with the motivational goals of
conformity values (not violating norms or upsetting others) and of tradition values (accepting
and complying with cultural and religious norms). In contrast, agreeableness conflicts with
pursuing dominance and control over others, the goal of power values. Hence, we predict the
following order of correlations with agreeableness: benevolence (1); tradition, conformity (tied
as 2.5); universalism (4); security (5); self-direction (6); stimulation (7); hedonism (8);
achievement (9); power (10).
Regarding the facets of agreeableness: We expect the trust, altruism, straightforwardness,
and tender-mindedness facets to correlate most strongly with benevolence values. We expect
the compliance and modesty facets to correlate most strongly with conformity and tradition
Openness to Experience. Individuals who score high on this dimension tend to be
intellectual, imaginative, sensitive, and open-minded. Those who score low tend to be down-
to-earth, insensitive, and conventional. Openness to experience is highly compatible with the
motivational goals of self-direction (autonomy of thought and action and openness to new
ideas and experiences) and universalism (understanding and tolerance for all people and ideas
and appreciation of beauty and nature). It is also compatible with the motivational goals of
stimulation values (novelty and excitement). Openness to experience conflicts with the
motivational goals of conformity, tradition, and security—all of which concern preserving the
status quo and avoiding what is new and different. We therefore predict the following order of
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correlations: self-direction and universalism (tied as 1.5); stimulation (3); benevolence (4);
hedonism (5); achievement (6); power (7); tradition, conformity, security (tied as 9).
As for the openness to experience subscales, we expect the action facet to correlate most
strongly with stimulation values, the aesthetics facet with universalism values, and the fantasy
and ideas facets with self-direction values.
Conscientiousness. Individuals high in conscientiousness tend to be careful, thorough,
responsible, organized, and scrupulous. Those low on this dimension tend to be irresponsible,
disorganized, and unscrupulous. McCrae and John (1992) identify two distinct aspects of
conscientiousness, a proactive aspect (will to achieve) and an inhibitive aspect (holding
impulsive behavior in check). A similar distinction appears in other trait theories. Tellegen, for
example, distinguishes “ambition”, an aspect of the positive emotionality dimension, from
“control”, an aspect of the constraint dimension (Tellegen, 1985; see also Church, 1994, for a
comparison between the Big-5 and Tellegen’s theory).
The proactive aspect of conscientiousness is compatible with the motivational goal of
achievement values, whereas the inhibitive aspect is compatible with the motivational goal of
conformity values. We therefore hypothesize that conscientiousness correlates positively both
with achievement and with conformity values.
Achievement and conformity values are relatively distant in the motivational circle of
values. It is therefore surprising to hypothesize that both correlate similarly with the
conscientiousness factor. Correlations with the facets of conscientiousness can test our
assumption that each value is compatible with different elements of conscientiousness. We
hypothesize that achievement values correlate with the competence, achievement-striving, and
self-discipline2 facets (all proactive), but not with the order, dutifulness, and deliberation facets
(all inhibitive). In contrast, conformity values correlate with the latter facets but not with the
former. We also hypothesize that the order and deliberation facets correlate positively with
Big Five Personality Factors 12
security values. We offer no integrated hypothesis relating the overall conscientiousness trait to
all ten values because this trait combines components compatible with different values.
In developing the value survey, Schwartz (1992) focused on value items thought to reflect
the goals of a single type of value. Items expected to express blends of the basic values, rather
than a distinct content domain, such as items likely to express achievement and conformity,
were not included. Our interest in the value correlates of the conscientiousness trait led us to
add to the survey five value items intended to reflect a blend of achievement and conformity
values: strict, diligent, commitment, hardworking, and cautious. These items should correlate
most positively with conformity and achievement values. We hypothesize that this blended set
of conscientious values correlates most strongly with the conscientiousness trait factor and
with all of its facets.
Neuroticism. Individuals high on neuroticism tend to be anxious, depressed, angry, and
insecure. Those low on neuroticism tend to be calm, poised, and emotionally stable. We
anticipate no positive associations between value priorities and neuroticism. Neuroticism is not
likely to facilitate the attainment of the motivational goal of any type of value. Moreover, as
Bilsky and Schwartz (1994, p. 171) reasoned, “The depression characteristic of people high on
neuroticism might result from failure to attain the desired level of any one of the ten values.”
