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Abstract

This study reports on the application of the principles of the lexical approach to a non-Indo-European language, namely Hungarian. This language is a Uralic island surrounded on all sides by Indo-European languages. In addition, the Hungarians are, in terms of cultural features, Europeans. These conditions provide a great opportunity for a crucial test case of the lexical approach to personality. Study 1 reports on the different phases of the selection of the trait terms from the Hungarian lexicon, a categorization into kinds of personality-relevant terms, a comparison of the category findings with those of other languages, and on indices of relevance of the personality terms. Of the total number of 8738 personality-relevant terms, 3914 adjectives were used for Study 2. In that study, personality descriptiveness ratings were obtained from a group of judges (N = 5). On the basis of these ratings, a manageable set of 624 adjectives was selected for a rating task. Four hundred subjects provided self-ratings on the 624 adjectives. On the basis of the means and standard deviations of the ratings, the set of 624 was further reduced to 561 adjectives. On ipsatized data, principal components analyses were performed. Both a four-factor solution and a five-factor solution, which were Varimax-rotated, are presented. The correspondence of these factors to the traditional Big Five factors is discussed.