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Abstract

This study proceeds from an earlier one that examined the ‘Big Five’ factors (Peabody & De Raad, 2002). That study considered the substantive nature of five factors from six European psycholexical studies. The results supported Big Five Factor III (Conscientiousness), but Factors I (Extraversion) and II (Agreeableness) often split into two factors. Big Five Factors IV (Emotional Stability) and V (Intellect) often failed to appear in coherent form. The failures might cause the splits, with five factors required. For three factors, the splits might not occur, and the three large (‘Big Three’) factors could appear. The present study pursues this implication, using three factors from the same six studies. The factors that split are now generally unified. This supports the Big Three and not the Big Five. This result is generally confirmed for several additional studies. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.