Journal article Open Access

Openness to Experience: Expanding the boundaries of Factor V

McCrae, Robert R.

The fifth factor in lexical studies of trait adjectives is commonly interpreted as Intellect, whereas the corresponding factor derived from questionnaire studies is typically identified as Openness to Experience. Intellect as a construct is problematic because it erroneously suggests an equivalence of Factor V with intelligence, describes aspects of Factor III (Conscientiousness) as well as of Factor V, and fails to suggest the diverse psychological correlates that Factor V is known to have. By contrast, Openness to Experience is a broader construct that implies both receptivity to many varieties of experience and a fluid and permeable structure of consciousness. Data from analyses of adjectives, established personality questionnaires, and Hartmann's (1991) new Boundary Questionnaire support these interpretations. The construct of Openness can be transported across geographical and cultural boundaries to function as a universal dimension of personality structure.

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