Hierarchical Subcomponents of the Big Five Personality Factors: A Cross-Language Replication

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An ideal structural representation of personality attributes would include more than just broad-bandwidth factors. Specific subcomponents help define broad factors while enhancing the fidelity of the representation. There has been no consensus with regard to the necessary specific subcomponents of the Big Five. This problem was addressed by analyzing 2 representative lexical data sets, one involving English adjectives and the other involving German adjectives. Large samples (Ns of 636 and 775) were used in classifying a selection of 500 adjectives in each language by Big Five domains, and within each domain and language, the terms were factor analyzed with promax rotation. Ratings by 22 bilinguals of correspondence between the adjectives in English and German factors indicated 18 distinct content themes common to personality description in the 2 languages. The 18 subcomponents delineate necessary features of a more finely faceted measurement model for the lexical Big Five factors.

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