"The HEXACO model of personality
The HEXACO model of personality conceptualizes human personality in terms of six dimensions.
The HEXACO model was developed from several previous independent lexical studies. Language based taxonomies for personality traits have been widely used as a method for developing personality models. This method, based on the logic of the lexical hypothesis, uses adjectives found in language that describe behaviours and tendencies among individuals. The identified adjectives are distilled down through factor analysis to yield a manageable number of groups of related personality traits.
Research studies based on the lexical hypothesis described above were first undertaken in the English language. Subsequent research was conducted in other languages, including Croatian, Dutch, Filipino, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Polish, Russian, and Turkish. Comparisons of the results revealed as many as six emergent factors, in similar form across different languages including English. The six factors are generally named Honesty-Humility (H), Emotionality (E), Extraversion (X), Agreeableness (A), Conscientiousness (C), and Openness to Experience (O). The personality-descriptive adjectives that typically belong to these six groups are as follows:
Honesty-Humility (H): sincere, honest, faithful, loyal, modest/unassuming versus sly, deceitful, greedy, pretentious, hypocritical, boastful, pompous
Emotionality (E): emotional, oversensitive, sentimental, fearful, anxious, vulnerable versus brave, tough, independent, self-assured, stable
Extraversion (X): outgoing, lively, extraverted, sociable, talkative, cheerful, active versus shy, passive, withdrawn, introverted, quiet, reserved
Agreeableness (A): patient, tolerant, peaceful, mild, agreeable, lenient, gentle versus ill-tempered, quarrelsome, stubborn, choleric
Conscientiousness (C): organized, disciplined, diligent, careful, thorough, precise versus sloppy, negligent, reckless, lazy, irresponsible, absent-minded
Openness to Experience (O): intellectual, creative, unconventional, innovative, ironic versus shallow, unimaginative, conventional
Personality is often assessed using a self-report inventory or observer report inventory. The six factors are measured through a series of questions designed to rate an individual on levels of each factor. Ashton and Lee have developed self- and observer report forms of the HEXACO Personality Inventory-Revised (HEXACO-PI-R). The HEXACO-PI-R assesses the six broad HEXACO personality factors, each of which contains four "facets", or narrower personality characteristics. (An additional 25th narrow facet, called Altruism, is also included and represents a blend of the Honesty-Humility, Emotionality, and Agreeableness factors.) The four facets within each factor are as follows:
Honesty-Humility (H): Sincerity, Fairness, Greed Avoidance, Modesty
Emotionality (E): Fearfulness, Anxiety, Dependence, Sentimentality
Extraversion (X): Social Self-Esteem, Social Boldness, Sociability, Liveliness
Agreeableness (A): Forgivingness, Gentleness, Flexibility, Patience
Conscientiousness (C): Organization, Diligence, Perfectionism, Prudence
Openness to Experience (O): Aesthetic Appreciation, Inquisitiveness, Creativity, Unconventionality
Relations with the "Big Five" personality factors
Currently, the most widely used model of personality structure is also based on analyses of personality-descriptive adjectives. This model consists of the five personality factors collectively known as the "Big Five". Three of the Big Five factors are similar to the Extraversion, Conscientiousness, and Openness to Experience factors of the HEXACO model. The two remaining Big Five factors, called Agreeableness and Neuroticism (with the opposite pole of the latter factor being Emotional Stability), are similar to the Agreeableness and Emotionality factors of the HEXACO model – but with some differences in the content of the factors. Agreeableness and Emotionality from the HEXACO model represent rotated variants of their Big Five counterparts, for example, characteristics related to a quick temper are associated with Neuroticism or low Emotional Stability in the Big Five framework, but with low Agreeableness in the HEXACO framework. Therefore, the Big Five's Agreeableness and HEXACO's Agreeableness are not identical. The Big Five factors do not include an Honesty-Humility factor, but some of the characteristics belonging to Honesty-Humility are incorporated into the Big Five's Agreeableness factor. Although earlier investigations found only the Big Five factors, more recent studies conducted in various languages (including English) with larger sets of adjectives recovered six factors, as summarized above. The names of four of the HEXACO factors (all except Honesty-Humility and Emotionality) were adopted from existing labels for the Big Five factors. Factor names were selected on the basis of the common meaning of the characteristics within each factor.
Research relating to the HEXACO model
Theoretical basis of Agreeableness, Honesty-Humility and Emotionality
The HEXACO model is often used in research studies when behaviours or traits found on the Agreeableness, Honesty-Humility and Emotionality dimensions are of specific interest. The factors of Agreeableness, Honesty-Humility and Emotionality are distinctly different from their counterparts on the Five Factor Model (FFM). Honesty-Humility, Emotionality and Agreeableness are proposed to be measures of Altruistic versus Antagonistic behaviour. Honesty-Humility and Agreeableness both measure two different aspects of Reciprocal altruism, high levels of which indicate a propensity for helping behaviour and cooperation as opposed to the exploitation of others. The Honesty-Humility factor represents a person's tendency for pro-social altruistic behaviours, while Agreeableness indicates an individual's tendency to forgive and to show tolerance. Emotionality is a measure of kin altruism, that is, the tendency to show empathy and attachment to one’s kin.
Honesty-Humility and the Dark Triad
The Honest-Humility factor has been used in a variety of studies as a measure of ethical or pro-social behaviour (See Ashton and Lee (2008) for further details). Low levels of the Honesty-Humility factor are associated with greater levels of materialism, unethical business practices and even deviant sexual behaviour. The Honesty-Humility factor has been found to predict endorsement of unethical business practices and even the degree to which a person will take health and safety risks (even towards fellow employees). An individual who scores low on the Honesty-Humility factor may have a proclivity for anti-social acts. Which anti-social acts an individual is likely to commit may be related to their personality profile along the other factors of the HEXACO model. For example, someone who scores low on Honesty-Humility and low on Conscientiousness and Agreeableness are more likely to engage in delinquency in the workplace.
The dark triad of personality consists of psychopathy, Machiavellianism and narcissism. However, these constructs are said to be not fully represented in common five-factor models of personality. The Dark Triad can be conceptualized as being on the opposite pole of Honesty-Humility (Sincere, Faithful, Loyal etc.), which would mean that low levels of Honesty-Humility corresponds to higher levels of psychopathy, Machiavellianism and/or narcissism. The Dark Triad personality constructs tend to only correlate with disagreeableness on the Big Five Inventory, otherwise they are represented inconsistently on measures of the Big Five traits. For that reason, several researchers have used the HEXACO model to gain a more detailed understanding of the personality characteristics of individuals who exhibit traits/behaviours that would be considered along the Dark Triad dimension."