The theory describes five basic personality traits: extraversion (sometimes called extroversion), agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism. These traits describe how people interact with their environment and can be used to explain many other behaviors observed in humans.
Extraversion is the tendency to seek out and engage with others. People high in extraversion enjoy being around others, have a wide network of friends, and often act as counselors or teachers for new students or colleagues.
Agreeableness is the tendency to be compassionate, sympathetic, and tolerant of others' views and feelings. People high in agreeableness are concerned with maintaining good relationships with others and are usually more than willing to compromise when negotiating with others.
Openness is the tendency to be curious about new ideas and things. Those high in openness tend to like exploring different cultures and learning new things.
Conscientiousness is the tendency to be organized and responsible. People high in conscientiousness follow through on tasks and always try to do their best work.
Neuroticism is the tendency to experience emotions such as sadness, anger, fear, and joy. People high in neuroticism are aware of these emotions and may struggle with depression or anxiety.
The Five Major Personality Traits
Extraversion (sometimes called extroversion), agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism are the Big Five personality qualities. Each attribute represents a point on a continuum. Individuals can fall anywhere along the trait spectrum. The Big Five stay largely steady for the most of one's life. Minor changes may occur due to experience or aging, but people tend to retain their major traits.
The Big Five are said to account for much of what it means to be human: our likes and dislikes, our abilities and disabilities. All five attributes have implications for how we interact with others and for what kinds of jobs we do well. For example, someone who is extraverted has more opportunities than introverts to engage with other people; however, if they are not careful, extroverts can become alienated from themselves and others. In contrast, an introvert may feel comfortable being alone for extended periods of time but may need more supervision than an extrovert when it comes to job duties that require them to work with many people at once.
The Big Five were first identified by psychologists Gordon Allport and Richard Clore in 1944. They proposed that human personalities can be grouped into five categories based on how much each person scores on each of these traits: Extroversion, Agreeableness, Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, and Neuroticism.
Messages to Remember
Personality characteristics are defined as patterns of thinking, mood, and behavior that persist over the course of a person's life. Extraversion, neuroticism, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness are the qualities that comprise the five-factor model. This framework explains how these traits influence each other by way of two pairs of opposites: extroverts/introverts and thinkers/feelers.
Extraversion is the tendency to seek out and interact with others. It includes traits such as sociability, enthusiasm, and activity. Introverts are people who prefer privacy to society at large. They may seem quiet at first, but they are really listening to what you have to say. Although they may appear shy, introverts are very aware of their environment and others around them. They just need time alone to process information and come up with their own responses or reactions.
Introverts are natural leaders because they understand that others need time alone to think. They will not interrupt others when they are working on a problem or project, which allows them to gather their thoughts and come up with a solution. Also, introverts tend to be more creative than others because they don't show their ideas until they are sure of them. They need time alone to come up with new concepts or strategies that others might have missed.
Extroverts are responsible for making friends and engaging in conversations with others.
Extraversion, often known as surgency, is characterized by forceful, energetic, and sociable characteristics. Neuroticism refers to a person's tendency to experience anxiety or depression. Openness to experience is another term for aesthetic sensitivity or appreciation of diversity. Agreeableness is described as being friendly, compassionate, cooperative, and tolerant of differences. Conscientiousness is regarded as faithfulness, diligence, responsibility, and stability.
These traits explain why some people are drawn to certain jobs. Those who are extraverted and social may prefer careers that involve interaction with others, such as psychology or counseling. Neurotic individuals may find comfort in jobs that do not demand a great deal of physical effort or risk. People who are open to new experiences may enjoy positions that require travel frequently or where they get to try different things out. Similarly, those who are agreeable will like working with others so jobs in which this trait is valued are likely to be socially responsible positions such as law enforcement or medicine. Finally, those who are conscientious will value a job that has clear rules and expectations and allows for stability, so fields such as engineering or management that involve direct supervision of others are good fits.
Each person's personality influences what career is right for them.
They divided qualities into five main dimensions in their study: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. These categories have been very influential in psychology.
Openness to experience is the tendency to seek out new ideas and experiences. It is also called "exploration" or "flexibility". People high in openness tend to be more creative, produce more novel ideas, and react better to change. They like variety and find comfort in new situations. Open people are known for being good at taking risks and trying new things. Openness to experience has been linked with many positive characteristics such as creativity, curiosity, flexibility, adaptability, intimacy skills, persistence, optimism, happiness, love, friendship, social support, self-esteem, humility, moral courage, patriotism, altruism, spirituality, belief in God, and hope for the future.
Conscientiousness refers to a person's tendency to be organized, responsible, and hardworking. It has two components: order and discipline and diligence. People high in order feel comfortable living by rules, have an eye for detail, and prefer structure to chaos. They value accuracy over error and expect others to share these values. Those who are disciplined keep commitments, follow through on tasks, and are persistent even when things get difficult or frustrating.