In brief: Common humanity: Universals of personality

In brief

Common humanity: Universals of personality

A survey of college students in many countries and cultures shows that people all over the world, with a few interesting exceptions, think the same way in forming their judgments of personality.

The authors note that past re-search on the subject has neglected many regions and cultures, especially Africa and the Middle East. Another limitation of the research is that most studies have relied on what people say about themselves, which can be misleading. For example, women may seem more neurotic or emotionally unstable than men only because they more easily perceive and are more willing to acknowledge disturbing feelings.

In the new study, male and fe-male college students from many countries answered a questionnaire previously tested mostly on Americans and Europeans. Called the Neuroticism Extroversion Open-ness Personality Inventory — Revised (NEO-PI-R), it contains 240 statements requiring a response ranging on a five-point scale from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree."

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