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n IFE PsychologIA : An International Journal - Exploring the utility of the NEO-PI-R in a sample of South African university students

Volume 20, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1117-1421
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Abstract

The Five Factor Model (FFM) of personality is currently amongst the most widely accepted theories in personality psychology and the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) is one of the best operationalisations of this model. Research indicates that the FFM is not wholly applicable in African cultures (Laher, 2008). Thus this study explored the utility of the NEO-PI-R in a sample of 17 postgraduate students from the University of the Witwatersrand using a mixed methods approach. A non-experimental cross-sectional design was used to determine which items of the NEO-PI-R are culturally and linguistically inappropriate. A questionnaire incorporating the NEO-PI-R, demographic information; namely age, gender, population group and home language, and open-ended questions were used. 28.75% (69 out of 240) of the items of the NEO-PI-R were found to be culturally inappropriate in the study by more than 10% of the sample. These items were primarily from the Openness to Experience, Extraversion and Agreeableness domains. 43.33% (104 out of 240) of the items were found to be linguistically problematic in the study by more than 10% of the sample. These items were primarily from the Openness to Experience and Neuroticism domains. A focus group was conducted with 5 of the 17 postgraduate students. A thematic content analysis conducted on the focus group session revealed 6 themes in terms of the utility of the NEO-PI-R, namely, language, culture, psychometric testing, dynamic vs. static nature of personality and social desirability.

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/content/ifepsyc/20/1/EJC38922
2012-03-01
2016-12-10

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