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Cross-Cultural Equivalence of the Big Five

A Tentative Interpretation of the Evidence
  • Ype H. Poortinga
  • Fons J. R. Van De Vijver
  • Dianne A. Van Hemert
Part of the International and Cultural Psychology Series book series (ICUP)

Abstract

This chapter examines cross-cultural evidence on the Five-Factor Model (Big Five dimensions) and other dimensional representations of personality (like the Eysenck model) in the light of distinctions between various forms of psychometric equivalence. In the first section we give an overview of types of inequivalence and associated forms of cultural bias. In the following three sections we look at evidence concerning three categories: structural equivalence, metric equivalence, and full score equivalence. Dimensions of personality replicate reasonably well across cultures. However, metric and full score equivalence are questionable. In a final section we discuss implications for trait theory. The findings of structural equivalence suggest that a common set of dimensions may reach across cultures to represent personality. The absence of empirical evidence for equivalence in score patterns and levels of scores makes the interpretation of quantitative cross-cultural differences on the dimensions rather tentative.

Keywords

Psychometric equivalence factor structure full score equivalence 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ype H. Poortinga
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fons J. R. Van De Vijver
    • 1
  • Dianne A. Van Hemert
    • 1
  1. 1.Tilburg Universitythe Netherlands
  2. 2.Catholic University of LeuvenBelgium

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