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Gerard Saucier on Lexical Studies - Dictionary of Arguments

Corr I 386
Lexical studies/psychology/Saucier: to a key premise of the lexical approach: the degree of representation of an attribute in language has some correspondence with the general importance of the attribute in real-world transactions. >Lexical hypothesis.
Lexical studies in relation to personality:
A. 1. Lexicalized concepts can be found in standard sources created by disinterested parties (e.g., linguists and lexicographers), and basing variable selection on such a source reduces the likelihood of investigator bias in deciding what is or is not an important variable.
2. Because lexicalized concepts constitute a finite domain, one can sample them representatively to establish content-validity benchmarks for personality variables.
B. The lexical-study paradigm gives special importance to cross-cultural generalizability.
The lexical approach involves an indigenous research strategy. Analyses are carried out separately within each language, using a representative set of native-language descriptors, rather than merely importing selections of variables from other languages
Personality: The majority of lexical studies of personality descriptors have attempted to test the most widely influential structural model of the last two decades, the Big Five factor structure (Goldberg 1990(1); John 1990(2)).
Corr I 387
Several lexical studies have reported evidence about factor solutions containing only one factor (Boies, Lee, Ashton et al. 2001(3); Di Blas and Forzi 1999(4); Goldberg and Somer 2000(5); Saucier 1997(6), 2003b(7); Saucier, Georgiades, Tsaousis and Goldberg 2005(8); Saucier, Ole-Kotikash and Payne 2006(9); Zhou, Saucier, Gao and Liu in press), with consistent findings. The single factor contrasts a heterogeneous mix of desirable attributes at one pole with a mix of undesirable attributes at the other pole. This unrotated factor can be labelled Evaluation (following Osgood 1962)(10), or as Socially Desirable versus Undesirable Qualities.



1. Goldberg, L. R. 1990. An alternative ‘description of personality’: the Big-Five factor structure, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 59: 1216–29
2. John, O. P. 1990. The ‘Big Five’ factor taxonomy: dimensions of personality in the natural language and in questionnaires, in L. A. Pervin (ed.), Handbook of personality: theory and research, pp. 66–100. New York: Guilford
3. Boies, K., Lee, K., Ashton, M. C., Pascal, S. and Nicol, A. A. M. 2001. The structure of the French personality lexicon, European Journal of Personality 15: 277–95
4. Di Blas, L. and Forzi, M. 1999. Refining a descriptive structure of personality attributes in the Italian language: language: the abridged Big Three circumplex structure, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 76: 451–81
5. Goldberg, L. R. and Somer, O. 2000. The hierarchical structure of common Turkish person-descriptive adjectives, European Journal of Personality 14: 497–531
6. Saucier, G. 1997. Effects of variable selection on the factor structure of person descriptors, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 73: 1296–1312
7. Saucier, G. 2003b. Factor structure of English-language personality type-nouns, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 85: 695–708
8. Saucier, G., Georgiades, S., Tsaousis, I. and Goldberg, L. R. 2005. The factor structure of Greek personality adjectives, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 88: 856–75
9. Saucier, G., Ole-Kotikash, L. and Payne, D. L. 2006. The structure of personality and character attributes in the language of the Maasai. Unpublished report. University of Oregon
10. Osgood, C. E. 1962. Studies on the generality of affective meaning systems, American Psychologist 17: 10–28


Gerard Saucier, „Semantic and linguistic aspects of personality“, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Saucier, Gerald
Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009

Corr II
Philip J. Corr (Ed.)
Personality and Individual Differences - Revisiting the classical studies Singapore, Washington DC, Melbourne 2018


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