A cross-cultural test of the personality integration hypothesis1


  • 1

    The research on which this paper is based was conducted while the senior author was a Visiting Professor at the University of Auckland. It was supported in parts by grants from the Vocation Training Council, New Zealand; The University of Auckland; and the companies in which the study was conducted. The authors acknowledge the assistance of Terrence Hopkinson in the data analysis phases of the study and of Fraser MacDonald (Vocational Training Council) in the data collection phases.

Address reprint requests to Dr. Albert N. B. Nedd, Department of Organizational Analysis, University of Alberta, Central Academic Building, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2G1.


This study attempted to validate the psychological integration hypothesis by comparing the levels of psychological functioning of individuals from four cultural groups on three dimensions of personality. The personality attributes investigated were field-dependence/independence cognitive style, tolerance of ambiguity (an affective style variable) and machiavellianism (an index of stylistic orientation in interpersonal relationships). Subjects were 218 first-level supervisors from five industrial plants in Auckland, New Zealand. Comparisons of mean group scores on each personality variable showed that a similar rank order among the groups held for each personality variable. It was also found that, for the sample as a whole, there were positive intercorrelations between the personality variables. The symmetrical rank ordering of the groups on the personality variables was considered to indicate that members of each group had attained relatively similar levels of psychological development on each personality attribute. The relatively low levels of intercorrelations between the personality variables were held to indicate that they were measuring separate areas of psychological functioning.