Behavioral genetics of the higher-order factors of the Big Five

Kerry L. Jang, W. John Livesley, Jyukou Andou, Shinji Yamagata, Atsunobu Suzuki, Alois Angleitner, Fritz Ostendorf, Rainer Riemann, Frank Spinath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

70 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is empirical evidence that underlying the Big Five personality factors are two higher-order factors which have come to be known as "alpha" (α) and "beta" (β). The α factor is defined by the agreeableness, conscientiousness, and emotional stability domains; whereas β is delineated by extraversion and intellect. It has been argued that α and β are important constructs because they bridge the gap between psychometric studies of personality and theories of personality development. However, it is unclear if α and β are constructs that can be reliably reproduced across a diverse range of independent samples. In a sample of 1209 MZ and 701 DZ twin pairs from Canada, Germany, and Japan who completed the NEO-PI-R, factorial analyses of the five NEO-PI-R domains extracted two factors resembling α and β. Subsequent multivariate genetic analyses revealed that this factor structure was a clear reflection of the organizing effects of multiple genetic influences, providing evidence for α and β as stable heuristic devices that can be used to integrate personality measurement and developmental theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-272
Number of pages12
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume41
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jul

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Behavioral Genetics
Personality
Personality Development
Psychometrics
Canada
Germany
Japan
Multivariate Analysis
Equipment and Supplies

Keywords

  • Alpha
  • Beta
  • Big Five
  • Heritability
  • Twins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Psychology

Cite this

Jang, K. L., Livesley, W. J., Andou, J., Yamagata, S., Suzuki, A., Angleitner, A., ... Spinath, F. (2006). Behavioral genetics of the higher-order factors of the Big Five. Personality and Individual Differences, 41(2), 261-272. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2005.11.033

Behavioral genetics of the higher-order factors of the Big Five. / Jang, Kerry L.; Livesley, W. John; Andou, Jyukou; Yamagata, Shinji; Suzuki, Atsunobu; Angleitner, Alois; Ostendorf, Fritz; Riemann, Rainer; Spinath, Frank.

In: Personality and Individual Differences, Vol. 41, No. 2, 07.2006, p. 261-272.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Jang, KL, Livesley, WJ, Andou, J, Yamagata, S, Suzuki, A, Angleitner, A, Ostendorf, F, Riemann, R & Spinath, F 2006, 'Behavioral genetics of the higher-order factors of the Big Five', Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 41, no. 2, pp. 261-272. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2005.11.033
Jang, Kerry L. ; Livesley, W. John ; Andou, Jyukou ; Yamagata, Shinji ; Suzuki, Atsunobu ; Angleitner, Alois ; Ostendorf, Fritz ; Riemann, Rainer ; Spinath, Frank. / Behavioral genetics of the higher-order factors of the Big Five. In: Personality and Individual Differences. 2006 ; Vol. 41, No. 2. pp. 261-272.
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