Big five personality theory

Big five personality theory

Big five personality theory

Big five personality theory

Personality Traits

The big five-personality theory has been used in the study of personalities and research since the late 20th century. The model by Costa and McCrae has five factors: Conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism, openness to experience, and agreeableness.

Conscientiousness is the characteristic of being orderly and desire to perform well. Individuals who score high in the factor are; self-conscious organized, responsible, reliable, set ambitious goals and achieve them. Conversely, those who score low are less motivated, irresponsible, disorganized and less reliable (Aston, Lee & de Vries, 2014).

Openness to experience is described as the ability to adapt to new methods of dealing with a life issue. According to Abel & Steve, (2018) people who score high in this factor are insightful, intelligent, curious, and imaginative and appreciate new experiences. Conversely, people who score low are closed minded, suspicious and uncomfortable to try new activities.

Big five personality theory

Extraversion is a trait that describes individuals who can interact with others and adapt to other’s viewpoints (Aston & Lee, 2014). Individuals who score high in the factor are assertive, attention seekers, energetic, talkative and socially confident. Those who score low in the aspect are usually: reserved, quiet, shy, and are intimidated being in large groups.

Neuroticism is the tendency of developing proportionate worry, anxiety loneliness, and frustrations about the future. Those who score high are described to be: persistently anxious, worriers, fearful and pessimistic. Conversely, those who score low are optimistic, dynamic, and less anxious about problematic situations (Aston & Lee, 2014).

Big five personality theory

Agreeableness describes the value of being pleasant and warm to others. Those who score high are friendly, compassionate, cooperative and altruistic. Those who score low are selfish, uncooperative, suspicious and unfriendly.

The study was done on big five personality traits to assess gender differences across 55 countries. The findings indicated that women scored higher compared to men in agreeableness, neuroticism, extraversion, and conscientiousness (Terracciano, McCrae & Costa, 2014). A Similar current study done in 2015, women scored higher in extraversion and neuroticism, while men scored higher in openness to experience.

Big five personality theory


Abel & Steve (February 2018). What is a trait two basic formulations? Journal of personality psychology.3: 22-35

Aston MC & Lee K de Vries RE (May 2014). The HEXACO Honesty-Humility, Agreeableness, and Emotionality Factors review of research and theory. Personality and Psychology Review. 18(2): 139-52

Terraciano A, Mc Crae RR & Costa PT (2014) ‘Gender differences in personality traits across cultures: Robust and surprising findings.‘ Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 81(2) 322-331.

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