Relations of Values and Traits to Other Variables
Although we hypothesize that values and traits are correlated, we contend that they are
distinct constructs, overlapping only partially. Researchers have suggested that traits and
motives are two distinct elements of personality (see Winter, et al., 1998), and that each may
predict different sorts of behavior (e.g., McClelland, 1951). In a similar vein, we suggest that
traits and values are conceptually distinct constructs whose correlations with other variables
may differ, depending on specific conditions. Values, as cognitive representations of
motivations in the form of goals and objectives, are relevant to goal-directed acts. They are
therefore likely to be better predictors of attitudes and behaviors over which individuals have
Big Five Personality Factors 13
cognitive control or choice. Conversely, traits should be better predictors of spontaneous,
intuitive, and emotionally driven attitudes and behaviors over which individuals have little
Religiosity. There is little research on relations between the FFM and religiosity. The few
studies that relate the trait factors to religiosity (Kosek, 1999; Saucier & Goldberg, 1998;
Taylor & MacDonald, 1999) offer no theoretical basis for possible links. Religiosity correlated
positively with agreeableness and negatively with openness to experience in all these studies. It
correlated negatively with conscientiousness in two of the studies.
We expect stronger associations of religiosity with values than with traits. This is because
religion, like values, is concerned with the evaluation and justification of choices and actions.
These are goal-driven behaviors under at least partial cognitive control. Theorists may differ
with regard to the specific values they link to religion, but almost all agree that religious
involvement influences the value systems of individuals (Brown, 1987; Wulff, 1991). Moreover,
people’s value priorities affect the degree to which religious involvement promotes their basic
goals and hence may appeal to them. Values correlate systematically with religiosity in groups
from several religions (Schwartz & Huismans, 1995; Roccas & Schwartz, 1997). We therefore
hypothesize that values explain variance in religiosity over and above the variance predicted by
personality traits, but that traits add little to the prediction of religiosity by values.
Positive Affect. Positive affect, like subjective well-being in general, is more likely to
correlate with personality factors than with values. Many of the personality facets refer
explicitly to affective responses, while values do not. Several studies report strong and
systematic associations between personality traits and self-reported affect. Most research has
focused on extraversion and neuroticism, with highly convergent results. Neuroticism
correlates substantially with negative affect and extraversion with positive affect (e.g. Costa &
McCrae, 1980; Emmons & Diener, 1985; Watson & Clark, 1984, 1992). The correlations with
the other factors are usually rather low. Associations of neuroticism and extraversion with
Big Five Personality Factors 14
affect are so strong that many researchers see these traits as representing basic dimensions of
affective temperament (see Watson & Clark, 1992, for a review).
Sagiv and Schwartz (2000) examined relations of values to positive affect in six samples
from three cultures. Although some systematic correlations were found, all were moderate to
low. They argue that causal relations of values with positive affect are likely to depend on
whether people’s value priorities are congruent with situational opportunities to pursue and
attain valued goals. We therefore hypothesize that personality factors explain variance in positive
affect over and above the variance predicted by values, but that values add little to the prediction
of positive affect by personality.
Participants and Procedure
Participants were 246 introductory psychology students at an Israeli university, mean age
22 (range 16-35), 65 percent female. The order of completing the values inventory and the
personality questionnaire was counterbalanced. The affect scale and background questions
followed. All responses were anonymous. Questionnaire order did not significantly affect
correlations between values and the five factors.
Values. The importance that respondents attribute to each of 62 single values as guiding
principles in their life was measured with the Schwartz (1992) value inventory expanded to
include the five conscientiousness items. Responses ranged from 7 (of supreme importance) to
3 (important) to 0 (not important) to –1 (opposed to my values). A multidimensional scaling
analysis confirmed the structure in Figure 1 and the appropriateness of the standard indexes of
each value. The conscientiousness items formed a set that emerged close to the center of the
map. This reflected their blending of conformity and achievement values with which they were
correlated .38 and .16, respectively. To measure the priority given to each of the ten values,
we computed the average score for the items in the standard indexes (Schwartz, 1992, 1994).
