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Assessing Personality Across 13 Countries Using the California Adult Q-Sort

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eScholarship - University of California
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Objective: The purpose of this dissertation is to quantitatively compare personality profiles, dimensions, and characteristics around the world using a personality measure that is well suited for cross-cultural research, the California Adult Q-sort (CAQ).Method: 2370 members of college communities in 13 countries, recruited by selected collaborators, provided data via our custom-built website in 10 languages. Using the 100 CAQ items, participants described their personalities. Results: Correlations among the average personality profiles of each country ranged from r = .69 to r = .98. On average across all 13 countries, participants described themselves as largely pleasant and well-adjusted individuals. The most similar averaged personality profiles were between USA/Canada; the least similar were South Korea/Russia and Poland and China/Russia. Personality descriptions within the Czech Republic were the most homogeneous, and South Korea was the least homogeneous. Further analyses examined the Big Five traits using templates constructed from the CAQ. The results revealed that CAQ measures of the Big Five produce similar results to previous studies using Likert scales specifically designed to measure the Big Five traits. Conclusion: This is the first study to use the ipsative CAQ to examine personality across countries. People around the world report very similar personalities, on average. The Big Five templates constructed from CAQ items produced similar findings to previous research on the Big Five across countries (e.g., Costa, Terracciano, & McCrae, 2001; Feingold, 1994; McCrae et al. 2005; Schmitt et al., 2007; Schmitt, Realo, Voracek, & Allik, 2008).


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