An expedition in search of a fifth universal factor: Key issues in the lexical approach
Article first published online: 22 FEB 2006
Copyright © 1994 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Personality
Special Issue: The Fifth of the Big Five
Volume 8, Issue 4, pages 229–250, November 1994
How to Cite
De Raad, B. (1994), An expedition in search of a fifth universal factor: Key issues in the lexical approach. Eur. J. Pers., 8: 229–250. doi: 10.1002/per.2410080403
- Issue published online: 22 FEB 2006
- Article first published online: 22 FEB 2006
- Manuscript Accepted: 11 JUL 1994
- Manuscript Received: 26 MAY 1994
It is argued that the fifth factor of the Big Five Model of personality traits cannot yet claim universal status. In order to identify a fifth factor within the lexical approach it is necessary to make full use of the potentialities of the psycholexical principles. Several flaws in the lexical enterprise are discussed, both regarding the theoretical delineation of traits and the operational—dictionary-related—identification of trait descriptors. Hitherto largely implicit definitions of traits should be made explicit, and agreement should be reached about the theoretical width of the trait domain. Also, in order to obtain cross-culturally comparable results, the procedural steps in the lexical search for trait terms should follow an agreed-upon standard. None of the nominated fifth factors, for instance, Culture, Intellect, or Openness to Experience, has both proceeded from the lexical method and received unquestionable cross-cultural affirmation.