Personality profiles of cultures: aggregate personality traits

J Pers Soc Psychol. 2005 Sep;89(3):407-25. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.89.3.407.

Abstract

Personality profiles of cultures can be operationalized as the mean trait levels of culture members. College students from 51 cultures rated an individual from their country whom they knew well (N=12,156). Aggregate scores on Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) scales generalized across age and sex groups, approximated the individual-level 5-factor model, and correlated with aggregate self-report personality scores and other culture-level variables. Results were not attributable to national differences in economic development or to acquiescence. Geographical differences in scale variances and mean levels were replicated, with Europeans and Americans generally scoring higher in Extraversion than Asians and Africans. Findings support the rough scalar equivalence of NEO-PI-R factors and facets across cultures and suggest that aggregate personality profiles provide insight into cultural differences.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Ethnic Groups / psychology*
  • Female
  • Group Processes
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Male
  • Personality Assessment
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychometrics / statistics & numerical data
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Stereotyping