The inaccuracy of national character stereotypes

Robert R. McCrae, Wayne Chan, Lee Jussim, Filip De Fruyt, Corinna E. Löckenhoff, Marleen De Bolle, Paul T. Costa, Martina Hřebíčková, Sylvie Graf, Anu Realo, Jüri Allik, Katsuharu Nakazato, Yoshiko Shimonaka, Michelle Yik, Emília Ficková, Marina Brunner-Sciarra, Norma Reátigui, Nora Leibovich de Figueora, Vanina Schmidt, Chang kyu AhnHyun nie Ahn, Maria E. Aguilar-Vafaie, Jerzy Siuta, Barbara Szmigielska, Thomas R. Cain, Jarret T. Crawford, Khairul Anwar Mastor, Jean Pierre Rolland, Florence Nansubuga, Daniel R. Miramontez, Veronica Benet-Martínez, Jér Ôme Rossier, Denis Bratko, Iris Marušić, Jamin Halberstadt, Mami Yamaguchi, Goran Knežević, Danka Purić, Thomas A. Martin, Mirona Gheorghiu, Peter B. Smith, Claudio Barbaranelli, Lei Wang, Jane Shakespeare-Finch, Margarida P. Lima, Waldemar Klinkosz, Andrzej Sekowski, Lidia Alcalay, Franco Simonetti, Tatyana V. Avdeyeva, V. S. Pramila, Antonio Terracciano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Consensual stereotypes of some groups are relatively accurate, whereas others are not. Previous work suggesting that national character stereotypes are inaccurate has been criticized on several grounds. In this article we (a) provide arguments for the validity of assessed national mean trait levels as criteria for evaluating stereotype accuracy and (b) report new data on national character in 26 cultures from descriptions (N= 3323) of the typical male or female adolescent, adult, or old person in each. The average ratings were internally consistent and converged with independent stereotypes of the typical culture member, but were weakly related to objective assessments of personality. We argue that this conclusion is consistent with the broader literature on the inaccuracy of national character stereotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)831-842
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Cross-cultural
  • Five-Factor Model
  • National character
  • Personality traits
  • Stereotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)


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