Big Five personality traits
Translations of this material:
- into Greek: Translation of "Big Five personality traits". Translation is not started yet.
Submitted for translation by Jeanet 16.02.2010
- into English: Пять важнейших черт характера. 0% translated in draft.
Submitted for translation by Jeanet 16.02.2010
- into Russian: Пять основных черт личности . 56% translated in draft.
Submitted for translation by Alexander230 14.09.2009
Published 7 years, 6 months ago.
In contemporary psychology, the "Big Five" factors of personality are five broad domains or dimensions of personality which have been scientifically discovered to define human personality at the highest level of organization (Goldberg, 1993). These five over-arching domains have been found to contain and subsume more-or-less all known personality traits within their five domains and to represent the basic structure behind all personality traits. They have brought order to the often-bewildering array of specific lower-level personality concepts that are constantly being proposed by psychologists, which are often found to be overlapping and confusing. These five factors provide a rich conceptual framework for integrating all the research findings and theory in personality psychology. The big five traits are also referred to as the "Five Factor Model" or FFM (Costa & McCrae, 1992), and as the Global Factors of personality (Russell & Karol, 1994).
The Big Five model is considered to be one of the most comprehensive, empirical, data-driven research findings in the history of personality psychology. Identifying the traits and structure of human personality has been one of the most fundamental goals in all of psychology. Over three or four decades of research, these five broad factors were gradually discovered and defined by several independent sets of researchers (Digman, 1990). These researchers began by studying all known personality traits and then factor-analyzing hundreds of measures of these traits (in self-report and questionnaire data, peer ratings, and objective measures from experimental settings) in order to find the basic, underlying factors of personality.
At least three sets of researchers have worked independently for decades on this problem and have identified generally the same Big Five factors: Goldberg at the Oregon Research Institute,   Cattell at the University of Illinois, and Costa and McCrae at the National Institutes of Health. These three sets of researchers used somewhat different methods in finding the five traits, and thus each set of five factors has somewhat different names and definitions. However, all three sets have been found to be highly inter-correlated and factor-analytically aligned.
It is important to note that these traits have been found to organize personality at the highest level, and so they are most helpful as a conceptual, organizing framework for regular, lower-level personality traits. However, because the Big Five traits are so broad and comprehensive, they are not nearly as powerful in predicting and explaining actual behavior as are the more numerous lower-level traits. Many studies have confirmed that in predicting actual behavior the more numerous facet or primary level traits are far more effective (e.g. Mershon & Gorsuch, 1988; Paunonon & Ashton, 2001)
The Big five factors are Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism (OCEAN, or CANOE if rearranged). The Neuroticism factor is sometimes referred to as Emotional Stability. Some disagreement remains about how to interpret the Openness factor, which is sometimes called "Intellect". Each factor consists of a cluster of more specific traits that correlate together. For example, extraversion includes such related qualities as sociability, excitement seeking, impulsiveness, and positive emotions.
The Five Factor Model is a purely descriptive model of personality, but psychologists have developed a number of theories to account for the Big Five.
* 1 Overview
o 1.1 Openness to Experience
+ 1.1.1 Sample Openness items
o 1.2 Conscientiousness
+ 1.2.1 Sample Conscientiousness items
o 1.3 Extraversion
+ 1.3.1 Sample Extraversion items
o 1.4 Agreeableness
+ 1.4.1 Sample Agreeableness items
o 1.5 Neuroticism
+ 1.5.1 Sample Neuroticism items
* 2 History
o 2.1 Early trait research
o 2.2 Hiatus in research
o 2.3 Consensus on the Big Five
* 3 Selected scientific findings
o 3.1 Heritability
o 3.2 Development
o 3.3 Sex differences
o 3.4 Birth order
o 3.5 Cross-cultural research
o 3.6 Non-humans
* 4 Criticisms
o 4.1 Limited scope
o 4.2 Methodological issues
o 4.3 Theoretical status
* 5 Further research
* 6 See also
* 7 References
* 8 External links
The Big Five factors and their constituent traits can be summarized as follows:
* Openness - appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, unusual ideas, curiosity, and variety of experience.
* Conscientiousness - a tendency to show self-discipline, act dutifully, and aim for achievement; planned rather than spontaneous behavior.
* Extraversion - energy, positive emotions, urgency, and the tendency to seek stimulation in the company of others.
* Agreeableness - a tendency to be compassionate and cooperative rather than suspicious and antagonistic towards others.
* Neuroticism - a tendency to experience unpleasant emotions easily, such as anger, anxiety, depression, or vulnerability; sometimes called emotional instability.
