Academic journal article Journal of Behavioural Sciences

The Big Five Personality Inventory: Performance of Students and Community in Pakistan

Academic journal article Journal of Behavioural Sciences

The Big Five Personality Inventory: Performance of Students and Community in Pakistan

Article excerpt

This study pertains to a phase-2 of the project on 'Ability and nonability factors predicting academic achievement of undergrad students.' Phase- 1 focused on emotional intelligence and personality factors as predictors of the college students' academic performance. The purpose of this study was to focus exclusively on the non-ability or personality dimensions of undergraduate students. The NEO-PI (Costa & McCrae,

Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad (Pakistan) was used with permission for research purposes. Items relevant to the short version of the inventory (NEO-FFI) were used in this study to have a psychometric evaluation of the same on the local data, and to develop norms to facilitate use of the inventory.

The NEO-FFI, popularly known as The Big Five has become an instrument of choice being short, efficient, and well- researched. The five factor model conceptualization of personality is popularly acclaimed as the gold standard in personality research and psychological assessment across the globe. It appropriately captures a broad picture of an individual's personality measuring Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism and Openness to Experience. According to the emerging consensus, the five major dimensions of personality are considered sufficient for describing major features of personality and have been shown to influence behavior patterns in a variety of life domains (Matthews & Deary, 1998). It describes individual differences in behavior (Fleeson, 2001) and is replicable in other cultures (De Read, 1998). A need for a short and a handy personality inventory such as NEO-FFI has always been there both for research and assessment purposes. Rich literature on this inventory across nations and cultures led to its use in Pakistan also and NIP took the initiative of rendering it in Urdu to facilitate its local use. The present study, by way of extending their work, collected data to determine the psychometric characteristics of the target version for a more informed use of the inventory in the local settings. This was the basic rationale of this study. A related objective was to develop some norms on local population to be able to interpret the Urdu protocols.


1) Find response rate for all the 60 items in the local setting to ascertain which of these are functioning well and which are not.

2) Estimate reliability and validity of the scales on local data.

3) Develop some norms for interpreting FFI scores in Pakistan.



Undergraduate students from the Universities of Faisalabad, Multan, Sargodha and Lahore participated in the study. They were administered Urdu version of NEO-FFI according to the standard instructions. The classes were surveyed to tell students about the purpose of this research activity and were requested to volunteer as participants. In all 452 (men= 132, women= 320) students volunteered. Participants' age ranged between 17 to 22 years, with a mean of 19.82 and a standard deviation of 2.04 years. Females comprised 70 percent of the sample. About 60 percent of the students studied natural sciences, 23 percent were in the social sciences and 17 percent were studying numerical sciences e.g. Mathematics and Statistics.

A community sample was also taken separately comprising 320 persons (139 male & 181 females) including 104 house wives, 47 nurses, 50 school teachers, 72 rescue operators and 47 bank officers. Their age ranged between 17 to 58 years, with a mean of 28.93 and standard deviation of 6.85. About 70 percent of the community sample was between 17-30 years of age. A purpose for taking the community sample was to develop norms for the general people to facilitate local use of the inventory for interpretive purposes.

Assessment Measures

1) The NEO-FFI (Costa & McCrae, 1985) provides a selection of broad facets of human behavior representing the five dimensions in just 60 items. …

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