Big Five Personality Factors 15
The internal reliabilities of the value indexes were: universalism .72; benevolence .67; tradition
.63; conformity .61; security .61; power .72; achievement .72; hedonism .64; stimulation .70;
self-direction .60. The reliabilities were within the range of variation commonly observed for
the values (for evidence regarding reliability and validity of the inventory, see: Schmitt,
Schwartz, & Schmitt, 1993; Schwartz & Sagiv, 1995; Schwartz, Verkasalo, Antonovsky &
Personality Factors. We measured the five personality factors with the NEO Personality
Inventory (NEO-PI). This questionnaire consists of 180 items, each answered on a five-pt.
scale ranging from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree.” Each factor is measured with six
subscales, one for each facet (Costa & McCrae, 1992). A factor analysis confirmed the five-
factor structure in the present sample.3 Costa and McCrae (1992) and Costa et al. (1986)
describe the reliability and validity of the instrument. Montag and Levin (1994) describe the
validation of the Hebrew version of the NEO-PI used here. Internal reliabilities for the traits
across the six facets were: Neuroticism .83 (the reliability of the facets ranged from .81 to .
52) ; extroversion .76 (.80 to .51); openness .71 (.81 to .50); agreeableness .64 (.75 to .58);
conscientiousness .77 (.75 to .50).
Positive Affect. We measured positive affect with the five positive items from the 10-item
Bradburn (1969) positive/negative affect scale (internal reliability .66). Respondents indicated
whether they had experienced each of ten feelings during the past few weeks (e.g., on the top
of the world, pleased about having accomplished something).
Religiosity. Respondents reported their subjective religiosity on a 0 (“not religious at all")
to 7 (“very religious”) scale in response to the question: “How religious are you, if at all?” This
single item correlated >.75 with other items that measured religious belief, observance, and
identity in a representative national sample of Israeli Jews (see Schwartz & Huismans, 1995).
It is therefore a reasonable indicator for our purposes.
Results and Discussion
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Relations of Values and Traits
Table 1 presents the correlations between the ten values and each of the five broad
personality factors and their facets. We discuss each personality factor in turn.
Extraversion. All the hypothesized correlations of values with the broad extraversion
factor and its facets were confirmed (all p < .01). Extraversion correlated positively with
achievement (.31), stimulation (.26), and hedonism values (.18), and negatively with tradition
values (-.29). These findings affirm the view that extroverted behavior—assertive, active, and
sociable, as against reserved and cautious—comports with cherishing values that define
activity, challenge, excitement, and pleasure as desirable general goals in life. Extroverted
behavior is antithetical to valuing self-denial or self-abnegation, expressed in tradition values.
The assertiveness and activity facets correlated most strongly with achievement values
(.38 and .23, respectively), and the excitement-seeking facet correlated most strongly with
stimulation (.39) and hedonism (.27) values. The assertiveness facet also correlated positively
with power values (.28). Unlike any other facet, the warmth facet correlated positively only
with benevolence values (.20). Hence, the specific aspects of extraversion were most
compatible with the types of values whose attainment they particularly facilitate. The unique
pattern of correlations for warmth suggest that the main motivation underlying this facet of
extraversion differs from the shared motivations underlying the other facets.
We tested the integrated hypotheses that relate each personality factor to the full set of
values by correlating the predicted with the observed orders of correlations between traits and
values. For extraversion, a Spearman correlation coefficient of .93 (p <.01) confirmed the
integrated hypothesis. This strong association reflects the fact that the correlations of
extraversion with values decreased monotonically around the value circle (Figure 1) from
achievement values toward tradition values, with only one minor deviation.
Openness to Experience. As hypothesized, openness to experience correlated positively
with universalism (.47), self-direction (.48), and stimulation values (.33). This broad trait is
Big Five Personality Factors 17
thus most compatible with the values that emphasize intellectual and emotional autonomy,
acceptance and cultivation of diversity, and pursuit of novelty and change. Openness to
experience correlated negatively with conformity (-.34), security (-.29), and tradition (-.29)
values, and with the added conscientiousness (-.26) values. Thus, this trait is antithetical to
values that emphasize maintaining the status quo, structure, and stability. Most correlations
with the openness to experience facets were consistent with the hypotheses. The actions facet
correlated most strongly with stimulation values (.39), the aesthetics facet with universalism
values (.43), and the fantasy and ideas facets with self-direction values (.33, .32, respectively).
