The Big Five in the lexical tradition, most vigorously advocated by Goldberg and colleagues, are based upon the lexical hypothesis: that those individual differences that are most salient and socially relevant will come to be encoded into the natural language. Therefore, the Big Five are based upon factor analyses of all (or a large number) of the trait-descriptive adjectives in a natural language, as culled from an unabridged dictionary. The Big Five are meant to provide a comprehensive description of phenotypic personality traits. They are not necessarily meant to have a biological basis.
One way of determining what is important in factor analytic studies of personality is whether the factors are replicable in different samples, perhaps across cultures. The Big Five have been replicated in a number of different languages. Early studies recovered the Big Five in several non-English languages, including Japanese (Bond, Nakazato, & Shiraishi, 1975), German (Borkenau & Ostendorf, 1992), Hebrew-speaking Israeli (Birenbaum & Montag, 1986), and Spanish (Benet-Martinez & John, 1998). However, these studies are marred by their reliance on measures translated from the English language. More recent studies have used indiginous trait terms, with mixed results. Among Germans (Angleitner & Ostendorf, 1989) and Filipinos (Church & Kaitigbak, 1989) the Big Five have again been recovered. Among the Chinese (Yang & Bond, 1992), only two of the Big Five have been recovered.
Goldberg's Big Five, unlike Costa and McCrae's OCEAN model, are not hierarchical. Instead, each pair of Goldberg's factors forms a circle in two-dimensional space, which together comprise the Abridged Big Five-Dimensional Circumplex, or AB5C (Hofstee, de Raad, & Goldberg, 1992). Pairs of factors form a circle because many items (usually adjectives) have large correlations, or "loadings," on two factors, rather than just one. The loadings are used as x- and y-coordinates to determine the item's angular location in two-dimensional space. Once its angular location is determined, the item is projected onto the perimeter of a circle. Items have been generated that represent all possible "blends" of pairs of the Big Five factors. Proponents of the circular Big Five model claim that there are many interstitial items, not that each group of items forms a circumplex. However, the first two Big Five factors map onto the two dimensions of the interpersonal circumplex, so theoretically items in this space should have circumplex structure.
|Superiority Striving||Social Interest||Superiority Striving|
|Dominant Iniative||Social-Emotional Orientation||Task Orientation|
|Model of Other (Avoidance) (r)||Model of Self (Anxiety) (r)|
|Low Ego Control||High Ego Control||Ego Resiliency|
Buss and Plomin
|Exvia (vs. Invia)||Pathemia (vs. Cortertia)||Superego Strength||Adjustment vs. Anxiety||Independence vs. Subduedness|
|Extraversion and Activity||Femininity||Orderliness and Social Conformity||Emotional Stability||Rebelliousness|
|Extraversion||Psychoticism (r)||Neuroticism (r)|
|Confident Self-Expression||Social Adaptability||Conformity||Emotional Control||Inquiring Intellect|
|Social Activity||Paranoid Disposition (r)||Thinking Introversion||Emotional Stability|
|Ambition and Sociability||Likeability||Prudence||Adjustment||Intellectance|
|Outgoing, Social Leadership||Self-Protective Orientation (r)||Work Orientation||Dependence (r)||Aesthetic / Intellectual|
|Control / Dominance||Affiliation / Love|
|Power Motivation||Intimacy Motivation||Power Motivation|
|Extraversion vs. Introversion||Feeling vs. Thinking||Judging vs. Perception||Intuition vs. Sensing|
|Personal Growth||Personal Growth|
|Positive Emotionality||Constraint||Negative Emotionality||Absorption|
|Extraversion||Psychoticism, Impulsivity, Sensation Seeking (r)||Neuroticism (r)||Psychoticism, Impulsivity, Sensation Seeking|
Note: (r) means "reversed scored." (This table is adapted from Digman , Griffin & Bartholomew , John , and McCrae & Costa .)
Benet-Martinez, V., & John, O. P. (1998). Los cinco grandes across cultures and ethnic groups: Multitrait multimethod analyses of the Big Five in Spanish and English. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75, 729-750.
Birenbaum, M., & Montag, I. (1986). On the location of the sensation seeking construct in the personality domain. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 21, 357-373.
Bond, M. H., Nakazato, H. S., & Shiraishi, D. (1975). Universality and distinctiveness in dimensions of Japanese person perception. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 6, 346-355.
Borkenau, P., & Ostendorf, F. (1992). A confirmatory factor analysis of the five-factor model of personality. Multivariate Behavioral Research.
Church, A. T., & Katigbak, M. S. (1989). Internal, external, and self-report structure of personality in a non-Western culture: An investigation of cross-language and cross-cultural generalizability. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 857-872.
Digman, J. M. (1997). Higher-order factors of the Big Five. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 1246-1256.
Griffin, D. W., & Bartholomew, K. (1994). The metaphysics of measurement: The case of adult attachment. In K. Bartholomew & D. Perlman (Eds.), Advances in personal relationships (Vol. 5, pp. 17-52). London: Jessica Kingsley.
Hofstee, W. K. B., de Raad, B., & Goldberg, L. R. (1992). Integration of the Big Five and circumplex approaches to trait structure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63, 146-163.
John, O. P. (1990). The "Big Five" factor taxonomy: Dimensions of personality in the natural language and in questionnaires. In L. A. Pervin (Ed.), Handbook of personality: Theory and research (pp. 66-100). New York: Guilford.
McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T., Jr. (1996). Toward a new generation of personality theories: Theoretical contexts for the five-factor model. In J. S. Wiggins (Ed.), The five-factor model of personality: Theoretical perspectives (pp. 51-87). New York: Guilford.
Yang, K., & Bond, M. H. (1992). Exploring implicit personality theories with indigenous or imported constructs: The Chinese case. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
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