What do cross-national comparisons of personality traits tell us? The case of conscientiousness

Steven J. HEINE, Emma Ellen Kathrina BUCHTEL, Ara NORENZAYAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

115 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Much research contrasts self-reported personality traits across cultures. We submit that this enterprise is weakened by significant methodological problems (in particular, the reference-group effect) that undermine the validity of national averages of personality scores. In this study, behavioral and demographic predictors of conscientiousness were correlated with different cross-national measures of conscientiousness based on self-reports, peer reports, and perceptions of national character. The predictors correlated strongly with perceptions of national character, but not with self-reports and peer reports. Country-level self- and peer-report measures of conscientiousness failed as markers of between-nation differences in personality. Copyright © 2008 Association for Psychological Science.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-313
JournalPsychological Science
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008

Citation

Heine, S. J., Buchtel, E. E., & Norenzayan, A. (2008). What do cross-national comparisons of personality traits tell us? The case of conscientiousness. Psychological Science, 19(4), 309-313. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02085.x

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