Unexpectedly, the broad openness to experience trait correlated most negatively with
power (-.38) values. Power values emphasize active control of the social and material
environment. This finding implies incompatibility between openness to experience and striving
for control through dominating people and resources. In the effort to dominate, people who
emphasize power may reject unfamiliar ideas and experiences that might threaten their ability
The integrated hypothesis specified that the correlations between openness to experience
and the whole set of ten values would follow the motivational circle of values from self-
direction and universalism (most positive) in both directions around the circle to tradition,
conformity, and security (most negative). A Spearman correlation of .89 (p <.01) between the
predicted and observed order of correlations supported the integrated hypotheses. Only the
correlation with power deviated from the predicted circular order.
Agreeableness. Agreeableness correlated positively with benevolence (.45), tradition
(.36) and, to a lesser degree, conformity (.20) values, all as hypothesized. These correlations
suggest two different motivational bases for agreeableness. People may exhibit agreeable
behavior because they are concerned with the welfare of close others and want to care for
them (benevolence). Agreeable behavior may also be grounded in the goal of fulfilling social
obligations, abiding by established norms, and avoiding disruption of relationships (tradition
Big Five Personality Factors 18
and conformity). The benevolence motivation for agreeableness is self-transcending and
proactive. The tradition/conformity motivation is largely self-restricting and reactive.
Agreeableness correlated most negatively with power (-.45) and negatively with
achievement (-.41). We predicted a negative link of agreeableness with values that entail self-
interest even at the expense of others (power and, to a lesser extent, achievement), given the
description of individuals low on agreeableness as ruthless, suspicious, and uncooperative.
Power and achievement values can justify or rationalize such behavior. Additional negative
correlations with hedonism (-.34), stimulation (-.26), and self-direction (-.25) values suggest
that agreeableness is incompatible with a wider range of motivations. The substantial negative
correlations with these values point to another reason for a lack of agreeableness. These values
focus on personal rather than social goals and are relatively indifferent to the effects of one’s
actions on others (Schwartz, 1992). Apparently, an absence of concern about relationships
weakens agreeableness too.
The Spearman correlation between the hypothesized and observed order of correlations
was 1.00. Correlations decreased monotonically from benevolence to power in both directions
around the circle, with no exceptions.
Correlations with the agreeableness facets confirmed most of the hypotheses. As expected,
the trust, straightforwardness, altruism, and tender-mindedness facets correlated mainly with
benevolence values (.22, .29, .33, and .16, respectively). Compliance and modesty, but no
other facet, correlated with conformity values (.23 and .19, respectively). Tradition values also
correlated mainly with the compliance (.36) and modesty (.35) facets. Unexpectedly,
benevolence values correlated with these two facets as well (.36 and .30, respectively).
Conscientiousness. In contrast to the preceding personality traits, we hypothesized that
conscientiousness correlates most positively with two value types that are not adjacent in the
value circle. Consistent with the hypotheses, conscientiousness correlated positively both with
achievement (.22) and with conformity (.16) values.
Big Five Personality Factors 19
Conscientiousness also correlated significantly with security (.22) and with stimulation
(-.24) values. Security shares with conformity the goal of maintaining smooth interpersonal
relations and avoiding disruption of the social order. Thus, the positive correlation with
security emphasizes the importance of this goal as a motivator of conscientiousness. The
negative correlation with stimulation comports with the opposition of stimulation values to
both conformity and security values. It points to avoidance of risk as a motivator of
conscientiousness. As expected, conscientiousness correlated most positively with the set of
conscientiousness value items added in this study (.40). Recall that this set includes single
values selected because they reflect a blend of achievement and conformity motivations (e.g.,
hardworking, diligent). Thus, this finding also supports the composite nature of the
Correlations of the facets of conscientiousness further reinforce the dual nature of the
motivations underlying this trait. As hypothesized, achievement values correlated with the
proactive facets—competence, achievement-striving, and self-discipline (.12, .39, and .24,
respectively), though the correlation with competence was weak. In contrast, conformity
values correlated exclusively with the inhibitive facets—order, dutifulness, and deliberation
(.21, .16, and .18, respectively). Finally, as hypothesized, the two strongest correlations of
security values were with the order and deliberation facets (.29, .18). We proposed no
integrated hypothesis relating conscientiousness to the whole motivational circle of values
because of the dual nature of this trait.
