ORIENTATION: A multicultural country like South Africa needs fair cross-cultural psychometric
RESEARCH PURPOSE: This article reports on the process of identifying items for, and provides a
quantitative evaluation of, the South African Personality Inventory (SAPI) items.
MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY: The study intended to develop an indigenous and psychometrically
sound personality instrument that adheres to the requirements of South African legislation and
excludes cultural bias.
RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD: The authors used a cross-sectional design. They
measured the nine SAPI clusters identified in the qualitative stage of the SAPI project in 11
separate quantitative studies. Convenience sampling yielded 6735 participants. Statistical
analysis focused on the construct validity and reliability of items. The authors eliminated items
that showed poor performance, based on common psychometric criteria, and selected the best
performing items to form part of the final version of the SAPI.
MAIN FINDINGS: The authors developed 2573 items from the nine SAPI clusters. Of these, 2268
items were valid and reliable representations of the SAPI facets.
PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS: The authors developed a large item pool. It measures
personality in South Africa. Researchers can refine it for the SAPI. Furthermore, the project
illustrates an approach that researchers can use in projects that aim to develop culturallyinformed
CONTRIBUTION/VALUE-ADD: Personality assessment is important for recruiting, selecting and
developing employees. This study contributes to the current knowledge about the early processes researchers follow when they develop a personality instrument that measures
personality fairly in different cultural groups, as the SAPI does.