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What Are the Big 5 Personality Traits?

Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism

Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.

essay on big five personality traits

Verywell / Catherine Song

Many contemporary personality psychologists believe that there are five basic dimensions of personality, often referred to as the "Big 5" personality traits. These five primary personality traits are extraversion (also often spelled extroversion), agreeableness , openness , conscientiousness , and neuroticism .

Extraversion is sociability, agreeableness is kindness, openness is creativity and intrigue, conscientiousness is thoughtfulness, and neuroticism often involves sadness or emotional instability.

Understanding what each personality trait is and what it means to score high or low in that trait can give you insight into your own personality—without taking a personality traits test . It can also help you better understand others, based on where they fall on the continuum for each of the personality traits listed.

An Easy Way to Remember the Big 5

Some use the acronym OCEAN (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism) to remember the Big 5 personality traits. CANOE (for conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, openness, and extraversion) is another option.

History of the 5-Factor Model of Personality

Trait theories of personality have long attempted to pin down exactly how many traits exist. Earlier theories have suggested various numbers. For instance, Gordon Allport's list contained 4,000 personality traits, Raymond Cattell had 16 personality factors, and Hans Eysenck offered a three-factor theory.

Many researchers felt that Cattell's theory was too complicated and Eysenck's was too limited in scope. As a result, the Big 5 personality traits emerged and are used to describe the broad traits that serve as building blocks of personality .

Several researchers support the belief that there are five core personality traits. Evidence of this theory has been growing for many years in psychology, beginning with the research of D. W. Fiske (1949), and later expanded upon by others, including Norman (1967), Smith (1967), Goldberg (1981), and McCrae & Costa (1987).

The Big 5 Personality Traits

It is important to note that each of the five primary personality traits represents a range between two extremes. For example, extraversion represents a continuum between extreme extraversion and extreme introversion. In the real world, most people lie somewhere in between.

While there is a significant body of literature supporting these primary personality traits, researchers don't always agree on the exact labels for each dimension. That said, these five traits are usually described as follows.

Openness (also referred to as openness to experience) emphasizes imagination and insight the most out of all five personality traits. People who are high in openness tend to have a broad range of interests. They are curious about the world and other people and are eager to learn new things and enjoy new experiences.

People who are high in this personality trait also tend to be more adventurous and  creative . Conversely, people low in this personality trait are often much more traditional and may struggle with abstract thinking.

Very creative

Open to trying new things

Focused on tackling new challenges

Happy to think about abstract concepts

Dislikes change

Does not enjoy new things

Resists new ideas

Not very imaginative

Dislikes abstract or theoretical concepts


Among each of the personality traits, conscientiousness is one defined by high levels of thoughtfulness, good impulse control, and goal-directed behaviors. Highly conscientious people tend to be organized and mindful of details. They plan ahead, think about how their behavior affects others, and are mindful of deadlines.

Someone scoring lower in this primary personality trait is less structured and less organized. They may procrastinate to get things done, sometimes missing deadlines completely.

Spends time preparing

Finishes important tasks right away

Pays attention to detail

Enjoys having a set schedule

Dislikes structure and schedules

Makes messes and doesn't take care of things

Fails to return things or put them back where they belong

Procrastinates  important tasks

Fails to complete necessary or assigned tasks


Extraversion (or extroversion) is a personality trait characterized by excitability, sociability, talkativeness, assertiveness, and high amounts of emotional expressiveness. People high in extraversion are outgoing and tend to gain energy in social situations. Being around others helps them feel energized and excited.

People who are low in this personality trait or introverted tend to be more reserved. They have less energy to expend in social settings and social events can feel draining. Introverts often require a period of solitude and quiet in order to "recharge."

Enjoys being the center of attention

Likes to start conversations

Enjoys meeting new people

Has a wide social circle of friends and acquaintances

Finds it easy to make new friends

Feels energized when around other people

Say things before thinking about them

Prefers solitude

Feels exhausted when having to socialize a lot

Finds it difficult to start conversations

Dislikes making small talk

Carefully thinks things through before speaking

Dislikes being the center of attention


This personality trait includes attributes such as trust,  altruism , kindness, affection, and other  prosocial behaviors . People who are high in agreeableness tend to be more cooperative while those low in this personality trait tend to be more competitive and sometimes even manipulative.

Has a great deal of interest in other people

Cares about others

Feels empathy and concern for other people

Enjoys helping and contributing to the happiness of other people

Assists others who are in need of help

Takes little interest in others

Doesn't care about how other people feel

Has little interest in other people's problems

Insults and belittles others

Manipulates others to get what they want


Neuroticism is a personality trait characterized by sadness, moodiness, and emotional instability. Individuals who are high in neuroticism tend to experience mood swings , anxiety, irritability, and sadness. Those low in this personality trait tend to be more stable and emotionally resilient .

Experiences a lot of stress

Worries about many different things

Gets upset easily

Experiences dramatic shifts in mood

Feels anxious

Struggles to bounce back after stressful events

Emotionally stable

Deals well with stress

Rarely feels sad or depressed

Doesn't worry much

Is very relaxed

How to Use the Big 5 Personality Traits

Where you fall on the continuum for each of these five primary traits can be used to help identify whether you are more or less likely to have other more secondary personality traits. These other traits are often split into two categories: positive personality traits and negative personality traits.

