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   2012, Vol. 44 Issue (3) : 354-368     DOI:
Preliminary Exploration on the Structure of the Concept of Integrity
WU Ji-Xia;HUANG Xi-Ting
(1 School of Education, Soochow University, Suzhou, 215123, China)
(2 School of Psychology, Southwest China University, Chongqing, 400715, China)
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Abstract  The concept of integrity is greatly valued by people in all societies, and it is drawing more and more attention from psychological researchers in recent years. However, the present research on the trait of integrity is still lack of systemization and integration. No convincing conclusion has been arrived in terms of the core of the concept of integrity for Chinese. In consistent with qualitative research paradigm, the present study indigenously explored the structure of the trait of integrity in Chinese population. Following the principal of purposive sampling, 10 participants (faculty members and graduate students in the west and east areas) were selected and interviewed in the pilot study. After the pilot study, 15 participants were selected and interviewed in the formal study. Among these formal participants, 6 were females and 9 were males, representing groups born in different era (e.g., 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s), with different educational level (i.e., from elemental school to doctoral education) and different work lines (e.g., clerk, merchant, school teacher, etc.). In-depth interviews were conducted by one interviewer between 30 to 90 minutes for each participant and were recorded with participants’ consent. Following the standard procedure of grounded theory, interview data was then transformed to electronic text and analyzed with Nvivo8.0. In the results, four aspects related to the trait of integrity were discussed:
(1) Qualitative research path of integrity: in the results 292 open codes and 7 selected codes were generated. Based on these codes, one axis code was formed and was named “trait of integrity and its structure”. Two related theories were also constructed: 1) the trait of integrity is consisted of four factors; 2) The relation and structure of the four factors.
(2) The trait of integrity is consisted of four factors: honest, credibility, trust and responsibility. In a short word, integrity is honest and trustworthy.
(3) Levels of the factor of responsibility: the inner connections among the four factors, and their interaction with the external environment determine the integrative structure of the four factors.
(4) Limitation of the present study: satisfactory preliminary indices of reliability and validity of the present study were obtained. However, the exterior validity still waits for further exploration since it is usually limited in qualitative studies. Nevertheless, the theory regarding the factor composition, inner relationship and structure of the trait of integrity obtained from the present study is meaningful in both theory and practice. The future studies may develop a scale to further explore the structure of the trait of integrity for Chinese, with an aim to testify the results obtained from the present study. In this way, the exterior validity of the present study may be developed.
Keywords integrity      honesty      credibility      trust      responsibility      grounded theory      in-depth interview     
Corresponding Authors: HUANG Xi-Ting   
Issue Date: 28 March 2012
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WU Ji-Xia,HUANG Xi-Ting. Preliminary Exploration on the Structure of the Concept of Integrity[J]. , 2012, 44(3): 354-368.
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