Directions of Goldberg's five-factor approach across the sexes
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In recent research, validity of Big Five personality measures has been questioned. Specifically, the question of social comparison targets needs research. When persons evaluate themselves on personality dimensions, implicit comparisons are made. Introductory psychology volunteers (N = 646) participated in a study that varied instruction-related social comparison targets. We hypothesized that explicit manipulation of the social comparison targets in instructions to participants would influence patterns of self-ratings on the Big Five factors. We found significant main effects for instruction across all five factors of the Big Five, but not in the precise form predicted. There was no evidence that varying comparison targets systematically influenced self-ratings. Findings indicated, however, that men and women rated themselves differently on all of the Big Five factors. Moreover, ideal ratings of males and females were significantly higher than self-ratings on all five factors of personality. Further research should examine personality comparison processes as they apply to various forms of ideal persons.
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Includes bibliographical references: leaves 18-21.
Butts, Marcus M (1998). Directions of Goldberg's five-factor approach across the sexes. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from