Positive Personality Traits

Positive personality traits are traits that can be beneficial to have. These traits may help you be a better person or make it easier to cope with challenges you may face in life. Personality traits that are considered positive include:

Negative Personality Traits

Negative personality traits are those that may be more harmful than helpful. These are traits that may hold you back in your life or hurt your relationships with others. (They're also good traits to focus on for personal growth.) Personality traits that fall in the negative category include:

For example, if you score high in openness, you are more likely to have the positive personality trait of creativity. If you score low in openness, you may be more likely to have the negative personality trait of being unimaginative.

Universality of Primary Personality Traits

McCrae and his colleagues found that the Big 5 personality traits are remarkably universal. One study that looked at people from more than 50 different cultures found that the five dimensions could be accurately used to describe personality.

Based on this research, many psychologists now believe that the five personality dimensions are not only universal but that they also have biological origins. Psychologist David Buss has proposed an evolutionary explanation for these five core personality traits, suggesting that they represent the most important qualities that shape our social landscape.

Factors Influencing Personality Traits

Research suggests that both biological and environmental influences play a role in shaping our personalities. Twin studies suggest that both nature and nurture play a role in the development of each of the five personality traits.

One study of the genetic and environmental underpinnings of the five traits looked at 123 pairs of identical twins and 127 pairs of fraternal twins. The findings suggested that the heritability of each personality trait was 53% for extraversion, 41% for agreeableness, 44% for conscientiousness, 41% for neuroticism, and 61% for openness. 

Longitudinal studies also suggest that these big five personality traits tend to be relatively stable over the course of adulthood. One four-year study of working-age adults found that personality changed little as a result of adverse life events .

Studies show that maturation may have an impact on the five personality traits. As people age, they tend to become less extraverted, less neurotic, and less open to an experience. Agreeableness and conscientiousness, on the other hand, tend to increase as people grow older.

A Word From Verywell

Always remember that behavior involves an interaction between a person's underlying personality and situational variables. The situation that someone finds themselves in plays a role in how they might react . However, in most cases, people offer responses that are consistent with their underlying personality traits.

These dimensions represent broad areas of personality. But personality is also complex and varied. So, a person may display behaviors across several of these personality traits.

Power RA, Pluess M. Heritability estimates of the Big Five personality traits based on common genetic variants . Translation Psychiatry . 2015;5:e604. doi:10.1038/tp.2015.96

Jang KL, Livesley WJ, Vernon PA. Heritability of the big five personality dimensions and their facets: a twin study . J Pers . 1996;64(3):577-91. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6494.1996.tb00522.x

Cobb-Clark DA, Schurer S. The stability of big-five personality traits . Econ Letters . 2012;115(2):11–15. doi:10.1016/j.econlet.2011.11.015

Lang KL, Livesley WJ, Vemon PA. Heritability of the big five personality dimensions and their facets: A twin study . J Personal . 1996;64(3):577–591. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6494.1996.tb00522.x

Marsh HW, Nagengast B, Morin AJS. Measurement invariance of big-five factors over the lifespan: ESEM tests of gender, age, plasticity, maturity, and la dolce vita effects . Develop Psychol . 2013;49(6):1194-1218. doi:10.1037/a0026913

McCrae RR, Terracciano A, Personality Profiles of Cultures Project. Universal features of personality traits from the observer's perspective: Data from 50 different cultures . J Personal Soc Psychol. 2005;88:547-561. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.88.3.547

By Kendra Cherry Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.

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Big 5 Personality Traits

Reviewed by Psychology Today Staff

The differences between people’s personalities can be broken down in terms of five major traits—often called the “Big Five.” Each one reflects a key part of how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. The Big Five traits are:

Individual personalities are thought to feature each of these five broad traits to some degree. When the traits are measured, some people rate higher and others rate lower: Someone can be more conscientious and less agreeable than most people, for instance, while scoring about average on the other traits. These traits remain fairly stable during adulthood.

People can also differ on the more specific facets that make up each of the Big Five traits. A relatively extroverted person might be highly sociable but not especially assertive .

The five-factor model is widely used by personality researchers, but it is not the only model. A more recently introduced six-factor model known as HEXACO adds the factor of honesty-humility to the original five traits.

How the Big Five Personality Traits Are Measured

Photo by Min An from Pexels

The Big Five traits are typically assessed using one of multiple questionnaires. While these tests vary in the exact terms they use for each trait, they essentially cover the same broad dimensions, providing high-to-low scores on each: openness to experience (also called open-mindedness or just openness), conscientiousness , extroversion (the reverse of which is introversion ), agreeableness , and neuroticism (sometimes negative emotionality or emotional stability).

One test, the latest version of the Big Five Inventory, asks how much a person agrees or disagrees that he or she is someone who exemplifies various specific statements, such as:

Based on a person’s ratings for dozens of these statements (or fewer, for other tests), an average score can be calculated for each of the five traits.

What does your score on the Big Five tell you?

Scores on a Big Five questionnaire provide a sense of how low or high a person rates on a continuum for each trait. Comparing those scores to a large sample of test takers—as some online tests do—offers a picture of how open, conscientious, extroverted (or introverted), agreeable, and neurotic one is relative to others. 

How were the Big Five traits determined?

Analyzing English words used to describe personality traits, researchers used statistical techniques to identify clusters of related characteristics . This led to a small number of overarching trait dimensions that personality psychologists have scientifically tested in large population samples.

Who developed the Big Five personality traits?

The Big Five were not determined by any one person—they have roots in the work of various researchers going back to the 1930s. In 1961, Ernest Tupes and Raymond Christal identified five personality factors that others would reanalyze and rename. Lewis Goldberg used the term Big Five in 1981 to describe these broad factors. 

