Personalities and Peoples: the WEIRDness of the Big Five

New research suggests the Big Five model of personality – openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism – may not apply outside of the West or beyond the developed world. In other words, the Big Five may be WEIRD: Western, Educated, Industrial, Rich, Democratic.

For the first time, a primitive forager-horticultural people has been studied. The Tsimane people (in Bolivia) appear to have a “Big Two:” the two axes of personality are prosociality and industriousness.

My takeaway: I now incline to the view that personality traits vary among different kinds of peoples.

Source:

Michael Gurven, Christopher von Rueden, Maxim Massenkoff, Hillard Kaplan, Marino Lero Vie, “How Universal Is the Big Five? Testing the Five-Factor Model of Personality Variation Among Forager-Farmers in the Bolivian Amazon,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, online Dec. 17, 2012 (pdf)

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