research articles

Exploring the indigenous structure of Vietnamese personality traits: A psycho-lexical approach




psycho-lexical approach, indigenous structure, personality traits


The goals of this study were to explore the structure of the Vietnamese personality lexicon and to relate emic Vietnamese personality dimensions to proposed etic (universal) personality models. A set of 2,129 person-descriptive terms were culled from a Vietnamese-English Dictionary, classified into the categories of a person-description taxonomy developed for the German language, and rated for their clarity, familiarity, and relevance for personality description. The classification and evaluation of the terms led to a reduced set of 668 trait terms, which were administered to 850 participants to collect self-ratings. After eliminating 140 participants who responded carelessly or omitted many items, the self-ratings of the remaining 710 participants were factor analyzed using principal components analyses with varimax rotations. One- to eight-factor solutions were examined, and correlated with marker scales for etic models of personality structure, including the Big One, the Big Two, the Big Three, the Big Five, the Big Six, and the Multi-Language Seven (ML7) models. The Vietnamese factor structure showed moderate to strong support for the cross-cultural replicability of the Big One, the Big Two, and the Big Three models. The Big Five, Big Six, and ML7 models were not well replicated. An eight-factor solution provided the most interpretable structure, with five of its factors corresponding well with dimensions of the Big Six model: Vietnamese Warmheartedness-Virtue with Agreeableness, Vietnamese Talented-Intellect with Intellect, Vietnamese Orderly-Industriousness with Conscientiousness, Vietnamese Courage with Emotional Stability (inversely), and Vietnamese Vivaciousness with Extraversion. The three remaining indigenous factors – Modesty, Straightforward-Genuineness, and Trustworthiness – showed modest to moderate relationships with Big Six Honesty-Humility. Gender differences on the Vietnamese dimensions were generally modest but provided initial validity evidence for the dimensions. Theoretical and applied implications, as well as strengths, limitations, and future research recommendations are discussed.





research articles