Literature Review of Measurements of Personality Traits across Cultures

Kexin Jiang (Department of Educational Psychology, Washington State University, US)


After more than one century’s exploration from academia, both researches and measurements related to human personality traits have been fully developed with the effort of many researchers. Big Five, as one of the most popular assessments for personality traits, was formed based on the etic approach assuming there should be a universal or generalizable measurement for personality traits across cultures. However, with the increasing impact from different cultures as well as in-depth understanding from researchers, more doubts of etic approach on measuring personality were proposed. Emic approach stressing the significance of specific-cultural method in anthropological research has been accordingly investigated. The following Big Six and Big Seven scales were constructed under this approach. These measurements were already examined to have higher validity and reliability on measuring personality traits when implementing in the relevant group of people. Therefore, this study was supposed to give a literature review summarizing the definition process towards personality traits, the specific content and development of the mentioned measurements using etic and emic approach, the measurement issues based on the relevant researches, and some further considerations for etic and emic approach in assessing personality traits


Personality traits ;Big Five ;Etic approach ;Emic approach ;Big Six ;Big Seven

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