Is the genetic structure of human personality universal? A cross-cultural twin study from North America, Europe, and Asia

Shinji Yamagata, Atsunobu Suzuki, Juko Ando, Yutaka Ono, Nobuhiko Kijima, Kimio Yoshimura, Fritz Ostendorf, Alois Angleitner, Rainer Riemann, Frank M. Spinath, W. John Livesley, Kerry L. Jang

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192 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined whether universality of the 5-factor model (FFM) of personality operationalized by the Revised NEO Personality Inventory is due to genetic influences that are invariant across diverse nations. Factor analyses were conducted on matrices of phenotypic, genetic, and environmental correlations estimated in a sample of 1,209 monozygotic and 701 dizygotic twin pairs from Canada, Germany, and Japan. Five genetic and environmental factors were extracted for each sample. High congruence coefficients were observed when phenotypic, genetic, and environmental factors were compared in each sample as well as when each factor was compared across samples. These results suggest that the FFM has a solid biological basis and may represent a common heritage of the human species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)987-998
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2006


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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