Do Big Five tests measure more specific traits?

Some Big Five questionnaires break the five main traits down into smaller sub-components or “facets,” which are correlated with each other but can be independently measured. In the Big Five Inventory, for instance, “sociability” and “ assertiveness ” are distinct facets of extroversion, while “organization” and “responsibility” are facets of conscientiousness.

Why the Big Five Personality Traits Are Important


The five-factor model not only helps people better understand how they compare to others and to put names to their characteristics. It’s also used to explore relationships between personality and many other life indicators. These include consequential outcomes such as physical health and well-being as well as success in social, academic, and professional contexts. Personality psychologists have observed reliable associations between how people rate on trait scales and how they fare or feel, on average, in various aspects of their lives.

What can Big Five scores tell us about other outcomes?

Quite a lot , at least in Western samples. There is reliable evidence, for example, that extroversion is associated with subjective well-being, neuroticism with lower work commitment, and agreeableness with religiousness. Certain traits have been linked to mortality risk. However, these are overall patterns and don’t mean that a trait necessarily causes any of these outcomes.

Can Big Five personality traits change?

Yes. While personality trait measures tend to be fairly consistent over short periods of time in adulthood, they do change over the course of a lifetime. There’s also reason to believe that deliberate personality change is possible.

The Big Five and Other Personality Tests

Flora Westbrook/Pexels

Various ways of representing major traits have been proposed, and personality researchers continue to disagree on the number of distinct characteristics that can be measured. The five-factor model dominates the rest, as far as psychologists are concerned, although multiple types of assessments exist to measure the five traits.

Outside of academic psychology, tests that aim to sort people into personality types—including the Myers-Briggs/MBTI and Enneagram—are highly popular, though many experts take issue with such tests on scientific grounds. The five-factor model has conceptual and empirical strengths that others lack.

How do Big Five tests compare to the Myers-Briggs?

For a number of reasons , many personality psychologists consider Big Five tests superior to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator . These include concerns about the reliability of the types assigned by the Myers-Briggs and the validity of the test—though there is some overlap between its dimensions (which include extroversion-introversion) and the Big Five.

Do the Big Five capture personality types?

It depends on how strictly you define a “type.” Research indicates that for any given trait, people fall at various points along a continuum rather than fitting neatly into categories. While some identify wholeheartedly as a total extrovert or introvert, for example, there are many shades in between, and most of us would score somewhere in the middle.

Do Big Five tests have known limitations?

Yes. Some have criticized the five-factor model for its origins in data rather than in theory and argued that it does not encompass all fundamental traits (see HEXACO ). There is also evidence that current tests provide less reliable results outside of Western, industrialized countries.

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Big Five Personality Traits

Introduction, the big five personality traits, openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism.

The human personality has been described using what has been named the Big-Five factors. It has also been referred to as the Five Factor Model (FFM) in other occasions. These factors of personality, which are the five perspectives, include neuroticism, openness, conscientiousness, agreeableness and extraversion. Costa and McCrae established the Big Five framework of the traits that have become useful in studying the relationship between an individual’s personality and several academic behaviors (Gosling & Rentfrow, 2003).

Conscientiousness is depicted through discipline, level of organization and being an achiever. Neuroticism, on the other hand, can be rated regarding the person’s emotions and decision-making abilities. Extraversion is seen as an individual displays highly sociable behavior and being talkative. This is also expressed by a person’s assertiveness (John & Srivastava, 2001). Openness is depicted through a person’s intellectual curiosity. This is also seen, as an individual prefers variety and innovation. Lastly, agreeableness can be expressed as a person becomes helpful to others. This kind of person also cooperates and is sympathetic towards other individuals.

Some research suggests that both personality and motivation have an intricate relationship with the differences among individuals in their styles of learning. Similar research suggests that educators should not only rely on cognition to understand the academic behavior of students but also to incorporate some of these variables. However, there are some disagreements when it comes to interpreting the factor of openness. It is at times referred as intellect instead of openness towards experience.

Each of the five personality traits consist of a number of specific traits underlying them. Extraversion, for example, consists of various other related personality traits that include those of being warmly, having positive emotions, being assertive, being an excitement seeker and gregarious. The Big Five factors are simply a description of personality. Several psychologists have come up with several theories to give an account of the factors.

Openness is described as an appreciation towards certain aspects. These aspects include adventure, art, normal ideas, some experiences and curiosity. Individuals who have openness to experience are normally intellectually curious. They tend to appreciate art and have sensitivity toward beauty. They differ from the closed people in that they tend to be more creative. They are also generally more aware of their feelings (De Fruyt & De Clercq, 2006).

Such people also tend to have beliefs that might be unconventional. Research has suggested that individuals who have low scores on openness usually have interests on more traditional stuff that are unconventional. They tend to avoid the complex and ambiguous and go for the simple, obvious and straightforward. They even despise the arts and sciences due to suspicion. They may disregard it for being uninteresting.

Conscientiousness is the likelihood to explicit self-discipline. Such individuals act dutifully and tend to set goals that may be against measures or simply beyond their expectations (John & Srivastava, 2001). This trait usually displays an individual who prefers things being planned rather than being only spontaneous. This trait influences certain behavior such as the way in which an individual uses his senses to decide on what is the right thing to do. Such individuals may be overheard speaking of things such as being always prepared, paying attention to details, getting chores done right away. There is some sense of order in their activities. Such individuals also tend to like order and follow schedule.

