Dictionary of Arguments


Philosophical and Scientific Issues in Dispute
 
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Five-Factor Model McCrae Corr I 148
Five-Factor Model/McCrae: [the] five factors provide a structure in which most personality traits can be classified. This structure arises because traits co-vary. For example, people who are sociable and assertive tend also to be cheerful and energetic; they are high on the Extraversion (E) factor, which is said to be defined by sociability, assertiveness, cheerfulness and energy. However, people who are sociable and assertive may or may not be intellectually curious and imaginative. Those traits define a separate factor, Openness to Experience (O). Neuroticism versus Emotional Stability (N), Agreeableness versus Antagonism (A), and Conscientiousness (C) are the remaining factors. Cf. >Neuroticism, >Agreeableness, >Openness to experience, >Conscientiousness, >Introversion, >Extraversion.
Corr I 149
Lexical hypothesis: argues that traits are so important in human affairs that common words will have been invented to name them all. See >Lexical hypothesis/psychological theories.
Corr I 152
Per FFM/pro Five-Factor Model/McCrae: There is now consensus that the general personality dimension of N is associated with most personality disorders (Widiger and Costa 2002)(1), that E predisposes people to be happy (DeNeve and Cooper 1998)(2), that O predicts social and political liberalism (McCrae 1996)(3), that low A is a risk factor for substance abuse (Ball 2002)(4), that C is associated with good job performance (Barrick and Mount 1991)(5). The utility of the FFM has been securely demonstrated.
Corr I 152/153
VsFFM/VsFive-Factor Model/McCrae: A. a) Advocates of a person-centred approach claim that types more faithfully represent the operation of psychological processes than do variable-centred traits (see Asendorpf, Caspi and Hofstee 2002(6), for a balanced discussion of these issues).
b) Social cognitive theorists (Cervone 2004(7) have argued that traits merely describe, without explaining, behaviour (see McCrae and Costa 2008a(8) for a rebuttal (McCraeVsCervone, CostaVsCervone).
c) The FFM itself does not constitute a full theory of personality, explaining human development, day-to-day functioning and social interactions in cultural context (McAdams and Pals 2006)(9). McCraeVsMcAdams, McCraeVsPals: see (McCrae and Costa 2003(10), 2008b(11).
B. Some authors propose some variation on or refinement of the FFM: Research in different languages led to proposals of models with more or less factors. De Raad and Peabody (2005)(12) reported analyses of trait descriptive adjectives in Dutch, Italian, Czech, Hungarian and Polish samples and found more robust support for a three-factor model consisting of E, A and C than for the FFM. Conversely, Ashton and colleagues (Ashton and Lee 2005(13); Ashton, Lee, Perugini et al. 2004)(14) reported lexical studies in a number of languages in which six replicable factors appeared.
Corr I 155
There has been made a sub division into facets within the personality traits of the FFM: NEO-PI-R: has thirty facet scales, six for each factor. They were chosen to represent the most important constructs in the personality literature, while at the same time being maximally distinct.(Costa and McCrae 1995a)(15).
VsNEO-PI-R/VsMcCrae/VsCosta: The facet system of the NEO-PI-R has been criticized as being arbitrary, because ‘the key ingredient for a system to provide an adequate lower order structure of the Big Five is some empirical foundation to selecting lower-order traits’ in contrast to the ‘theoretical insight and intuition’ used in developing the NEO-PI-R (Roberts, Walton and Viechtbauer 2006(16), p. 29).


