Original Research

Investigating the factor structure of the South African Personality Inventory – English version

Nadia Morton, Carin Hill, Deon Meiring, Leon T. de Beer
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 45 | a1556 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v45i0.1556 | © 2019 Nadia Morton, Carin Hill, Deon Meiring, Leon T. de Beer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 May 2018 | Published: 17 October 2019

About the author(s)

Nadia Morton, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Carin Hill, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Deon Meiring, Department of Human Resource Management, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Leon T. de Beer, WorkWell Research Unit, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Most psychological measuring instruments developed in Western, educated, industrial, rich, democratic (W.E.I.R.D.) countries have been found to inadequately capture and represent personality outside the borders of these countries. Consequently, culturally informed or indigenous measuring instruments need to be developed.

Research purpose: This study aimed to inspect whether an overlap exists between the empirical data obtained and the theoretical six-factor SAPI framework, providing evidence for an indigenous personality structure in a multi-cultural context.

Motivation for the study: Psychological professionals in South Africa have been criticised for using culturally biased instruments that do not display an accurate representation of the 11 official cultural groups. The South African Personality Inventory (SAPI) aims to address these criticisms, highlighting the importance of establishing the cultural applicability of the model through model-fit analyses.

Research approach/design and method: A quantitative, cross-sectional design was used to administer the SAPI-English version to a sample of employed, unemployed and employment-seeking South Africans (N = 3912). Exploratory Structural Equation Modelling (ESEM) was used to model the data.

Main findings: The results revealed that the model was a good fit to the data and that the SAPI factors accurately represent personality in a multi-cultural context.

Practical/managerial implication: Using a well-researched indigenous personality assessment like the SAPI can assist South African organisations to fairly and reliably assess people across the 11 official cultural groups.

Contribution/value-add: This study advances the processes surrounding indigenous test development through the establishment of a personality model and measure that encapsulates personality traits exhibited in a multi-cultural context.


Keywords

Personality; South African Personality Inventory; SAPI; factor structure; assessment; South Africa.

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