African Cultures and the Five-Factor Model of Personality: Evidence for a Specific Pan-African Structure and Profile?

Gregory Zecca, Sabrina Verardi, Jean Philippe Antonietti, Donatien Dahourou, Marcel Adjahouisso, Jennifer Ah-Kion, Dénis Amoussou-Yeye, Oumar Barry, Uma Bhowon, Cherifa Bouatta, Daouda Dougoumalé Cissé, Mamadou Mbodji, Franz Meyer de Stadelhofen, David Minga Minga, Caroline Ng Tseung, Mohamed Nouri Romdhane, François Ondongo, Christine Rigozzi, Nicole Sfayhi, Dieudonné TsokiniJérôme Rossier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to assess if a specific personality structure and personality profile might be observed in Africa comparing data from four African regions (N = 1,774) with data from Burkina Faso (N = 717) and Switzerland (N = 1,787), according to the Five-Factor Model (FFM). A total of 4,278 participants completed the French version of the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) made up of 240 items. Concerning the structure, a recombination of Extraversion and Agreeableness in two factors labeled Love and Dominance was observed before targeted factor analyses. After Procrustes rotation, the Swiss factorial structure replicated well in Africa. The only specificity was that the Excitement Seeking facet scale loaded consistently on the Openness factor in Africa. However, personality structures obtained in different African regions were not more similar among themselves than they were to the structure found in Switzerland. Finally, multigroup confirmatory factor analyses suggested that the NEO-PI-R dimensions reached configural and metric invariances, but not scalar invariance, indicating that the mean personality profiles might be difficult to compare. Thus, this study showed no evidence for a unique pan-African structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)684-700
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


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