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Twin Res Hum Genet. 2009 Jun;12(3):254-60. doi: 10.1375/twin.12.3.254.

Evidence for a heritable general factor of personality in two studies.

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Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.


Two studies were conducted to see whether a general factor of personality (GFP) could be extracted from different measures of personality. Using samples of twins in both studies also allowed an assessment of the extent to which genetic and/ or environmental factors contributed to individual differences in the GFPs that were found. In Study 1, principal components analysis of the Big Five personality traits in combination with four scales of mental toughness yielded a strong GFP and behavior genetic model-fitting showed that individual differences in this GFP were fully accounted for by genetic and nonshared environmental factors. In Study 2, a GFP was extracted from the Big Five traits in combination with 15 facets of emotional intelligence. Individual differences in this GFP were also fully accounted for by genetic and nonshared environmental factors. These studies add to the growing body of research demonstrating the existence of a GFP and replicate one previous report of its heritability.

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