Indigenous assessments and the NEO-PI-R/NEO-FFI

2.7.2 Indigenous assessments and the NEO-PI-R/NEO-FFI

Cheung et al.’s (1996) scale level factor analysis of the complete CPAI factored down into 4 factors which were named Dependability, Social Potency, Individualism and Interpersonal Relatedness. Cheung, Leung, Zhang et al. (2001), in a joint factor analysis of the CPAI with the NEO-PI-R, found that the Interpersonal Relatedness factor of the CPAI did not load on any of the NEO-PI-R factors. Neither did the Openness factor of the NEO-PI-R load on any of the CPAI scales. Given that the results were confirmed with two independent samples, evidence suggests that the Interpersonal Relatedness factor is a separate factor outside of the FFM, at least in China, and that Openness to Experience may be conceptualised quite differently in China than in the West. (NB: The Interpersonal Relatedness factor consists of items that measure the emphasis one places on interdependent interpersonal relationships and this has been described as an important characteristic of Chinese culture (Cheung, Cheung et al., 2003).

Interpersonal Relatedness, empirically seen to be external to the FFM, has been found to predict a number of behaviours among the Chinese. For example, Zhang and Bond (1998) using a sample of 319 university students from Hong Kong and mainland China found that filial piety (a prescription as to how children should behave towards their parents and ancestors, living or dead, and extremely important in Chinese society) could be predicted by both NEO-FFI (Neuroticism and Openness) scales and CPAI indigenous facets (Harmony and Ren Qing). However, the CPAI indigenous facets offered predictive utility over and above that which was covered by the NEO-FFI. Of importance within this study was the reported alpha coefficients for the CPAI indigenous scales – Ren Qing a=.45 and Harmony a =.59. The researchers claimed that this was due to the short length of the scales for this study (4 items each). Given that reliability is a precursor to validity, it is suggested that future studies may need to be undertaken with longer scales in order to increase reliability and place greater confidence in the validity of the scale and the generalisation of the findings. Zhang and Bond’s (1998) study also returned poor reliabilities for the NEO-FFI Openness and Agreeable scales (both were a=.59). Likewise, Cheung et al. (2001) reported an alpha of a=.53 for Openness generated in a study of 279 Chinese university students in mainland China. Cheung et al. (2004) prepared a thorough (unpublished) manuscript examining the concept of Openness and its implications as a universal aspect of personality within the Chinese cultural context. Using the updated CPAI – version 2 (CPAI-2) to which they had added emic Openness scales, the authors explained that the Openness scales did not form an independent factor, but rather were incorporated into the original factors of the CPAI. One of their conclusions was that “Openness is not commonly used as a distinct dimension in the taxonomy of personality traits in the Chinese culture” (p.33). This conclusion was similarly cited for the Korean culture through a study that, using the NEO-PI-R, found low alphas for a number of the facet scales that make up the Openness factor (Piedmont & Chae, 1997). The researchers concluded that these facets of Openness may be different from their English equivalents in this Asian sample.