Individual differences in selfishness as a major dimension of personality: A reinterpretation of the sixth personality factor

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Research on the structure of personality has identified a sixth major trait that emerges in addition to the Big Five. This factor has been characterized in a number of ways-as integrity, morality, trustworthiness, honesty, values, and, most commonly, honesty-humility. Although each of these labels captures some of the attributes associated with the trait, none of them fully represents the range of associated characteristics. In this article, we provide a reinterpretation of the sixth factor as reflecting individual differences in selfishness and review research that supports this interpretation. Interpreting the sixth trait as dispositional selfishness parsimoniously represents the array of variables that are associated with the sixth factor and reflects the behaviors of people who score low versus high on the trait. This reinterpretation provides greater coherence to six-factor models of personality and suggests new directions for research on the sixth factor and on dispositional selfishness more generally.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Diebels, KJ; Leary, MR; Chon, D

Published Date

  • December 1, 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 22 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 367 - 376

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-1552

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1089-2680

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/gpr0000155

Citation Source

  • Scopus