The Five-Factor Model of Personality in South African College Students

J. W.P. Heuchert, Wayne D. Parker, Heinrich Stumpf, Chris P.H. Myburgh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) was administered to 408 South African college students. When the instrument was factor analyzed at the facet level with varimax rotation, the structure of the five-factor model was well reproduced for the entire sample as well as the White and Black subgroups. Parallel analysis indicated the appropriateness of the five-factor solution. Whereas the structure of personality was highly similar across race, there were statistically significant differences in mean scores of some domains and facets by race. The greatest difference was in Openness to Experience, particularly in the Openness to Feelings facet, with the White subgroup scoring relatively high, the Black subgroup scoring relatively low, and the Indian subgroup scoring in an intermediate range. The authors speculate that these differences are primarily the result of social, economic, and cultural differences between the races rather than the direct product of race itself.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-125
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


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