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NGr internationally published -research on personality differences between countries

Our very own Dr. Petri Kajonius is by now nationally an established personality researcher.

As with everything else in his career things move along swiftly. It is with, almost an unhealthy amount of pride, that we today can present to you the publication received and published with one of science publications finest, PLOS one.

Dr. Kajonius is on this paper collaborating with Dr. Mac Giolla at the university of Gothenburg to which he is also affiliated.

The research published is tackling the issue with personality differences on a national level. Do they really exists and if so to what extent? By approaching the issue this way one could also (perhaps) find clues to more insights on individuals and cultures.

We will give you a short version of the article and it´s conclusions. The article in full, it´s graphs and references can be found here at PLOS one.

Brief summary:

In the current climate of migration and globalization, personality characteristics of individuals from different countries have received a growing interest. Previous research has established reliable differences in personality traits across countries.

With migration and globalization, individual differences across countries have become a topic of interest and importance. Large-scale studies propose that country differences in personality traits are significant, and related to societal values. This could potentially provide insights into the mindset of both individuals and cultures.

The present study represents some of the largest national samples to date (NTotal = 130,602) using an extensive measure of the FFM (IPIP-NEO-120), from 22 countries.

The current findings add to the mounting evidence demonstrating small country differences in aggregate personality traits. In the current study, on average 1.8% of the variance in personality traits could be accounted for by country belonging. Put differently, within-country differences in personality traits are of more interest than between-country differences. This corresponds with previous research showing that within country differences in personality are up to three times larger than between country differences. Additionally, cross country personality studies often lack solid measurement invariance. A lack of measurement invariance can imply that the already low explained variance per facet-trait may be smaller still if more valid between-country measures of personality were used. While we acknowledge genuine country differences in country aggregate personality traits, these are likely to be small. We therefore suggest that it may be time to consider country aggregate personalities in terms of similarities, rather than differences.

It has been suggested that country aggregate personality traits can provide an insight into the culture of a country. This idea fits well with the commonly held beliefs about strong and reliable differences in the national characteristics of countries. The results of the present study challenge these intuitive assumptions.


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