The personality of corruption: A national-level analysis

Brian S. Connelly, Deniz S Ones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Many other areas in the social sciences (e.g., economics, political science, and sociology) have devoted considerable research to understanding antecedents to national corruption. However, little research has explored psychological antecedents-specifically, personality measured at an aggregate level. In this study of 54 countries, the authors examined the independent, combined, and unique effects of national personality and G. S. Hofstede's cultural dimensions on perceived national corruption. Nations scoring low on neuroticism and high on extraversion tended to be less corrupt, and the relationship between conscientiousness and corruption was explained by wealth. In addition, national personality contributed beyond other cultural, economic, and demographic variables predictive of national corruption: National personality incremented Hofstede's cultural dimensions, national wealth, and national religion. These findings suggest that personality at the national level has substantial relations with nations' corruption and that these effects merit closer scrutiny by researchers and policy makers alike.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-385
Number of pages33
JournalCross-Cultural Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2008

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Corruption
  • Cultural Perceptions Index
  • Cultural dimensions
  • Five-Factor Model
  • Government
  • National personality and culture


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