How Universal Is the General Factor of Personality?
An Analysis of the Big Five in Forager Farmers of the Bolivian Amazon
Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology , Volume 49 - Issue 7 p. 1081- 1097
In various personality models, such as the Big Five, a consistent higher order general factor of personality (GFP) can be identified. One view in the literature is that the GFP reflects general social effectiveness. Most GFP studies, however, have been conducted in Western, educated, industrialized, and rich democracies (WEIRD). Therefore, to address the question of the universality of the GFP, we test whether the GFP can also be identified in a preliterate indigenous sample of Tsimane by using self-reports, spouse reports, and interviewer ratings. In the Tsimane, a viable GFP could be identified and the intercorrelations between personality traits were significantly stronger than in samples from industrial countries. The GFP correlated with the ratings of social engagement. In addition, self and spouse ratings of the GFP overlapped. Overall, the findings are in line with the notion that the GFP is a human universal and a substantive personality factor reflecting social effectiveness.