The establishment of implicit personality perspectives among Tsonga-speaking people in South Africa
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Cross-cultural assessment in South Africa has become more prominent since the first democratic elections held in April 1994, and stronger demands for the cultural appropriateness of psychological tests have arisen. The use of psychometric testing, including personality assessment in the workplace, is now strictly controlled by legislation, among others the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996), the Labour Relations Act (66 of 1995), and the Employment Equity Act (55 of 1998), and the Health Professions Act (56 of 1974). Much controversy has arisen regarding the relevance and applicability of assessment instruments in South Africa. The majority of assessment procedures still make use of imported instruments that are either used in their original or adapted form. Psychological assessment instruments imported from abroad have an insufficient suitability in the multicultural South African context. There are various perspectives regarding the appropriate measurement of personality across cultures. In this research study implicit perspectives of personality, the lexical approach, indigenous psychology and the emic approach were used to determine the personality perspectives of the Tsonga culture in South Africa. The objectives of this study were to investigate how personality is conceptualised in literature, to identify the problems surrounding personality measurement for the South African context, to explore how personality perspectives could be determined and to investigate the personality descriptive terms in the Tsonga language group. A qualitative research design was used to collect the data of this research. A total of 5 502 personality descriptors were obtained through the 10-item interview questionnaires. Content analysis was used to analyse, reduce and interpret the data obtained from the participants. The personality descriptors obtained were reduced by removing superfluous words. These personality descriptors were then interpreted and categorised into a total of 109 personality dimensions. These characteristics were categorised into nine clusters, namely Optimism, Agreeableness, Emotional Stability, Narrow-mindedness, Intelligence, Conscientiousness, Aggressiveness, Dominance and Sociability. The following personality dimensions had the highest frequency: Emotional Stability, Caring, Helpful, Hard working, Advising, Generous, Traditional, Aggression, Recreational, Substance use, Religious, Sociable and Loving. Recommendations for future research were made.
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