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Big Five Personality Traits

W. Fiske proposed the Big 5 personality traits in 1949, and it was then built upon by other academics such as Norman (1967), Smith (1967), Goldberg (1981), and McCrae & Costa (1983). (1987). It’s been suggested that social psychologists were attempting to gain a more scientific understanding of personality as early as the late 1800s, but it wasn’t until Gordon Allport and Henry Odbert published the first official study in the 1930s that personality received any sort of scientific recognition.

Following investigations, numerous overlaps and particular features per individual were identified, allowing for a more concise and complete evaluation of personality traits. 

Big Five Personality Traits

The Big 5 personality traits are still extensively utilized as the foundation for worldwide research today. 


Openness is a quality that encompasses both imagination and understanding. This personality attribute is marked by a strong interest in the world, other people, and a desire to learn and try new things. It leads to a diverse set of interests and a willingness to take risks when making decisions.  The openness characteristic is influenced by creativity, which leads to a better comfort level with abstract and lateral thinking.

Consider the individual who is always buying the most unusual item on the menu, traveling to new locations, and engaging in activities you would never consider. That person possesses a great level of openness. Anyone who scores low on this attribute is seen as having a more conventional outlook on life and may struggle to solve problems outside of their knowledge base.



Conscientiousness is a personality attribute that involves thinking, impulse control, and goal-oriented behavior. This systematic and organized approach is common among those who work in research and even high-end finance, where attention to detail and organization are necessary skills. 

Someone you know who is always planning ahead for the next time you meet – and in the meanwhile, staying in touch and checking in on your well-being – is an example of a conscientious person. They prefer to plan meetings around specific dates and occasions, and they are completely focused on you when you meet. People with a low level of conscientiousness detest discipline and routines and often delay critical tasks.


Extraversion (also known as Extroversion) is a personality attribute that many people have encountered throughout their lives. It’s readily identified and generally organized as “someone who gets energized in the presence of others”. Extraverted people have become widely identifiable because of this, as well as other characteristics such as talkativeness, aggressiveness, and high levels of emotional expressiveness.

We all have one – or several – friends or family members that aren’t exactly wallflowers in social situations. They like being the center of attention, meeting new people, and having the largest network of friends and acquaintances you’ve ever known. Extroverts are more likely to work in jobs that need them to interact with the public, such as sales, marketing, teaching, and politics. Extroverted people will be more inclined to lead if they are perceived as leaders rather than remain in the throng doing nothing.

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People with a high level of agreeableness display traits such as trust, altruism, compassion, and affection. People that are very pleasant exhibit strong prosocial behaviors, which indicates they are more likely to aid others. Sharing, consoling, and collaborating are qualities that highly agreeable personality types possess. People who are agreeable are more likely to work in fields where they can make a difference. On the agreeableness scale, charity workers, doctors, mental health professionals, and even people who volunteer in soup kitchens and devote time to the third sector (social studies) score highly.



Sadness, moodiness, and emotional instability are all characteristics of neuroticism. Neuroticism is a physical and emotional response to stress and perceived dangers in one’s daily life. It is sometimes misdiagnosed as antisocial behavior or, worse, a larger psychiatric problem. People with high degrees of neuroticism are more likely to have mood swings, anxiety, and irritability. Some people who have abrupt changes in personality on a daily basis may be very neurotic and react to high-stress levels in their job and home life. Anxiety, which is a big element of neuroticism, is about a person’s capacity to deal with stress and risk, whether it’s perceived or real. Neurotic people tend to overthink a lot of situations and have a hard time relaxing even in their own homes.


How Are The Traits Measured?

A questionnaire and a multiple-choice response are typically used in a Big 5 personality test. These questions, for example, will inquire how much a person believes or disagrees that he or she embodies certain particular assertions, such as:


“Is willing to try new things” (for openness, or open-mindedness)

“Is always considering others” (for conscientiousness)

“At a party, is the center of attention” (for extroversion)

“Is self-assured in others” (for agreeableness)

“Is always worried about the future.” (for neuroticism or emotional negativity)

The replies, which range from strongly agree to strongly disagree (with choices in between), will indicate where the person falls on the personality characteristic scale.


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Are The  Personality Traits Different For Men and Women

Men and women are more similar than normative social science would have us think, according to the mainstream opinion. There are, however, certain exceptions, as the title suggests.

In 2011, Weinsberg and DeYoung looked into the big five personality traits, specifically Gender Differences in Personality across the Ten Aspects of the Big Five. They came to the conclusion that women tend to score better on Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness.


Summing Up

Always keep in mind that behavior involves a complex interaction between a person’s fundamental personality and environmental factors. The scenario in which a person finds himself or herself has a significant impact on how he or she reacts. People’s responses, on the other hand, are usually congruent with their underlying personality features. These dimensions cover a wide range of personality traits. Many people have these clusters of qualities, according to research. Individuals who are gregarious, for example, are likely to be talkative. These characteristics, however, do not usually occur together.

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