The five factor model of personality and heritability: Evidence from Denmark

Aaron Weinschenk, Stig Hebbelstrup Rye Rasmussen, Kaare Christensen, Christopher Dawes, Robert Klemmensen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    While previous studies have shown that the traits in the FFM are moderately heritable, it is important to examine whether earlier results hold across different contexts. To date, few studies from the Scandinavian context have estimated the heritability of the FFM. We remedy this shortcoming by making use of a large sample of Danish twins who completed a 60-item personality inventory. Our results confirm that previous findings regarding the heritability of personality traits hold in the Danish context. We find that there are differences in mean levels and heritability estimates of personality traits across gender, though the differences in heritability estimates are not statistically significant. We find a significant common environment component for several of the personality traits, which indicates that the rearing environment of Danish twins may influence the development of some personality traits. All scripts for the analyses in this paper will be made available on OSF upon publication. This study's design and its analysis were not pre-registered. We are not allowed to share or post the Danish Twin Registry data used in this paper. However, information on the requirements for getting access to data and how to apply for data can be located here: We note that data used for this research was provided by the Danish Twin Registry, University of Southern Denmark. The findings, opinions and recommendations expressed therein are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of the Danish Twin Research Center. The Danish Twin Registry has been approved by SDU RIO (SDU Legal Services) and the Committee on Health Research Ethics. The participants were enrolled by informed consent. The Danish Twin Registry, SDU RIO notification no. 10.585. We have a conflict of interest with Pete Hatemi and Brad Verhulst because of this publication: Ludeke, S. G. & Rasmussen, S. H. R. (2016). Personality correlates of sociopolitical attitudes in the Big Five and Eysenckian models. Personality and Individual Differences, 98, 30–36.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number111605
    JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
    StatePublished - Jul 2022


    • Five factor model
    • Heritability
    • Replication
    • Twin studies

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Psychology


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