The Applicability of the Five-Factor Model in a Sub-Saharan Culture

The NEO-PI-R in Shona
  • Ralph L. Piedmont
  • Elaine Bain
  • Robert R. McCrae
  • Paul T. CostaJr.
Part of the International and Cultural Psychology Series book series (ICUP)


This chapter examines the Five-Factor Model of personality in Shona, a native tongue of Zimbabwe. One hundred and sixty-five women and 193 men participated in this study; all were bilingual in English and Shona. The Shona version of the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) and the English version of the Adjective Check List (ACL) were completed by 199 participants. The remaining 159 participants took English or Shona versions of the NEO-PI-R on two occasions, with a mean retest interval of seven days. Alpha reliabilities for the facet scales were quite low, but retest reliabilities and cross-language correlations were considerably higher. Targeted factor analyses showed that the factors and most of the specific facets had a structure similar to that found in Americans, and correlations with the ACL generally supported the construct validity of the new translation. The Openness (O) factor proved weakest in translation. The viability of trait approaches in collectivistic societies and the possible role of sociological context on personality development are discussed.


traits Africa collectivistic culture 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ralph L. Piedmont
    • 1
  • Elaine Bain
    • 1
  • Robert R. McCrae
    • 2
  • Paul T. CostaJr.
    • 2
  1. 1.Loyola College in MarylandUSA
  2. 2.National Institute on AgingUSA

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