Stephen Erdle , Samuel D. Gosling , Jeff Potter (2009)
The purpose of this study was to determine whether higher-order factors of the Big Five personality factors are artifacts of self-esteem. Based on previous research, it was predicted that two higher-order factors, Stability and Plasticity, would emerge from correlations among the Big Five factors. It was also predicted that self-esteem would be related to the higher-order factors but would not account for them. The Big Five and self-esteem were measured in a sample of 628,640 participants using an interactive website on the Internet. Results showed that the two higher-order factors of the Big Five existed and were substantially correlated with self-esteem but remained intact when self-esteem was statistically controlled, indicating that they are not artifacts of self-esteem.