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This post was edited by Transhumanist at 2012-2-7 22:23|
The robustness of the GFP is attested to by the diversity of the
inventories from which it has been extracted. A GFP emerged
regardless of whether the inventory covered the domain of normal
personality (the NEO–PI, FFI) or the domain of the personality disorders
(the DAPP–BQ, MMPI-2, PAI, MMCI-III). A GFP emerged
regardless of whether the inventory was based on theoretical criteria
(the PRF, PAI) or aimed to be eclectic (the CPI, JPI). It emerged
whether the inventory distinguished between scales of ‘‘temperament’’
and ‘‘personality’’ (the TCI), or between those of ‘‘personality
disorders,’’ ‘‘social conditions,’’ and ‘‘attitudes toward therapy’’
(the PAI). A GFP also emerged regardless of whether the inventory
used an empirical approach to scale construction and selected
items based on the frequency of endorsement by criterion groups
(the CPI, MMPI), an inductive approach and selected items based
on their relation to each other (the PAI), or a rational approach
based on writing items to fit traits defined in advance (the
DAPP–BQ). A GFP similarly emerged when the inventory was constructed
to minimize the effects of social desirability by selecting
neutral items (the JPI, PRF).
There is nothing vague about the GFP. Quite the contrary; it is
by definition the most internally consistent linear combination of
all traits. Its location at the apex of the hierarchy should be almost
completely fixed in any large data set. Nonetheless, we should
make it clear that we are not at all implying that only one
dimension will explain all manifestations of the rich and complex
tapestry of the human personality. Nor does a general factor invalidate
the utility or theoretical importance of lower order factors. It
is an empirical question as to which level provides the best predictor
for a given criterion. The personality facets that exist below the
Big Five, and so are closer to the behavior expressed, are
sometimes better predictors than higher-order traits. If a person is experiencing
anxiety over public speaking, it may be more beneficial
to focus on his or her specific problem than on his or her
general adjustment. But focusing on one specific lower-order trait
should not obscure the existence of the hierarchical structure any
more than it should obscure other relevant traits at the same level.
In conclusion, the theory and evidence presented here agrees
with and extends the viewpoint of Darwin (1871), Wilson (1975),
and others, that social competition and reproductive dynamics have
helped direct human evolution. In particular, the evidence confirms
a theoretical suggestion made by Rushton (1985, 1990) to the effect
that much of the field of individual differences can be organized under
a hierarchy of broad, heritable dimensions that, taken together,
comprise a fast–slow (r–K) life history. This perspective provides
increased coherence to the study of human behavior and makes
unique predictions, not easily derivable from other approaches.
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