Neuroticism. As expected, the broad neuroticism trait exhibited little association with
values. However, examination of the patterns of correlation of the neuroticism facets suggests
two distinguishable components of neuroticism. Each correlates weakly, but differently with
values. One component, including the angry hostility and impulsiveness facets, might be called
extrapunitive, because the negative emotion is directed outward. It tends to correlate positively
with hedonism and stimulation values and negatively with benevolence, tradition, conformity,
Big Five Personality Factors 20
and conscientiousness values. The second component, comprised of the anxiety, depression,
self-consciousness, and vulnerability facets, might be called intrapunitive, because the negative
emotion is directed inward. This component tends to correlate positively with tradition values
and negatively with achievement and stimulation values.
Relations to Religiosity and Positive Affect
The results reported thus far demonstrate systematic relations between value priorities and
the personality factors. We next consider evidence for the distinctiveness of values and
personality traits. If they are distinct constructs, their patterns of correlation with other
variables should differ.
Religiosity. We hypothesized that values explain variance in religiosity over and above the
variance predicted by personality traits, but that traits add little to the prediction by values. We
tested this hypothesis with two hierarchical regression analyses. One entered the values first as
predictors of religiosity and then the personality factors; the second entered the personality factors
first and then the values. We included as value predictors only the eight values that correlated
significantly (p<.01) with religiosity in this sample and in the same direction as in past research:
tradition (.59), hedonism (-.44), stimulation, (-.33), self-direction (-.24), universalism (-.22),
benevolence (.22), conformity (.18), and achievement (-.15). We included all five personality
factors as predictors, even though only agreeableness (.19) and openness to experience (-.18)
correlated significantly with religiosity.
Table 2 presents the variance in religiosity accounted for (adjusted R2) in each step in each
analysis. Values accounted for 43% of the variance in religiosity when entered in the first step
(Panel A). The personality factors accounted for only 2% of additional variance. The
personality factors accounted for 8% of the variance in religiosity when entered first (Panel B),
and values accounted for a substantial 37% of additional variance. These findings are fully
consistent with the hypothesis. Values correlated with religiosity more highly than traits and
accounted for considerable non-overlapping variance.
Big Five Personality Factors 21
Positive Affect. We hypothesized that personality factors explain variance in positive affect
over and above the variance predicted by values, but that values add little to the prediction of
positive affect by personality. We also tested this hypothesis with two hierarchical regression
analyses. One entered the personality factors as predictors of positive affect and then entered
values; the second reversed the order of entry. We included all five personality factors as
predictors. Positive affect correlated reliably with extraversion (.31), neuroticism (-.24), openness
to experience (.19), and conscientiousness (.14), though not with agreeableness (-.04). To
maximize the potential variance that values could explain, we included all ten values as predictors,
though only the correlations with self-direction (.16), stimulation (.14), universalism (.11),
power (-.16), and conformity (-.12) values were reliable. As expected, positive affect
correlated more strongly with values than with traits.
Panels C and D of Table 2 present the variance in positive affect accounted for in each
step in each analysis. Consistent with the hypothesis, the five personality factors accounted for
11% of the variance in positive affect when entered in the first step (Panel C), and values
added only 2% to the explained variance. Values accounted for 5% of the variance in positive
affect when entered first (Panel D), and personality factors added a substantial 8% to the
The dissimilar patterns of correlation of values and of the personality factors with
religiosity and positive affect make clear that the two constructs are not redundant. Values
related strongly to religiosity but only weakly to positive affect. The personality traits revealed
the complementary pattern of relations: weak associations with religiosity and stronger
associations with positive affect. Moreover, in predicting religiosity, values added substantially
to the variance explained by traits, while traits made a marginal addition to the variance
explained by values. In contrast, in predicting positive affect, traits added substantially to the
variance explained by values, while values made a marginal addition to the variance explained
Big Five Personality Factors 22
In sum, both the moderate level of correlations between values and personality factors,
reported earlier, and their dissimilar associations with external variables support the view that
values and traits are distinct constructs. Values may influence more strongly attitudes and
behaviors that are under cognitive, volitional control, whereas traits may affect more strongly
tendencies and behaviors subject to little cognitive control. This view is compatible with the
claim that traits are closely linked to temperaments (McCrae et al., 2000).
This study sought to examine relations between the five-factor traits and personal values.
