The big five have been criticized on several grounds. First, they are not universal--only two of the big five have been recovered in Chinese. Second, they represent a "psychology of the stranger"--they are what one might want to know about someone about whom one knew nothing else. Third, they are purely descriptive--they tell us nothing about presumed causation, whether biological or environmental. An alternative trait approach that emphazises biological causation is the PEN model.
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