Extraversion describes an individual who tends to have positive emotions (De Fruyt & De Clercq, 2006). Such an individual tends to look out for stimulation and hence seeks the company of other individuals. This trait is also characterized to an individual who is very engaged to the external world. They may be said to be full of energy as they seem to really enjoy the presence of other individuals in their midst. They are always enthusiastic and oriented to actions. They do not hesitate to go for opportunities as they pursue them with excitement and passion. In a group situation, extraverts enjoy getting attention and they talk a lot and assert themselves.

On the contrary, introverts are not as social as their counterparts are. They are usually less involved in social groups and tend to be quiet. They deliberate a lot. However, their quietness and lack of involvement has nothing to do with their shyness. It does not mean that they are depressed either. They are just not as active as the extraverts are. They also tend to require some time alone.

Individuals who are described as being agreeable tend not to be suspicious or antagonistic towards other people. They are usually compassionate and appreciate cooperation. The difference between someone who shows this trait from the one who does not is in his or her views on the need for social accord. Agreeable people, for example, get along with other individuals easily and appreciate it.

They are usually considerate and generous. Their friendliness causes them to be helpful and willing to regard the interests of others rather than their own. Agreeable people are usually optimistic and view people as being honest and decent. They generally trust other individuals easily.

On the other hand, disagreeable individuals are usually self-centered and do not get along well with others. They tend to be less concerned with other people’s interests and are less likely to give a hand. They also tend to be skeptical about people’s actions and hence become suspicious and uncooperative (McGhee & Buckhalt, 2007).

Neurotic individuals always tend to show negative emotions toward other individuals or situations. They show this through anger, depression and being anxious. This trait has often been tied to emotional instability. Those individuals who have high scores in neuroticism show high emotional reactivity and are more likely to get depressed. Normal situations may appear threatening to such individuals as they misinterpret situations. Simple frustrations might turn out to be hopeless difficulty to those who show high scores in neuroticism.

The negative emotional reactions shown by these individuals tend to last for long periods, which show that they are never in good moods. The lack of the ability to regulate their emotions may lead such individuals not to think clearly or not to have the ability to make decisions. They also have a problem coping with stress. On the other hand, those who have low levels of neuroticism show the exact opposite characteristics of their counterparts (Bagby & Marshall, 2005). They are usually calm and stable emotionally. Such individuals are also less likely to have negative feelings.

The identification of the traits that are characteristic to the person’s personality is an important activity in psychology. The Big Five model gives a vivid description of the personality traits found in different individuals. Different researchers have named these factors differently. Costa and McCrae named it the Five Factor Model while Russell and Karol named it the Global Factors of personality (John & Srivastava, 2001).

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For each trait, supply an example of how it might contribute positively to an individual’s efficiency. 1. Extraversion- An individual that is extraverted is somebody that is outbound and full of life. The majority of people like to think of extraverts as those people in a social group that like to be the center of attention or outspoken. According to Kendra Cherry, author for About.com and psychology guide,” [e] xtraversion is defined by sociability, talkativeness, assertiveness and excitability.” (Cherry, 2013, par1) she also explains how,” [a] ccording to researchers, extraversion is related to leadership behavior.

Because extraverts are most likely to assert themselves in groups, it makes sense that these individuals often take on leadership functions when dealing with other individuals.” (Cherry, 2013, par6). An example of how this characteristic might be useful to an individual’s performance is by helping them to interact much better with others and at the very same time release favorable impacts or ideas that they might benefit those around them.

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2. Agreeableness- I see agreeableness as someone that does what they can to please another individual in order to proceed with a task at hand. It doesn’t mean that they have to totally send to the others desires, nevertheless it is a kind of giving up one’s own will in order to accomplish an objective or to come to an understanding with another in order to move forward. Many individuals practice this trait daily, for example some people accept task demands from their bosses, some tell their kids, “OK, you can have fifteen more minutes before bed.

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”, and others even participate in full scale one way listening skills of others concepts’ in joint endeavor chances. An intriguing reality about agreeableness carried out in a study at the University of California, Berkeley, and published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Vol. 84, No. 5) is how,” [a] greeableness changes most in your 30s when you’re raising a family and require to be supporting” (Kersting, 2003, par6).

3. Conscientiousness- As defined in the book “Organizational Behavior” written by Nelson and Quick is a person that is hardworking, organized, and dependable. (Nelson/Quick, 2013, pg.39) An example of how this personality trait helps people in their performance at work is by allowing them a better opportunity for advancement in any organization through reliability and punctuality on the job. These people can be counted on when the business needs them most and can greatly influence development within a company’s structural capabilities

4. Emotional Stability- I see this trait as being able to control your emotions. Many people look at emotions as a negative personality trait when it comes to doing business, however, it is my belief that emotions can be controlled and used to aid us in making the right decisions depending on the circumstances at hand. For example, say a company manager for “Johnson and Johnson” was told to use a product that was hazardous to the environment until he could find the right replacement product. Ethically that manager would use their emotional stability trait to make the right decision and turn down the offer made by the manufacturer. Instead of following their weak emotions of worry, fear, and hastiness because of the products deadline their emotional stability would help them to make the right decision.

