Chapter 3: Personality Traits Practical Matters
What’s Missing From the Five Factors?
Supernumerary Personality Inventory is used to measure additional factors
outside the five factors, describing the physical characteristics, demography
and unusual behaviour.
Is Religiosity a Personality Trait?
Spiritual transcendence: the ability of individuals to “stand outside of their
immediate sense of time and place to view life from a larger, more objective
The concept of spirituality goes beyond any particular religious tradition, and
in fact, Piedmont, and his colleagues designed the Spiritual Transcendence
Scale (STS) after first meeting with experts from various faiths including
Buddhism, Hinduism, Quakerism, Lutheranism, Catholicism, and Judaism.
The scale has three facets: Prayer Fulfillment, feeling of joy and
contentedness from connection with the transcendent; Universality, seeing
humanity as a single interrelated whole such that harming one harms all; and
Connectedness, feeling belongingness to and social responsibility and
gratitude for, others across generations and across social groups.
Is Sexuality a Personality Trait?
Undergraduate students rated themselves on each of these 67 words along
with an adjectival measure of the Big Five. When Schmitt and Buss factor-
analyzed these responses they found 7 sexuality factors, referred to as the
Sexy Seven: Sexual Attractiveness (e.g. sexy, stunning, attractive),
Relationship Exclusivity (e.g. faithful, monogamous), Gender Orientation (e.g.
feminine, masculine, womanly), Sexual Restraint (e.g. virginal), Erotophilic
Disposition (e.g. obscene), Emotional Investment (e.g. loving, romantic) and
Indigenous Personality: Unique Personality Traits?
American samples, even if they adequately explain personality in another
culture, it is possible that we may have missed personality traits that are
unique to that culture. For example, consider a person who is polite,
generous, responsible, respectful, and has a strong sense of honour. We can
readily understand what this means, but can you think of a single word to
describe these qualities? If you were Greek, you would immediately
recognize this as philotimo. Filial piety is a very desirable personality trait and is much more than
obeying and honoring one’s parents. Disappointing a family member is like
letting down all of your ancestors- and your future progeny. According to
cultural tradition, young people must internalize this trait. Filial piety is not
captured by the five-factor model alone; indigenous personality trait s are
necessary to fully explain this construct in Chinese college students
Amae characterizes relationships between people of lower and higher status,
such as bosses and workers, in addition to the relationship between parents
The Five Factors in Other Cultures
1) Questionnaire measures of the five-factor model reliably replicate across
many cultures and languages.
2) Adjectival measures of the Big Five reveal variations of Neuroticism,
Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness but not Openness in
many different cultures.
3) Openness varies across cultures
-Because the Openness factor does not consistently appear in other languages it
may be that this factor, though it exists cross-culturally, is defined differently in
ways unique to a specific culture.
4) In some cultures more than five factors are needed to fully describe
5) We need more research on indigenous personality to truly see which
aspects of personality are universal and which are unique to a culture. - --
Although McCrae and Costa claimed that indigenous traits, traits originating in
another language and which are unique to a culture are “interpretable as
characteristic adaptations within the Five Factor Theory” others counter that
both questionnaire measures and adjectival measures may miss indigenous
Personality Traits Cross-Culturally: Personality Traits in China
Cheung et al. developed the Chinese Personality Assessment Inventory
(CPAI) by using a sort of lexical approach by identifying descriptions of
Chinese personality from literature, proverbs, surveys, and previous
research. This led to the identification of 10 trait clusters, unique to the
Chinese personality and not covered by Western personality inventories:
Harmony (tolerance, contentment), Ren Qing (traditional relationship
orientation emphasizing, give and take connectedness), Modernization (vs.
traditionalism), Thrift (vs. extravagance), Ah-Q mentality (defensiveness;
named for Ah-Q, a well-known fictional Chinese character depicted in a
classical novel), Graciousness (courtesy, kindness, patience, vs. meanness),
Veraciousness-Slickness (trustworthiness), Face ( reputation, social
approval), Family Orientation, and Somatization (expression of distress via physical symptoms). When factor-analyzed four factor emerged:
Dependability (responsibility, practical-mindedness, graciousness), Chinese
Tradition (Harmony, Ren Qing, Face), Social Potency (leadership,
adventurousness) and Individualism (Self-orientation, logical, Ah-Q
Ren Qing: An indigenous Chinese trait term that refers to a traditional
relationship orientation emphasizing give and take and connectedness.
Ah-Q: An indigenous Chinese trait term that means defensiveness; named for
Ah-Q, a well-known fictional Chinese character depicted in a classical novel.
Cheung et al. conducted a fellow-ip study in which they factor-analyzed
responses to the CPAI and the Chinese NEO-PI-R together. They found six
factors: five from the five-factor model, as one might expect, plus an
indigenous personality factor they called Interpersonal Relatedness, made up
of Harmony, Ren Qing, Ah-Q, and face.
Interpersonal Relatedness: An indigenous personality factor unique to the
Chinese referring to instrumentality of relationships, propriety, avoidance of
conflict, support of traditions, and compliance with norms. Includes