Chapter 4: Personality Traits: Practical Matters
Study: People shook hands with trained experimenters who interpreted
their handshakes into personality types and after were found to be
accurate when compared to their personality tests.
What’s Missing From the Five Factors?
Additional characteristics 10 adjectival clusters beyond the five
factors & HEXACO (not including physical characteristics,
demographics and unusual behaviours)
• Paunonen : created the Supernumerary Personality Inventory
to measure these factors
← Is Intelligence a Personality Trait?
← Cognitive abilities ≠ personality traits
• BUT Cattell : identified ability traits such as memory,
mathematical ability, and intelligence
← 1. Big Five Openness used to consist of sophistication, artistic
and intellectual interests and intelligence Lexicals thought
intelligence was more a part of Culture. Also, intelligent,
knowledgeable and cultured can be Conscientiousness.
← 2. People refer to intelligence with other personality descriptors:
intelligent, rational and logical, clear-minded, mature ≠ IQ it’s more
related to Conscientiousness
← 3. The are individual differences in how people perceive and
process information about the social world Emotional Intelligence
← Is Religiosity a Personality Trait?
← Religion ≠ personality BUT 75% people believe religion is a core
part of who they are.
← Saucier and Goldberg : Religiosity is beyond that five factors and
is more a secondary trait
← There are correlations between religiosity and Agreeableness,
Conscientiousness and sometimes Openness and Extraversion
depending on the aspect of religiosity under study
← Spiritual Transcendence – a dimension of personality separate
from the five factors: the ability of individuals to view life from a larger,
more objective perspective; a personal search for a greater connection
across all of humanity. • Piedmont : spiritual transcendence is a personal search for a
greater connection rather than a spiritual encounter with a
o Designed the Spiritual Transcendence Scale (STS).
Facets: Prayer Fulfillment, Universality and
Scores of the facets, barely correlated with the
Factor analysis 6 independent factors = five
factors + Spiritual Transcendence
Scores predicted measure of life; STS +
personality predicted locus of control beliefs for
health issues, vulnerability to stress,
responsiveness to others, perceived social
support, prosocial behaviour, positive sexual
attitudes and prochoice and prolife attitudes
← Is Sexuality a Personality a Trait?
← Sexuality was excluded from the lexical factors disregard for
sexuality as part of personality
← Buss : identified the Sexy Seven – dimensions of personality the
describe sexuality and overlap about 80% with the five factors: Sexual
Attractiveness, Relationship Exclusivity, Gender Orientation, Sexual
Restraint, Erotophilic Disposition, Emotional Investment and Sexual
Orientation. not separate from the five factors, rather sexuality is an
expression of it.
← Indigenous Personality: Unique Personality Traits?
← Personality traits are hard to describe in other cultures,
especially when five factors were American.
← Philotimo – an indigenous Greek trait term describing the
qualities of being polite, generous, responsible, respectful, and having
a strong sense of honour.
← Filial Piety – an indigenous Chinese trait term describing the
qualities of caring for the mental and physical well-being of one’s
elderly parents, continuing the family line and brining honour to one’s
family and ancestors.
← Amae – an indigenous Japanese trait term describing a state of
dependency on another person and the inducing of responsibility for
caregiving in that other person.
← Indigenous trait terms help explain our concepts to people of
other cultures and countries.
← Indigenous trait terms are outside of the five factors. ← The Five Factors in Other Cultures
← 1. Questionnaire measures of the five-factor model reliably
replicate across many cultures and languages
• NEO-PI-R is translates-back-translated and applies well in
many countries and cultures
• FFM is universally applicable; tested and validated in over 50
countries, similar outcomes, and correlates well with
meaningful external criteria on life outcomes.
← 2. Adjectival measures of the Big Five reveal variations of
Neuroticism, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness but
not Openness in many different cultures.
• Closer the culture to a Northern European culture closer
results to Anglo-based Big Five
← 3. Openness varies across cultures.
• Lexical Big Five model finds Openness to culture and
• Saucier and Goldberg : there were slight variations in which
adjectives were in the Openness factor in German, Turkish,
Hebrew, Filipino and Dutch.
• Benet-Martinez and Oishi : Openness is unique to Anglo-Saxon
cultures, specifically it’s facets.