5. Openness to experience- People with this trait seek new outlets or innovative ways to doing things and thinking on things. These people search for new experiences and are always working on new projects; they are willing and ready to learn more and are apt to seeking new ways of accomplishing goals and reaching new heights in organizations. I like to see myself as having this trait because I am always intrigued by newly learned projects and am always looking to learn something new or pick up another trade through experience and hands on. Michael Hogan, Ph.D and lecturer in psychology explains how, “[p]eople who are high on Openness to experience are generally receptive to entertaining new and challenging facets of cultural life, as well as personal thoughts and emotions (McCrae & Costa, 2003)

References: Cherry, K. (2013). What is Extraversion? Retrieved from: http://psychology.about.com/od/trait-theories-personality/f/extraversion.htm Costa PT Jr, Fozard JL, McCrae RR, Bosśe R. (1976). Relations of age and personality dimensions to cognitive ability factors. Retrieved from:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-one-lifespan/201211/openness-experience-and-intellectual-ability Kersting, K. (2003). Personality changes for the better with age. Retrieved from: http://www.apa.org/monitor/julaug03/personality.aspx Nelson/Quick. (2013). Organizational behavior. Retrieved from: pg.39.

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‘Big 5’ personality traits

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Big Five Personality Traits Essay

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The world of psychology attracts the attention of many people across the globe. One of the most interesting topics is the issue of personality traits. As you are well aware, these personal traits always define an individual’s behavior in different situations. Hence, we can conclude that a person’s personal traits tend to influence an individual’s performance in modern society. According to Lewis Goldberg, a prominent American psychologist who studied the area personality psychology, the primary factors of personality involve agreeableness, extroversion, conscientiousness, openness to experience, and finally, neuroticism. A prolific American scientist developed this particular theory and called it ‘Big Personality Traits’. It is important to mention that each of these personality traits can make a significant contribution to an individual’s performance. In this case, the word-combination ‘a significant contribution to an individual’s performance’ refers to the improvement of people’s social skills. Generally speaking, a given model introduced by Goldberg helps an individual define themselves and answer the question ‘Who are you?’.

First Factor—Agreeableness

The notion of ‘agreeableness’ refers to one of the most important personality traits of an individual that involves many behavioral characteristics such as kindness, sympathy, warmth, amiability, generosity, cooperation, and consideration. In psychology, this trait has great importance since it is a key factor of Big Five Personality theory. Many psychologists claim that a person who has a strong attitude for being agreeable is a people-oriented individual. Besides, this trait is closely associated with the elements of trust and altruism. Those who have a high level of agreeableness tend to have amazing social skills, and as a result, they do not have any troubles with different group interactions as well as collaboration with other people. In turn, many people with low level of agreeableness have another experience. In most cases, they face certain challenges while interacting with other people (even with their peers). In addition, a person with a low level of agreeableness tends to have poor social skills, distrust other people, and stand aside from socializing. Some people, who have neither a high level of agreeableness nor a low level of agreeableness, may fall between these two alternatives. Every person can develop this particular trait in a gradual manner until their adulthood. In accordance with the numerous studies of the world psychologists, this factor – agreeableness – is usually low during the period of childhood and as well as teen period. However, they also claim that some kids and teenagers have a higher level of agreeableness than their peers who face great difficulties when they experience numerous stresses in their personal environment.

Second Factor — Extroversion

Another important factor introduced by Goldberg is known as ‘extroversion’, and it is no need to define this notion so as every alternative person can understand its meaning. When we hear the notion of ‘extroversion’, the opposite concept is known as ‘introversion’ comes to our minds. These two concepts are the key psychological dimensions that define the way people interact with one another as well as the manner people cooperate with the society where they live. It is impossible to mistake the concept of ‘extroversion’ for ‘introversion’ because they denote completely opposite things. The extroverts differ from the introverts in their ways of getting energy, processing their thoughts, connecting people, and introducing themselves to society. In simple words, an extrovert is always in the center of attention so as he/she experiences great content and full satisfaction being surrounded by different people. To the contrary, the introverted people have only a few friends or individuals they can trust, and these personal connections are extremely meaningful for them. Contrary to the extroverts, such people tend to get personal energy by controlling their thoughts and actions.

Below you can find an example of how this particular factor can influence an individual’s social behavior. For instance, whereas those who are high in extroversion use their opportunities for social interaction and search for the new ones, the introverted people are often called ‘people of few words’ because of their introspectiveness, quietness, reserve, modesty, and thoughtfulness.

Third Factor–Conscientiousness

The concept of ‘conscientiousness’ should be explained in details because of its complicated and at the same time profound meaning. The majority of psychologists define the psychological notion of ‘conscientiousness’ as a person’s trait related to the ability to control their bursts and dashes in the ways accepted in society. What is more, such individuals, who score high in ‘conscientiousness’ are able to ‘wrangle’ their behavior in an effort to achieve the determined goals. According to the modern scientists working in the field of personality psychology, these ‘eager beavers’ stand out for their abilities to delay their personal delights, work in compliance with the established rules and procedures, and organize their working process effectively. Among the most common traits associated with consciousness, one can find the following characteristic features – persistency, ambitiousness, self-discipline, predictability, consistency, reliability, and vigorousness. This trait is closely associated with the leadership skills of an individual, and that is why those who score high in consciousness tend to achieve great results in their careers.

Fourth Factor–Openness to Experience

Many psychologists provide different definitions of the fourth dimension of Big Five Traits theory, which is known as ‘openness to experience’. Even though there is a great number of psychological explanations of this particular concept, all of them are united by the same idea. This idea implies a very interesting hypothesis that people’s openness to experience greatly increases their chances to position themselves as true leaders and get the leadership role within their company.

