‘Universal’ Personality Traits Don’t Necessarily Apply to Isolated Indigenous People

Personality Traits do Not Apply to Isolated PeopleFive personality traits widely thought to be universal across cultures might not be, according to a study of an isolated Bolivian society.

Researchers who spent two years looking at 1,062 members of the Tsimane culture found that they didn’t necessarily exhibit the five broad dimensions of personality — openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism — also known as the "Big Five." The American Psychological Association’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology published the study online Dec. 17.

While previous research has found strong support for the Big Five traits in more developed countries and across some cultures, these researchers discovered more evidence of a Tsimane "Big Two:" socially beneficial behavior, also known as prosociality, and industriousness. These Big Two combine elements of the traditional Big Five, and may represent unique aspects of highly social, subsistence societies.

Full story of personality traits at Science Daily

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