Both constructs have been the focus of extensive research and both have successfully predicted
numerous attitudes and behaviors. We now briefly consider what this study has taught us.
The relations to values of the factors and of their facets help to clarify some issues
regarding meanings debated by theorists who emphasize different components of the same
factors (e.g., McCrae & John, 1992; McCrae & Costa, 1997; Sackett & Wanek, 1996; Hogan
& Ones, 1997; Saucier & Ostendorf, 1999). Consider one example. Some theorists distinguish
proactive from inhibitive aspects of conscientiousness, while others do not. The current
findings strongly support this distinction. Three facets of conscientiousness (competence, self-
discipline, and achievement striving) correlate substantially with achievement but not with
conformity values. They constitute a proactive aspect that is motivated by achievement values
—pursuing success according to socially approved standards. Three other facets (order,
dutifulness, and deliberation) correlate substantially with conformity but not with achievement
values. They constitute an inhibitive aspect that is motivated by conformity values—restraint of
actions, inclinations, and impulses that might upset or harm others or violate social norms. The
orientation of both aspects to living up to social standards may hold them together as a
conscientiousness trait. Correlations of other facets with values have sharpened our
understanding of their meaning in similar ways.
Big Five Personality Factors 23
Studying the links between values and conscientiousness drew attention to value items that
blend two values, conformity and achievement, that are ordinarily orthogonal motivationally.
The idea that motivations blend into one another is central to the value theory; it specifies that
motivational goals form a circular continuum (Schwartz, 1992). However, the theory has
assumed that only values adjacent in the circle blend together. The current study uncovered
blending between nonadjacent values, across the middle of the circle. This raises the possibility
that other value items may also blend basic values in ways not yet recognized. Studying how
values relate to other personality constructs may suggest additional blends among basic values.
The low correlations of neuroticism with values may imply that the motivations underlying
this trait are incompatible with one another or that the behaviors captured by neuroticism are
under little voluntary control. The current study provides some evidence to support both these
inferences. An extrapunitive set of neuroticism facets correlates most positively with
stimulation and hedonism and most negatively with tradition values. An intrapunitive set of
facets correlates most positively with tradition values and most negatively with stimulation and
achievement values. Thus, the motivations underlying the different facets of neuroticism are
incompatible. Nonetheless, few of the correlations are substantial. This supports the idea that
motivated, voluntary control plays only a minor role in neuroticism.
Traits and values show meaningful associations. Understanding the causal mechanisms
that underlie these associations may contribute to understanding the sources of individual
differences in both. We have outlined three mechanisms: (1) Inborn temperaments may give
rise to parallel traits and values. (2) Individuals may modify their values to fit and justify the
traits that characterize them. (3) Value priorities may induce value-consistent behavior that is
then perceived as traits.
Our view that values may influence traits contradicts the stance of McCrae, et al. (2000: p.
174ff.) that personality traits are endogenous basic tendencies, unaffected by any external
influence. In their model of the personality system, personality traits influence “characteristic
Big Five Personality Factors 24
adaptations” such as personal strivings, values, and attitudes. However, personality traits are
largely immune to influence by these adaptations or by any environmental variable. As detailed
next, what is known about values questions some of the grounds brought to support this claim.
McCrae, et al. (2000) propose that the presence of a similar structure of personality traits
across cultures indicates that these traits are common to the human species and biologically
based. They present evidence that the fundamental structure of the FFM does indeed replicate
in a large variety of cultures. But even a near universal structure does not demonstrate a claim
of solely biological origins and rule out cultural influences (Katigbak, Church & Akamine,
1996). The ten basic values and their circular structure of conflicts and compatibilities, which
were derived from requirements of social interaction and group survival as well as biology,
appear across cultures in more than 60 countries (Schwartz, 1992, 1994; Schwartz & Sagiv,
1995). Values are clearly influenced by culture: There are stable, strong differences in the value
priorities of people from different cultures (Schwartz, 1999; Inglehart, 2000). Therefore, evidence
of cross-cultural stability in the structure of the Big Five is not incompatible with the notion that
external influences such as culture affect personality.
The same line of reasoning applies to the relations between age and traits. McCrae et al.
(2000) present data cultures showing that traits tend to change with age in similar ways across
five cultures. They interpret these findings as indicating that “natural progressions of
personality development that occur without regard to cultural and historical context” (p. 182).