A vivid example of how the openness to experience contribute to an individual’s career success is related to one’s inner strength and inner strength. In contrast to the other personality traits, the openness to experience can hardly be changed over time. However, some people attempt to take significant efforts in an effort to cultivate this particular trait

A given dimension involves various traits such as adventurousness, emotional sensitivity, aesthetic interest, imaginative thinking, and stores of learning as well.

Fifth Factor–Neuroticism

During this particular test, psychologists evaluate the neurotic patterns of a person to understand whether he/she feels comfortable in their own skin. The factor of neuroticism has more negative nature since it involves ‘bad’ character traits such as moodiness, pessimism, anxiety, jealousy, lack of confidence, self-criticism, and many others. This trait should be distinguished from other personality traits because of its strong relation to their emotional stability of a person. The element of emotional stability is important not only for people’s private life but also for their career opportunities.

Right or Not?

The issue of ‘rightness’ of Big Five Traits theory is frequently discussed in the society. Even though many psychologists continue using this theoretical framework up to the present day, it is difficult to say whether this theory is the right one or not. The concept of human personality is a complex and unique phenomenon that still attracts significant attention of the world’s researchers. Indeed, an individual’s personality is shaped by 200 different traits. That is why scientists cannot agree that Big Five theory is the right model. However, they claim that Goldberg has developed the main infrastructure of human personality.

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Costa and McCrae's Five Factor Theory of Personality (Essay Sample)

Essay: Costa and McCrae: Review the section in Chapter 13 titled “In Search of the Big Five” and the article “Big Five Personality Factors and Facets as Predictors of Openness to Diversity” (Han & Pistole, 2017). Select one of the Five-Factors and discuss how this factor relates to an open attitude toward diversity as related to Costa and McCrae’s Five-Factor Model of Personality? Make sure to incorporate Han and Pistole (2017)’s discussion of openness to diversity in your essay. ● Answer the prompt with at least 500 words of content. ● Be sure to use current APA formatting through the assignment. o A title page is not required, but a reference page is required. o Please use third person writing. ● There should be at least three references in total. o Two scholarly journal articles are required (published within the last 5 years) o The Bible must also be included as a reference o Be sure to use in-text citations throughout the essay. ▪ The in-text citations should match the references listed on the reference page and vice versa.

Costa and McCrae- Five Factor Theory of Personality Personality is vast and diverse. People portray several different traits shaped by various factors, including the environment they grow in. The big-five-factor model established by Costa and McCrae expresses five significant features: Neuroticism, openness, agreeableness, extraversion, and conscientiousness (McCrae & Costa, 2008). These factors have been used in discussions of how they relate to an open attitude toward diversity. Out of the five elements, openness stands as a crucial factor in how it relates to a relaxed attitude toward diversity. Openness entails showing great interest in various ideas and behaviors, such as cultural differences. Having the openness trait allows one to have an open attitude towards diversity which breeds cultural competence (Han & Pistole, 2017). Cultural competence is the ability to interact smoothly with people from various 


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Big Five Personality Traits Research Paper Examples

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Personality , Management , Performance , Nature , Customers , Psychology , Experience , Success

Published: 03/10/2021


In the study of psychology, there are five broad dimensions used to describe personality of individuals. These include; extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness to experience (Srivastava, 2013). These factors have a variety of other aspects and characteristics acquired from a study of traits evident in individuals’ descriptions of themselves and other people around them.

The first factor is Extraversion; a term used to describe an individual trait of being in touch with the external world. Extroverts are interactive and spend a lot of time talking and associating with friends, family and strangers alike. They are often active and willing to engage in physically and mentally involving activities in order to acquire self-satisfaction through the experience. The ability to interact and socialize with people will enable the person perform well in group projects thus achievement of excellent results. They are optimistic in seeking solutions to problems a company may face and contribute actively to the actualization of every project started (Psychometric Success, 2012). This would prove beneficial to management and such employees are highly valued. Their assertive nature makes them determined and strong at coming up with new ideas and ensuring they are taken into consideration in the search for solutions.

Subsequently, the trait of Agreeableness is characterized by sympathy and kindness to other people (Srivastava, 2013). It displays the differences individuals have in relation to cooperation and peaceful social co-existence. Individuals with these traits often know how to interact with others. They make their views heard while at the same time give consideration to other people’s opinions. Their considerate nature makes them able to compromise their interests in a bid to please others. This nature is also useful in the customer service departments where an employee will be able to understand customers’ needs and cater for them in the best way possible. They are able to handle customer complaints sympathetically and calmly ensuring the customer has the best customer experience.

According to Srivastava (2013), conscientiousness is concerned with an individual’s ability to control and direct impulses experiences. It is characterized by organization and skills in planning. Often, situations arise where there is need to make quick decisions at work; impulse may drive us to make wrong decisions but control will help us rationalize before acting. This will prevent errors that may lead to disasters, loss of funds or even being fired.

Sigmund Freud used the term Neuroticism to refer to a trait characterized by mental distress and emotional instability. This makes it hard to cope with the constant demands of life. It can be used to refer to the habit of having negative feelings about something or someone. This can be called a ‘hunch’. In individual performance this can be useful in detecting wrong decisions before they are carried out. An employee may feel a corporate decision about to be made is not right and may be risky. This will probe him or her to look further into its details in case there are weaknesses and correct them before they cost the company.

