PERSONALITY TRAIT STRUCTURE OF MALAY AND CHINESE USING THE NEO PI-R: PRELIMINARY FINDINGS
 
Mastor, K.A., Center for General Studies, Malaysia
 
The paper reports a preliminary investigation of personality trait structure between Malay and Chinese people of Malaysia. 320 undergraduate students (162 Malay, mean age = 22.4 and 158 Chinese, mean age = 23.2) were used as samples in the study. The original NEO PI-R (Costa & McCrae, 1992) was previously translated into Malay and validated (Mastor, Jin & Cooper, 2000). Using the Malay version of NEO PI-R, samples were given the inventory during several class meetings. Data were subjected to principal component factor analyses and yielded exactly five factor with eigenvalues of 6.68, 2.69, 1.82, 1.47 and 1.08. When data were separately analyzed by races, the structure changes slightly. Rotated factor structure for Malays produced clearly five factors as expected. Only four factors were clearly extracted from the Chinese samples: Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, Openness and Extraversion. Findings of the study suggested that personality structure of the two races differ on the existence of Agreeableness factor. Also, the study indicated that the translated version still needs further revision on some of the items as some Chinese students were reportedly find the items ambiguous. Analyses with bigger samples should also be carried out to obtain a better picture of personality structure differences between Malay and Chinese samples.