Personality profiles based on the FFM: A systematic review with a person-centered approach

Kui Yin, Philseok Lee, Oliver J. Sheldon, Can Li, Jing Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Numerous researchers have adopted the five-factor model (FFM) to identify personality profiles. However, to date, no consensus has been reached on the number and characteristics of personality profiles. This review comprehensively summarizes person-centered research on personality profiles based on the FFM. Based on our review of 34 empirical studies that included 36 independent samples, we found that there were four possible personality profile solutions and that the three-profile and four-profile solutions were more predominant. In addition, we observed that the personality profiles identified in most studies differed both in level and shape, but especially in level. Neuroticism was more useful than the other four traits in the FFM for grouping individuals into different profiles, whereas openness to experience was less useful for this purpose. Furthermore, the number of FFM items and long-term orientation, a cultural value, was negatively correlated with the number of personality profiles. Taken together, our findings contribute to the personality literature by synthesizing the person-centered approach to investigating the number and makeup of personality profiles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110996
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
StatePublished - Oct 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


  • Five-factor model (FFM)
  • National culture values
  • Person-centered approach
  • Personality


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