Last but not least, there is Openness to experience a trait characterized by an interest in new things and experiences. Individuals with this trait are often imaginative and insightful in their actions. It allows for the appreciation of beauty and a curiosity useful in the field of art and architecture. It also makes an individual open to innovations of management; they are ready to try new things as long as there is a good chance of success (Psychometric Success, 2012). No matter what trait an individual may have, in order to become all-rounded and excellent in every venture they engage in, there is a need to borrow from each of the Big Five personality traits. Use their advantages to downplay their weaknesses in performance.

Srivastava, S. (2013). Measuring the Big Five Personality Domains, Retrieved Jan. 26, 2013 from http://psdlab.uoregon.edu/bigfive.html Psychometric Success. (2012). The Big 5 Aspects of Personality, Retrieved Jan. 26, 2013 from http://www.psychometric-success.com

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essay on big five personality traits

The Big Five Personality Traits

3 Pages 833 Words November 2014

According to the trait theory, a person can determine their personality based on the "Big Five Traits" (BFT); openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. After taking the personality inventory, I was scored based on the BFT and it was evident that the results were an accurate reflection my "habitual patterns of behavior, thought, and emotion" (Saul Kassin, Psychology, 2003). The first trait - openness to experience - was one of my lowest scores. It stated that I’m a closed-minded person and I prefer traditional and familiar experiences. This is accurate because I do exhibit these behaviors. One example would be, I don’t like to try new things. I eat food that I tried before and I know I like. I don’t like to go too far away vacations because I wouldn’t know the area and wouldn’t be comfortable in a new environment, so I don’t travel often. Another example, I try to stay around people I knew. Like going to the doctor, I like to be seen by nurses I seen before or who have checked me before. Being around things I’m familiar with and sticking to what I know and feel comfortable with is like a way for me to be safe from the “unknown." Conscientiousness was my second lowest score. This trait is more about being well-organized, reliable, and careful. My score percentile on this trait was 3 and it stated that I must have a messy desk. Some of my behaviors and actions do show how this can be true. For example, I never organize my things and that’s why every time I try to look for something I can never find it. Especially when it comes to papers, I always just throw my papers in my book-bag or on my desk and then have a hard time finding the important papers later on. Another example is I’m always late to something. No matter what’s for I could never be on time even if I set an alarm or write it down I just always forget or I just be running late. Extraversion, the third trait...

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Aggression And Big Five Personality Traits


The topic of research moves around the detail analysis of correlation between Irrational belief, Aggression and Big five personality traits. Whenever irrational believes comes in spotlight of discussion, attention draws toward the consequences after thinking irrationally thus aggression comes as one of its consequences whereas irrational thinking is found to be a dominant trait of personality thus it is also an interesting thing to find out if any personality trait is correlated with either irrational belief or aggression. This research has vast horizon of findings which can correlate many subscale together, helping understand better way the relationship of these variables.

Basically Irrational beliefs are those messages about life we send to ourselves that keep us from growing emotionally. Unfounded approaches, feelings, and standards we hold to that are out of synchrony with the way the world really is. Mostly people with low self-esteem or poor self are seen to contain it more frequently. It could be defined by example; if I get to know my enemy got selected for the post I applied I might think like he/she might had any family relationship with the selector. This though is based on irrationality and energizes me to be immature towards the real ground thus is an irrational belief. Albert Ellis had worked on explaining irrational believes in detailed and had explained 12 types of irrational believes. Along with it he developed rational emotive behavioral therapy to encounter it.

To study the personality traits in detailed , Big Five personality theory is selected which has a broader way for understanding different traits, its initial model was advanced by Ernest Tupes and Raymond Christal, based on work done at the U.S. Air Force Personnel Laboratory in the late 1950s. J.M. Digman proposed his five factor model of personality in 1990, and Goldman extended it to the highest level of organizations in 1993. In a personality test, the Five Factor Model or FFM and the Global Factors of personality may also be used to reference the Big Five traits. The Big Five traits are Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism or OCEAN, a. Openness – People who like to learn new things and enjoy new experiences usually score high in openness. b. Conscientiousness – People that have a high degree of conscientiousness are reliable and prompt. c. Extraversion – Extraverts get their energy from interacting with others, while introverts get their energy from within themselves d. Agreeableness – These individuals are friendly, cooperative, and compassionate. People with low agreeableness may be more distant. e. Neuroticism – It is also sometimes called Emotional Stability. This dimension relates to one’s emotional stability and degree of negative emotions.

Moving on to another variable of the research Aggression, the term Aggression mentions a range of behaviors that can effect in both physical and psychological damage to oneself, other or objects in the environment. This type of social interaction centers on harming another person, either physically or mentally. The expression of aggression can occur in a number of ways including verbally, mentally and physically. Psychologists discriminate between different forms of aggression, different purposes of aggression and different types of aggression. Aggression can take a variety of forms including physical, verbal, mental and emotional. Aggression also serve a number of different purposes, to express anger or hostility, to assert dominance, to threaten or intimidate, to attain a goal, to prompt possession, a reply to fear, a reaction to pain, to compete with others

A number of different factors can influence the expression of aggression. Biological factors can play a role. Men are more likely than women to engage in physical aggression. While researchers have found that women are less likely to engage in physical aggression, they also suggest that women do use non-physical forms such as verbal aggression, relational aggression and social rejection.

