The five-factor structure of personality organizes personality traits in terms of five basic dimensions. The dimensions are as follows: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness. Evidence supporting this model comes from various studies conducted by universities and organizations. For instance, a research conducted by Pennsylvania State University whose findings lent a lot of credence to this theory.
The study involved establishing factorial variance for samples of different groups. The results were presented in two forms of 16PF. Six samples were used; two consisting of male felons and four consisting of male and female police applicants. These samples were independently rotated and the common factor analysis showed complete similarity to the Big Five personality traits mentioned above.
Another support came from the research on California Q-Set by J. Block (1961). He developed a hundred statements which were analysed by a host of psychologists and psychiatrists over a period of ten years. This research provided a comprehensive description of personality. The five major personality traits derived from this research were very similar to the Big Five personality traits mentioned above.
Not all the research has supported this theory. Some have disapproved the allegations. Many psychologists, for example, have argued that the five personality types are very few to fully explain the vast personality differences among individuals. Kamp (1986) argues that masculinity and femininity are major personality factors and should have also been considered while other researchers argue that the five factors are far too many and two or three would suffice. Hoffer writes that only three of the factors account for the bulk of the variance (1997).
Research has also found some of the traits missing in people in some countries great, thereby doubting the universality of this model. Most people in Hungary, for example, have been found to be missing the agreeability trait. Therefore, it can be concluded that even despite the shortcomings of this model, it is the most thorough model that is used to describe personality types.