Again, value research yields a similar pattern of results—consistent relations of various values
to age across cultures. For example, younger people tend to attribute more importance to self-
direction and stimulation values and less importance to conformity, tradition, and security
values (Schwartz, 2001). However, these findings do not rule out cultural effects on values. In
sum, the knowledge obtained so far does not preclude the influence of values on the
development of personality traits.
This study has limited generalizability because we studied only Israeli students. It is not
Big Five Personality Factors 25
implausible that the ten values and five personality factors relate similarly in other samples,
given the stability of the structures of each in cross-cultural studies. However, this must be
investigated. The two previous studies of values and the FFM provide some support for the
generalizability of our findings. Dollinger et al.(1996) correlated the five factors with the seven
types of values that Schwartz and Bilsky (1990) identified in the Rokeach value list. All 11
significant correlations they observed in one sample of American students, and 10 of the 11
significant correlations in a second sample, were significant in the present study too. Luk and
Bond (1993) reported 21 significant correlations between the ten values and five factors in a
study of Hong Kong Chinese students. All these associations were in the same direction here
and 15 were significant.
We have seen that associations of values with trait subscales are also informative. Future
research should examine such associations closely. They can shed light on the stability of the
motivational meanings of the components of each trait across cultures and groups. They can
also reveal whether particular values motivate similar behaviors across cultures and groups.
In conclusion, we have argued that values and traits are conceptually and empirically
distinct yet related psychological constructs. Neither can assimilate nor subsume the other.
Traits refer to what people are like, values to what people consider important. There is some
evidence that traits have stronger influence on behavior over which individuals have little
cognitive control, values on behavior under more voluntary control. Associations between
traits and value priorities may reflect their influences on one another as well as their shared
origins in genetic heritage and in evolutionary and current adaptations.
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This research was supported in part by a grant from the MOST consortium to the first and
second authors, a grant from the Recanati Fund of the School of Business Administration at
the Hebrew University to the second author, a grant from the National Science Foundation
(Israel Academy of Sciences) to the third author and was facilitated by the Leon and Clara
Sznajderman Chair of Psychology. We thank Avi Kluger, Veronica Benet-Martinez, Gila
Melech, Olga Mazo, Naomi Struch and Noga Sverdlik for their comments on drafts of the
Big Five Personality Factors 34
1. Three other studies of values and traits used different measures and constructs to
study their relations. Rim (1984) and Furnham (1984) reported correlations between the 36
single values on the Rokeach (1973) list and Eysenck’s three trait dimensions. Bilsky and
Schwartz, (1994) derived indexes for some values in the Schwartz theory from responses to
the Rokeach list. They presented associations between these values and both the ten traits
from the Freiberger Personality Inventory (FPI: Fahrenberg, et al., 1989) that deals mainly with
stress and scales of extraversion and emotionality (neuroticism) derived from the FPI. They
reported no correlations but used multidimensional scaling projections to portray relations
between the structures of the values and the FPI. To the extent that they address similar pairs
of values and traits, the hypotheses and results of the current study are compatible with the
findings in Bilsky and Schwartz (1994).
2. Although conformity values include the single value “self-discipline,” this value has a
meaning quite different from the trait subscale of self-discipline. The self-discipline subscale
measures not being lazy. The value is explained as referring to self-restraint and resistance to
