ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (4): 643-653.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.00643

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The General Factor of Personality: Artefact or Substance?

ZHU Hui; YAN Gonggu   

  1. (School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China)
  • Received:2014-04-18 Online:2015-04-15 Published:2015-04-15
  • Contact: YAN Gonggu, E-mail:


The general factor of personality (GFP) is the summit factor of personality hierarchy, a basic personality disposition that integrates most non-cognitive dimensions of personality. People with high score on GFP are more adaptive and successful in directional selection. After Musek (2007) introduced GFP to the theoretical center of the personality research, it has attracted academic interest worldwide. In this article, the history of GFP research was briefly reviewed. A set of comprehensive statistical and genetics evidences of GFP and its relations with other psychological constructs were reported. Critiques on GFP and their responses were presented. Researches demonstrated that GFP can be extracted from most personality scales, and the existence of GFP is supported by behavioral genetic researches and GFP is associated with social adaptability. Finally, implications and prospects of GFP research were discussed.

Key words: general factor of personality, big five personality theory, behavioral genetics, factor analysis