• BUT the indicator of Openness, chills experience is universal
(less in African cultures due to measurement problems), but
what causes the visceral and physiological response may not
← 4. In some cultures more than five factors are needed to fully
• Additional factors are culture-specific forms of Extraversion or
Agreeableness or aspects of social evaluation.
• Interpersonal relationships are important many terms
o Agreeableness and Conscientiousness is universal and
← 5. We need more research on indigenous personality to truly see
which aspects of personality are universal and which are unique to a
• McCrae and Costa : Indigenous Traits – words describing
personality that are unique to a specific culture or language
group and not found in Anglo-Saxon cultures – are
interpretable as characteristic adaptations within the Five
Factor Theory. • Most measures didn’t account for indigenous terms Allport
and Odbert : researched how many factors best account for
personality within specific cultures
← Personality Traits Cross-Culturally: Personality Traits in China
← China is a “collective” culture stemming from the roots of
← Five-factor model is tested using NEO-PI-R, the results replicate
the FFM for 29/30 facets, the facet of Action, part of Openness results
for the Chinese are not the same as Americans.
• Is similarity due to the structure of the questionnaire or
← Cheung : developed the Chinese Personality Assessment
Inventory (CPAI) using a lexical approach
• 10 trait clusters unique to Chinese personality: Harmony, Ren
Qing – an indigenous Chinese trait term that refers to a
traditional relationship orientation emphasizing give and take
and connectedness, Modernization, Thrift, Ah-Q – an
indigenous Chinese trait term that means defensiveness:
named for Ah-Q, a well-known fictional Chinese character
depicted in a classic novel, Graciousness, Veraciousness-
Slickness, Face, Family Orientation and Somatization
• Factor analyzed ^ = 4 factors: Dependability, Chinese
Tradition, Potency and Individualism.
• Factor analyzed CPAI and Chinese NEO-PI-R = Five-factors +
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 the traits of
Harmony, Ren Qing, Ah-Q and Face.
• Six-factor is best applied to Chinese, but doesn’t apply to
Westerners, where Five-factor is best
← Research Methods Illustrated: Triangulation and Types of
← Triangulation – using multiple methodologies within a single
study, to compensate for weaknesses
← Personality psychologists’ 4 kinds of data collection:
1. S Data – self-report data, they include any information people
respond to directly, such as objective personality test,
interviews, narratives, life stories and survey questions 2. T Data – test data, they include information about people’s
reactions to a structured situation, such as experimental
procedures, intelligence tests, performance tests and
i. Implicit Association Test (reaction-time test), Thematic
Apperception Test, Rorchach Inkblot Test
3. O Data – observation data, they include information given by
friends, family, teachers, trained raters or others based on
watching how people behave in the laboratory or in their daily
i. Less bias
4. L Data – life data, they include information about people that
is publically available, such as graduating from college, clubs
and organizations, criminal records, marriages and so forth.
← CIA used triangulation to select the best candidates to become
← Expression of Traits in Everyday Life
← Personality Traits of Presidents
← Rubenzer : identified the traits of great presidents by having
experts play the role of a president and having them fill out the NEO-
PI-R as the president would.
• Compared to the US population presidents are more
extraverted, less open to experience and less agreeable.
• They are higher in facets of achievement striving
(Conscientiousness) and emotionality (Openness) but lower on
psychological liberalism (Openness), morality (Agreeableness)
and modesty (Agreeableness).
• Presidents who are truly great are higher in Openness (related
to general cognitive ability smarter) than the average
person. They have artistic interests, psychological liberalism
and intellect. They are slightly more Extraverted ( facet:
assertive) and Conscientious (facet: achievement, striving and
competence) and less Agreeable (facet: sympathy, morality,
cooperation). Neuroticism not related, but those vulnerable
had low ratings.
o Eg. Washington high Conscientiousness
o Eg. Lincoln high Openness and Neuroticism
← Music Preferences and Personality Traits ← Rentfrow and Gosling : College students take the Short Test of
Musical Preferences (STOMP) and personality questionnaires to identify
how the five-factors relate to musical taste.
1. No gender differences in music preference
2. Chronic moods (Eg. being depressed) had no impact on music
preferences BUT people may chose songs depending on
moods BUT no real relationship
3. Different personalities different preference of music
← Music Factor← Musical Genres ←