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Higher-order factors of the big five and basic values: Empirical and theoretical relations


Michele Vecchione, Department of Psychology, Via dei Marsi 78, Rome 00185, Italy (e-mail:


The Big Five Model of personality and Schwartz's theory of basic values are two prominent taxonomies that offer a convenient way to organize the major individual differences in, respectively, personality traits and personal values. Both taxonomies provide a hierarchical framework, whose components can be traced back to a smaller number of broader dimensions. The current study investigated the relationship between the two superordinate factors of personality encompassing the Big Five dimensions (alpha and beta) and the four higher-level value types from Schwartz's theory (Self-transcendence, Self-enhancement, Conservation, and Openness to change). To examine the relations between higher-order traits and values, we relied on factor analysis and multidimensional scaling. Results indicated that alpha and beta were differently related to the Conservation versus Openness to change dimension. Alpha was positively related to values that emphasize protecting stability and respecting norms and traditions, and negatively related to values emphasizing receptiveness to change and independence of thought, feeling, and action. The opposite pattern of relations was found for beta.