Rozainee Khairudin, Rohany Nasir, Wan Shahrazad Wan Sulaiman, Zainah Ahmad Zamani, Fatimah Wati Halim


Malaysia achieved its independence in 1957. A lot has been accomplished since its independence including infrastructural and economical development. The vast changes of the country may also affect its society. Particularly, in terms of its psychological well-being. Therefore, the current study sought to explore the personality and cognitive style of Malaysians who were born before its independence and after independence. The questionnaires used to measure the two psychological constructs were NEO Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) to measure personality and Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT) to measure cognitive style. Respondents consist of 261 born before 1957 and 291 born after 1957 (N=552). Results showed that there was no significant relationship between any of the personality domain with cognitive style for the pre independence generation. However, there was a weak positive correlation between Openness domain of personality with cognitive style for the post independence generation group. As for cognitive style, there was a significant difference between the pre independence group and the post independence group. The post independence respondents were more field independent than the pre independence respondents. Results also indicated that there were significant differences between the pre and post independence groups on openness and conscientiousness traits. The post-generation Malaysians were more open to experience than those who were born before independence. However, when it comes to the conscientiousness trait, those who were born before 1957 were high on their conscientiousness than Malaysians who were born after independence. The current findings imply that there exist differences in personality and cognitive styles between Malaysians in the generation of before and after independence.

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