Objective: The debate of whether personality traits are universal or culture-specific has been informed by psycholexical (or lexical) studies conducted in tens of languages and cultures. We contribute to this debate through a series of studies in which we investigated personality descriptors in Modern Standard Arabic, the variety of Arabic that is presumably common to about 26 countries and native to more than 200 million people. Method: We identified an appropriate source of personality descriptors, extracted them, and systematically reduced them to 167 personality traits that are common, are not redundant with each other, and are familiar and commonly understood in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the West Bank (Palestinian Territories). Results: We then analyzed self- and peer-ratings (N = 806) and identified a 6-factor solution comprising Morality (I), Conscientiousness (II), Positive Emotionality (III), Dominance (IV), Agreeableness/Righteousness (V), and Emotional Stability (VI) without replicating an Openness factor. Conclusions: The factors were narrower or broader variants of factors found in the Big Five and HEXACO models. Conceptual and methodological consideration may have impacted the factor structure.
In this introductory article, we first describe the impetus for this special issue. What made us think that self-determination theory (SDT) might provide a sort of foundation for the rest of personality psychology? For readers unfamiliar with SDT, we then provide a historical overview that covers the evolution of the six “mini-theories” that currently compose SDT: cognitive evaluation theory, causality orientations theory, organismic integration theory, basic psychological needs theory, goal contents theory, and relational motivation theory. Following each section are preliminary suggestions about how each mini-theory might be useful or informative in other branches of personality. This special issue contains nine articles, each of which makes its own attempt to newly link its area of personality research to SDT. Even if SDT is not the appropriate seed for greater consilience in personality psychology, we urge the field not to neglect the search for unifying principles (Sheldon, Cheng, & Hilpert, 2011); it may finally be time to renew the search for a “grand theory” in personality.