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Abstract

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.