3. The factor analysis and multidimensional scaling analysis are available from the authors.
Big Five Personality Factors 35
Table 1. Correlations of the Ten Types of Values with Five Factors and 30 Subscales (N=246) *
BE UN SD ST HE AC PO SE CO TR CS
Extroversion .01 -.07 .10 .26 .18 .31 .13 -.11 -.13 -.29 -.18
E1. Warmth .20 -.09 -.02 .03 .09 .17 -.05 -.10 -.05 -.03 -.04
E2. Gregariousness .04 -.04 -.09 .15 .06 .09 .13 -.01 -.05 -.16 -.22
E3. Assertiveness -.11 -.10 .14 .15 .08 .38 .28 -.07 -.16 -.29 -.06
E4. Activity .06 -.09 .12 .07 .02 .23 .07 .03 -.09 -.20 -.04
E5. Excitement Seeking -.10 .03 .05 .39 .27 .16 .12 -.15 -.07 -.24 -.15
E6. Positive Emotions -.04 .01 .14 .21 .19 .22 -.02 -.15 -.08 -.22 -.18
Openness -.06 .47 .48 .33 .07 -.06 -.38 -.29 -.34 -.29 -.26
O1. Fantasy -.10 .25 .33 .23 .06 -.09 -.25 -.18 -.19 -.09 -.22
O2. Aesthetics .01 .43 .25 .13 -.09 -.17 -.41 -.19 -.19 -.07 -.22
O3. Feelings -.04 .11 .19 .14 .22 .09 -.18 -.15 -.19 -.24 -.12
O4. Actions -.08 .33 .32 .39 .01 .07 -.17 -.15 -.21 -.27 -.23
O5. Idea .03 .30 .32 .18 -.04 -.14 -.20 -.20 -.25 -.10 -.15
O6. Values -.08 .30 .39 .24 .20 .13 -.14 -.19 -.26 -.42 .01
Agreeableness .45 .15 -.25 -.26 -.34 -.41 -.45 .06 .20 .36 -.04
A1. Trust .22 .12 .00 -.07 -.17 -.10 -.21 -.05 .06 .06 -.08
A2.Straightforwardness .29 .07 -.17 -.23 -.24 -.30 -.33 .09 .08 .30 -.06
A3. Altruism .33 .04 -.18 -.14 -.12 -.16 -.26 .13 .09 .13 -.05
A4. Compliance .36 .14 -.24 -.25 -.27 -.35 -.25 -.02 .23 .36 -.03
A5. Modesty .30 .09 -.23 -.14 -.28 -.45 -.35 .09 .19 .35 .00
A6. Tender-mindedness .16 .09 -.10 -.13 -.14 -.09 -.24 .01 .08 .09 .01
Conscientiousness .04 -.17 -.01 -.24 -.05 .22 .05 .22 .16 -.10 .40
C1. Competence -.01 -.11 .05 -.17 -.03 .12 .05 .15 .02 -.08 .22
C2. Order .09 -.20 -.12 -.27 -.04 .11 .04 .29 .21 -.07 .33
C3. Dutifulness .22 .01 -.04 -.23 -.08 .04 -.21 .16 .16 .00 .25
C4. Achievement Striving -.16 -.15 .23 .09 .10 .39 .15 -.03 -.06 -.34 .19
C5. Self-Discipline -.03 -.11 -.01 -.12 -.06 .24 .11 .12 .09 -.08 .31
C6. Deliberation .05 -.12 -.11 -.27 -.09 .02 .05 .18 .18 .10 .31
Neuroticism -.02 -.02 -.10 -.07 -.01 -.21 -.08 .02 .02 .12 -.04
N1. Anxiety -.19 -.10 -.12 -.17 .01 -.12 .03 .08 .06 .08 .08
N2. Angry Hostility -.15 .04 -.01 .18 .11 -.06 -.03 -.03 -.13 -.11 -.19
N3. Depression .08 .02 .02 -.07 -.11 -.23 -.12 -.05 .03 .13 -.01
N4. Self-Consciousness .17 .03 -.18 -.19 -.14 -.30 -.17 .00 .05 .28 .04
N5. Impulsiveness -.12 .01 .10 .09 .15 .03 -.02 .01 -.08 -.10 -.11
N6. Vulnerability .02 -.05 -.25 -.11 -.06 -.20 -.06 .05 .11 .22 -.03
Notes: BE=Benevolence; UN=Universalism; SD=Self-direction; ST=Stimulation; HE=Hedonism;
AC= Achievement; PO=Power; SE=Security; CO=Conformity; TR=Tradition;
Hypothesized correlations are emphasized in bold.
Big Five Personality Factors 36
r >.11, p<.05; r >.15, p<.01, one tailed.
*Correlations are partialed on each respondent's mean rating of all values to correct for scale use
Big Five Personality Factors 37
Table 2. Percent of Variance in Religiosity and Positive Affect Accounted for in Hierarchical
Predictors entered by step: Adjusted R2
A. Values First
Personality Factors .45
B. Personality Factors First
Personality Factors .08
C. Personality Factor First
Personality Factors .11
D. Values First
Personality Factors .13
Note: R2 change is significant (p<.05) in all steps.