n IFE PsychologIA : An International Journal - What relates to the big five among South African university students?

Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1117-1421



The primary goal of the present study was to test the reliability and validity of the NEO Five-Factor Inventory among South African university students. An additional goal of the study was to explore the factors that are related to personality traits. Research participants were three hundred and sixty-eight (103 male and 265 female) students from four universities in South Africa. Two major findings were obtained. First, the majority of the items in the inventory were reliable and valid for assessing the five personality traits of the tested sample. The research participants' personality traits varied as a function of gender, race, educational level, and socioeconomic status. It was concluded that although the results of the present study has its heuristic value, these results should not be generalized as this is the first study that has obtained results that were different from those in the three other existing studies of South African university students.

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