Problems with the Big Five assessment in the World Values Survey

Steven G. Ludeke*, Erik Gahner Larsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Publicly-available data from the World Values Survey (WVS) is an extremely valuable resource for social scientists, serving as the basis for thousands of research publications. The most recent assessment (Wave 6) was the first to assess Big Five personality traits, and this data has already been used in published research. In the present paper, we show for the first time that the Big Five data from WVS Wave 6 is extremely problematic: items from the same trait correlate negatively with each other as often as not, occasionally to truly extreme degrees. Particular caution is warranted for any future research aiming to use this data, as we do not identify any straightforward solution to the data's challenges.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Pages (from-to)103-105
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • BFI-10
  • Big Five
  • Reliability
  • World Values Survey


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