A research in International Journal of Psychology by Tahira Jibeen published in March 2015 in Volume 50, Issue 2, pages 93–100, presents the first examination of the relation between the Big Five personality traits, irrational beliefs and emotional problems in Pakistan, which is an understudied country in the psychological distress literature. A total of 195 participants (aged 25–60 years), employees at COMSATS University, completed a demographic information sheet, the Big Five Personality Questionnaire, the Irrational Belief Inventory and two subscales of the Brief Symptom Inventory including depression and anxiety. Direct effects of neuroticism, openness and conscientiousness were also observed for depression and anxiety. The results highlight the importance of cognitive beliefs in functionally linking personality traits and emotional problems

International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences published research of Zahra Karami Baghteyfouni in Vol. 31, pp 1-8 The aim the research was to compare the aggression and irrational beliefs of the students who use computer games and those who do not use such computer games. The universe under research included all the high schools students of the city of Saghez studied in the educational year of 2012-2013. A sample size of 100 people at the high school levels was selected through the multi stage cluster sampling and then via simple random method. To collect the data, a 29 question aggression questionnaire by Buss and Perry and a Jones 100 question irrational beliefs questionnaire were used. To analyze the data, the t test was used. Findings revealed that there is a difference between the normal students and the students that use gaming with respect to aggression and irrational beliefs.

Another research by Rebecca p.ang that has an online publication in PsycINFO Database Record 2012 APA, This study investigated the relationship between aggression and the Big Five personality traits (Extroversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and Openness to Experience) in Australia and Singapore. Two hundred and forty-three undergraduate respondents from Singapore and 189 undergraduate respondents from Australia participated in the study. All participants completed a self-report questionnaire consisting of the 34-item Aggression Questionnaire (AQ) and the 40-adjective Mini- Markers. As predicted, the hypothesized relationship between Big Five traits and aggression were similar across both samples: Aggression had significant negative correlations with the Big Five traits of agreeableness and conscientiousness, and aggression had a significant positive correlation with neuroticism. In line with the hypotheses, the Big Five traits of extroversion and openness to experience were not associated with aggression. These findings, suggest at a preliminary level that the relationship between Big Five traits and aggression may be universal for individuals from at least two cultures.

essay on big five personality traits

A research was conducted by Raymond diguiseepi got published in journal of cognitive and therapy research in 2011 vol 35, This study examined whether a combination of anger, hostility, and irrational beliefs, i.e, intolerance of rules frustration, intolerance of work frustration, demands for fairness, and self-downing would predict physical, verbal, and indirect aggression and peer ratings of aggression. Follow-up analysis tested gender as a moderator of the relations between irrational beliefs and aggression, and anger and aggression. One hundred thirty-five high school-aged adolescents completed measures of irrational beliefs, anger, hostility, and aggression. Results demonstrated that gender, anger, and an irrational belief of intolerance of rules frustration predicted physical aggression, while anger and irrational belief of intolerance of rules frustration uniquely predicted indirect aggression. Anger alone predicted verbal aggression. Males were more likely to report higher rate of physical aggression and were voted to be more aggressive by their peers. However, gender did not moderate the relations between cognition and aggression, and anger and aggression.

Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment published a research of Dr. Juan J. Barthelemy and John W. Lounsbury in Volume 19, Issue 2, 2009 (pg:159-170) , focus of the study was to determine whether aggression adds incremental validity above and beyond the Big Five personality factors in predicting grades. An archival data analysis was used in this study. The data consisted of a sample of eighth grade students. The students completed the Personal Style Inventory Adolescent, which is a 120-item survey instrument designed to measure the Big Five personality factors and aggression. Results indicated that aggression does add incremental validity above and beyond the Big Five. The results also indicated that the Big Five were significantly correlated with academic performance. When aggression was added into the statistical model, conscientiousness, openness and aggression were significantly correlated with grades.

For carrying out the test three scales were administered on each participant including

All of these were administered after one another containing additional part of Identifying information that has:

The main concept of conducting this research was to study the corrletions between variables in this study which were rational and irrational belief, traits, aggression, gender, age, last passed examination, institution, occupation, family system, worrying, rigidity, problem avoidance, need of approval, emotional irresponsibility, extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, openness, physical aggression, verbal aggression, anger and hostility. For carrying out the research seven hypotheses were formulated from which some got proved with a weak correlation that are relationship found between irrational belief and aggression , aggression and big five personality traits and rigidity and neuroticism. Whereas irrational belief and big five personality traits along with irrational belief and neuroticism founded to have a positive moderate correlation. Extroversion and physical and emotional irresponsibility and verbal aggression had a weak negative correlation according to the analysis.

If discussed about the reasons behind the weak correlations can be the selection of participants was from youth of university which is present in a healthy and open environment with an average of positive and happy mood so the scores on inventory could have been affected by the mood of participants. Another reason could be the uncontrolled environment the data was collected by approaching participants conveniently thus the environment was uncontrolled and weather, noise and working in a group can be reasons for manipulation of mental states.


Limitations of this research was the resources, the participants were not gathered at a controlled place but were approached one by one, if the participants were gathered structurally and with a system at a place and all these test would have been applied, chances of error and manipulation with have been less thus it would be recommended to have a structured and planned way of administration in this research.

The research founds to have weak and moderate positively correlation between all three variables proving most of the formulated hypotheses. The aim of conducting this research is to study the correlation between Irrational belief, Aggression and Big five personality traits. There were 266 participants which were approached through convenient sampling from different departments of University of Karachi. Three scales including Koopersman irrational belief inventory, Buss and Perry aggression scale and John Srivastana Big five personality inventory were administered on each participant. Result were statistically analyzed by applying Pearson product moment correlation. Weak correlations were found between irrational belief and aggression, big five inventory and aggression and rigidity and neuroticism. Moderate correlations were found between irrational belief and big five inventory also in neuroticism and irrational belief.

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