1. Widiger, T. A. and Costa, P. T., Jr 2002. Five-Factor Model personality disorder research, in P. T. Costa, Jr and T. A. Widiger (eds.), Personality disorders and the Five-Factor Model of personality, 2nd edn, pp. 59–87. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association
2. DeNeve, K. M. and Cooper, H. 1998. The happy personality: a meta-analysis of 137 personality traits and subjective well-being, Psychological Bulletin 124: 197–229
3. McCrae, R. R. 1996. Social consequences of experiential Openness, Psychological Bulletin 120: 323–37
4. Ball, S. A. 2002. Big Five, Alternative Five, and seven personality dimensions: validity in substance-dependent patients, in P. T. Costa, Jr and T. A. Widiger (eds.), Personality disorders and the Five-Factor Model of personality, 2nd edn, pp. 177–201. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association
5. Barrick, M. R. and Mount, M. K. 1991. The Big Five personality dimensions and job performance: a meta-analysis, Personnel Psychology 44: 1–26
6. Asendorpf, J. B., Caspi, A. and Hofstee, W. K. B. 2002. The puzzle of personality types [Special Issue], European Journal of Personality 16(S1) Ashton, M. C. and Lee, K. 2005. Honesty-Humility, the Big Five, and the Five-Factor Model, Journal of Personality 73: 1321–53
7. Cervone, D. 2004. Personality assessment: tapping the social-cognitive architecture of personality, Behaviour Therapy 35: 113–29
8. McCrae, R. R., and Costa, P. T. 2008a. Empirical and theoretical status of the Five-Factor Model of personality traits, in G. Boyle, G. Matthews and D. H. Saklofske (eds.), Sage handbook of personality theory and assessment, vol. I, pp. 273–94. Los Angeles, CA: Sage
9. McAdams, D. P. and Pals, J. L. 2006. A new Big Five: fundamental principles for an integrative science of personality, American Psychologist 61: 204–17
10. McCrae, R. R., and Costa, P. T. 2003. Personality in adulthood: a Five-Factor Theory perspective, 2nd edn. New York: Guilford
11. McCrae, R. R., and Costa, P. T. 2008b. The Five-Factor Theory of personality, in O. P. John, R. W. Robins and L. A. Pervin (eds.), Handbook of personality: theory and research, 3rd edn, pp. 159–81. New York: Guilford Press
12. De Raad, B. and Peabody, D. 2005. Cross-culturally recurrent personality factors: analyses of three factors, European Journal of Personality 19: 451–74
13. Ashton, M. C. and Lee, K. 2005. Honesty-Humility, the Big Five, and the Five-Factor Model, Journal of Personality 73: 1321–53
14. Ashton, M. C., Lee, K., Perugini, M., Szarota, P., De Vries, R. E., Di Blass, L., Boies, K. and De Raad, B. 2004. A six-factor structure of personality descriptive adjectives: solutions from psycholexical studies in seven languages, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 86: 356–66
15. Costa, P. T., Jr., and McCrae, R. R. 1995a. Domains and facets: hierarchical personality assessment using the Revised NEO Personality Inventory, Journal of Personality Assessment 64: 21–50
16. Roberts, B. W., Walton, K. E. and Viechtbauer, W. 2006. Personality traits change in adulthood: reply to Costa and McCrae (2006), Psychological Bulletin 132: 29–32


Robert R. McCrae, “The Five-Factor Model of personality traits: consensus and controversy”, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press


