The establishment of implicit perspectives of personality among Afrikaans speaking people in South Africa
The application of personality assessment measures for clinical and personnel decisions has long been a major activity for psychologists all over the world. In South Africa personality assessment tools are often used to aid decisions relating to selection, placement, determination of job satisfaction and development. Psychological testing in South Africa was originally initiated with white test-takers in mind, and currently none of the personality questionnaires available have been found to provide a reliable and valid picture of personality for all cultural (and language) groups living in South Africa. The promulgation of the new South African constitution in 1996 and, more specifically, the Employment Equity Act of 1998 have resulted in a stronger demand for the cultural appropriateness of psychological tests. In this study, the implicit perspectives of personality of Afrikaans-speaking South Africans were determined to further the goal of developing a personality assessment tool that can be applied fairly to all South African cultural (language) groupings. A qualitative research design was applied with an interview as data-gathering instrument. Afrikaans-speaking fieldworkers were recruited to interview a purposive stratified sample of 120 Afrikaans-speaking South Africans. From the 7 184 responses obtained through this process, personality-relevant adjectives, nouns and metaphors were identified. Content analysis was subsequently used to analyse, interpret and reduce the descriptors to a total of 378 personality characteristics, which imply the most important perspectives of personality for Afrikaans-speaking individuals. The personality characteristics were divided into 12 categories, namely Altruism/ Agreeability, Extraversion, Integrity, Conscientiousness, Emotionality, Intellect, Dynamism, Forcefulness, Humility, Moralism, Conventionality, and Autonomy. While Afrikaans- speaking persons do not hesitate to pronounce themselves and others as stubborn, impatient and short-tempered, they also generally refer to their agreeable nature by describing themselves and familiar others as friendly, helpful, loving and generous. Valuing the virtues associated with conscientiousness, Afrikaans-speaking respondents also made noteworthy reference to religiousness, a sense of humour and aspects of honesty and integrity. Limitations in the research have been identified and recommendations for future research have been presented.