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Cattell's Big Five Factors

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 03:01 AM
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Cattell’s Big Five Factors of Personality, Behavioral Genetics, and Evolutionary Personality Theory.

Current Research

Raymond Cattell (1905-present) designed the “Big five Factors of Personality”, in which five classifications are revealed.   Big Five factors: #1 extraversion vs. introversion, #2 agreeableness vs. antagonism, #3 conscientiousness vs. undirected ness, #4 neuroticism vs. emotional stability, and #5 openness to experience vs. not open to experience.   Han’s Eysenck’s and Sir Francis Galton behavior genetics research and Arnold Buss’ three concerns for evolutionary personality theory coinsided with each other.

The Big five represents a catalog of traits that some personality psychologists suggest capture the essence of individual differences in personality.   Raymond Cattell used Allport and Odbert’s 4500 trait-descriptives in which he extracted 35 traits.   After others continued to analyze these factors and found congruence with the ratings, that eventually became the Big five Factors of Personality.   In order to fully understand the origin of these factors an outline for factor analysis must be explained.

Factor analysis studies where conducted and the results where used in an analysis technique generally done with computers to determine meaningful relationships and patterns in behavioral data.   Beginning with a large number of behavioral variables, the computer finds relationships or natural connections where variables are maximally correlated with one another and minimally correlated with other variables, and then it groups the data accordingly.   After this process has been repeated many times a pattern of relationships or certain factors that capture the essence of all the data appears (Pervin & John 1999).   The same process used to determine the Big Five Personality factors; copious amounts of different researchers that have done numerous tests and they all agree that the “Big five Factors” are the only...


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