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
Five-Factor Model Developmental Psychology Corr I 195
Five-Factor Model/Developmental psychology/personality traits/Donnellan/Robins: recent studies on the absolute and differential stability in the Big Five (>Five-Factor Model, >Personality traits) are (Donnellan and Lucas 2008(1); Terracciano, McCrae, Brant and Costa 2005(2); Srivastava, John, Gosling and Potter 2003(3)), meta-analytic reviews (Roberts, Walton and Viechtbauer 2006(4); Roberts and DelVecchio 2000(4a)), and narrative reviews (Helson, Kwan, John and Jones 2002(5); Trzesniewski, Robins, Roberts and Caspi 2004(6)).
Corr I 196
Roberts, Walton and Viechtbauer (2006) (…) divided the Extraversion domain into two facets: Social Dominance (traits related to independence and dominance) and Social Vitality (traits related to positive affect, activity level and sociability). Average levels of Social Vitality tended to be fairly stable across the lifespan, although there was a slight spike upward from adolescence to young adulthood followed by a plateau in the average level until the mid-fifties when there was a slight decline. Social Dominance, on the other hand, showed a more pronounced and consistent absolute increase from adolescence to the early thirties where mean-levels remained consistent until the mid-fifties, after which the lack of studies precluded further analyses. Agreeableness and Conscientiousness showed gradual increases in absolute scores across the lifespan whereas Neuroticism showed gradual decreases. Finally, Openness showed a mean-level increase from adolescence to young adulthood and then mean-levels remained constant until the mid-fifties when it started to show a slight decline in average levels. There are two dominant explanations for absolute changes in the Big Five.
a) The intrinsic maturational position holds that normative age-related changes in personality are driven by biological processes (e.g., Costa and McCrae 2006)(7) whereas
b) The life course position posits that changes stem from involvement in particular social roles and the life experiences that accompany them (e.g., Roberts, Wood and Smith 2005)(8). (RobertsVsCosta, RobertsVsMcCrae).
Corr I 197
Donnellan/Robins: Thesis: we believe there are compelling findings linking experiences within the important domains of adult life to personality changes. For example, Robins, Caspi and Moffitt (2002)(9) found that individuals who were involved in distressed romantic relationships in their early twenties demonstrated increases in Neuroticism compared to those in relatively satisfying relationships. Likewise, Roberts, Caspi and Moffitt (2003)(10) found that work experiences were tied to a variety of changes in basic personality traits, including the finding that greater autonomy at work was tied to increases in the Social Dominance aspects of Extraversion. Elder and Shanahan: Thesis: that ‘the interplay of social context and the organism [is] the formative process, making people who they are’ (Elder and Shanahan 2006, p. 670)(11).
Absolute Changes: Research on absolute changes in the Big Five challenges the assumption that adolescence is the critical period of maturation in personality (Roberts, Walton and Viechtbauer 2006)(4). Instead, Roberts et al. found that most of the action in terms of mean-level changes in personality occurs during young adulthood.
Differential stability: A meta-analysis involving test-retest correlations from 152 longitudinal studies showed that the Big Five become increasingly stable across the lifespan (Roberts and DelVecchio 2000)(12).



1. Donnellan, M. B. and Lucas, R. E. 2008. Age differences in the Big Five across the life span: evidence from two nationally representative samples, Psychology and Aging 23: 558–66
2. Terracciano, A., McCrae, R. R., Brant, L. J. and Costa, P. T., Jr 2005. Hierarchical linear modeling analyses of the NEO-PI-R scales in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, Psychology and Aging 20: 493–506
3. Srivastava, S., John, O. P., Gosling, S. D. and Potter, J. 2003. Development of personality in early and middle adulthood: set like plaster or persistent change?, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 84: 1041–53
4. Roberts, B.W., Walton, K.E. and Viechtbauer, W. 2006. Patterns of mean-level change in personality traits across the life course: a meta-analysis of longitudinal studies, Psychological Bulletin 132: 1–25
5. Helson, R., Kwan, V. S. Y., John, O. P. and Jones, C. 2002. The growing evidence for personality change in adulthood: findings from research with personality inventories, Journal of Research in Personality 36: 287–306
6. Trzesniewski, K. H., Robins, R. W., Roberts, B. W. and Caspi, A. 2004. Personality and self-esteem development across the life span, in P. T. Costa, Jr and I. C. Siegler (eds), Recent advances in psychology and aging, pp. 163–85. Amsterdam: Elsevier
7. Costa, P. T., Jr and McCrae, R. R. 2006. Age changes in personality and their origins: comment on Roberts, Walton, and Viechtbauer (2006), Psychological Bulletin 132: 26–8
8. Roberts, B. W., Wood, D. and Smith, J. L. 2005. Evaluating the five factor theory and social investment perspective on personality trait development, Journal of Research in Personality 39: 166–84
9. Robins, R. W., Caspi, A. and Moffitt, T. E. 2002. It’s not just who you’re with, it’s who you are: personality and relationship experiences across multiple relationships, Journal of Personality 70: 925–64
10. Roberts, B. W., Caspi, A. and Moffitt, T. E. 2003. Work experiences and personality development in young adulthood, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 84: 582–93
11. Elder, G. H., Jr and Shanahan, M. J. 2006. The life course and human development, in W. Damon and R. Lerner (Series eds.), Handbook of Child Psychology, vol. I, Theoretical Models of Human Development, 6th edn, pp. 665–715. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley
12. Roberts, B. W. and DelVecchio, W. F. 2000. The rank-order consistency of personality from childhood to old age: a quantitative review of longitudinal studies, Psychological Bulletin 126: 3–25


M. Brent Donnellan and Richard W. Robins, “The development of personality across the lifespan”, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press


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