The 5-Factor Model AKA The “Big 5”
Five Factor Model • (1936) Allport and Odbert. – 17,953 trait terms in English. – Divided these into groups. – Identified 4,500 stable trait terms. • (1943) Cattell – Reduced the list to 171 clusters. – Later refined it to 35 groups of personality traits. • (1949) Fiske – Through factor analysis identified five factors. History: Lexical Hypothesis
Big Five History, Continued • • (1961) Tupes and Christal • – Expanded on Fiske’s work with larger • sample. • • Current. • – Same five factors identified in many • languages and cultures.
The Five Factors • Openness • Conscientiousness • Extraversion • Agreeableness • Neuroticism
Universality • The Big Five are based on an analysis of the relation between trait words in the English language. • Studies in other languages have shown that similar factors emerge in other languages. • This finding suggests that the Big Five characterize universal human traits. • Openness received the weakest support for universality.
Issues and Contributions • • Issues • – Where do the factors come from? • – Descriptive. • – How comprehensive? • • Contributions • – Framework across cultures and languages. • – Strong empirical support.
Pure Markers of the Big Five Openness: artistic, creative, broad interests, cultured, knowledgeable Conscientiousness: careful, fussy, tidy, hardworking, neat, punctualExtraversion: extraverted, frank, talkative, fun loving, sociableAgreeableness: acquiescent, mild, gentle, softheartedNeuroticism: angry, anxious, worried, guilt ridden, nervous
Relation between Big Five dimensions • One goal of factor analysis is to find dimensions that are not correlated with each other (orthogonal). • The Big Five are supposed to be uncorrelated with each other. A score on one dimension does not predict scores on other dimensions. • In reality, some weak correlations exists. For example, neuroticism tends to be negatively correlated with extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.
Problems of the Big Five • Surely, scores on five factors cannot capture all aspects of individual differences. • What important traits are not represented?
Factor analysis also does not provide a clear answer to the number of factors. • Different researchers have argued for different numbers of factors. • The Five Factor Model has become the dominant classification system in the past 20 years.