When scored for individual feedback, these traits are frequently presented as percentile scores. For example, a Conscientiousness rating in the 80th percentile indicates a relatively strong sense of responsibility and orderliness, whereas an Extraversion rating in the 5th percentile indicates an exceptional need for solitude and quiet.
Although these trait clusters are statistical aggregates, exceptions may exist on individual personality profiles. On average, people who register high in Openness are intellectually curious, open to emotion, interested in art, and willing to try new things. A particular individual, however, may have a high overall Openness score and be interested in learning and exploring new cultures. Yet he or she might have no great interest in art or poetry. Situational influences also exist, as even extraverts may occasionally need time away from people.
The most frequently used measures of the Big Five comprise either items that are self-descriptive sentences or, in the case of lexical measures, items that are single adjectives. Due to the length of sentence-based and some lexical measures, short forms have been developed and validated for use in applied research settings where questionnaire space and respondent time are limited, such as the 40-item balanced International English Big-Five Mini-Markers.
 Openness to Experience
Main article: Openness to experience
Openness is a general appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, unusual ideas, imagination, curiosity, and variety of experience. The trait distinguishes imaginative people from down-to-earth, conventional people. People who are open to experience are intellectually curious, appreciative of art, and sensitive to beauty. They tend to be, compared to closed people, more creative and more aware of their feelings. They are more likely to hold unconventional beliefs.
People with low scores on openness tend to have more conventional, traditional interests. They prefer the plain, straightforward, and obvious over the complex, ambiguous, and subtle. They may regard the arts and sciences with suspicion, regarding these endeavors as abstruse or of no practical use. Closed people prefer familiarity over novelty. They are conservative and resistant to change.
 Sample Openness items
* I have a rich vocabulary.
* I have a vivid imagination.
* I have excellent ideas.
* I spend time reflecting on things.
* I use difficult words.
* I am not interested in abstractions. (reversed)
* I do not have a good imagination. (reversed)
* I have difficulty understanding abstract ideas. (reversed)
Main article: Conscientiousness
Conscientiousness is a tendency to show self-discipline, act dutifully, and aim for achievement. The trait shows a preference for planned rather than spontaneous behavior. It influences the way in which we control, regulate, and direct our impulses. Conscientiousness includes the factor known as Need for Achievement (NAch).
The benefits of high conscientiousness are obvious. Conscientious individuals avoid trouble and achieve high levels of success through purposeful planning and persistence. They are also positively regarded by others as intelligent and reliable. On the negative side, they can be compulsive perfectionists and workaholics.
 Sample Conscientiousness items
* I am always prepared.
* I am exacting in my work.
* I follow a schedule.
* I get chores done right away.
* I like order.
* I pay attention to details.
* I leave my belongings around. (reversed)
* I make a mess of things. (reversed)
* I often forget to put things back in their proper place. (reversed)
* I shirk my duties. (reversed)
Main article: Extraversion and introversion
Extraversion is characterized by positive emotions, surgency, and the tendency to seek out stimulation and the company of others. The trait is marked by pronounced engagement with the external world. Extraverts enjoy being with people, and are often perceived as full of energy. They tend to be enthusiastic, action-oriented individuals who are likely to say "Yes!" or "Let's go!" to opportunities for excitement. In groups they like to talk, assert themselves, and draw attention to themselves.
Introverts lack the exuberance, energy, and activity levels of extraverts. They tend to be quiet, low-key, deliberate, and less involved in the social world. Their lack of social involvement should not be interpreted as shyness or depression. Introverts simply need less stimulation than extraverts and more time alone.
 Sample Extraversion items
* I am the life of the party.
* I don't mind being the center of attention.
* I feel comfortable around people.
* I start conversations.
* I talk to a lot of different people at parties.
* I am quiet around strangers. (reversed)
* I don't like to draw attention to myself. (reversed)
* I don't talk a lot. (reversed)
* I have little to say. (reversed)
Main article: Agreeableness
Agreeableness is a tendency to be compassionate and cooperative rather than suspicious and antagonistic towards others. The trait reflects individual differences in concern for social harmony. Agreeable individuals value getting along with others. They are generally considerate, friendly, generous, helpful, and willing to compromise their interests with others. Agreeable people also have an optimistic view of human nature. They believe people are basically honest, decent, and trustworthy.
Disagreeable individuals place self-interest above getting along with others. They are generally unconcerned with others’ well-being, and are less likely to extend themselves for other people. Sometimes their skepticism about others’ motives causes them to be suspicious, unfriendly, and uncooperative.
 Sample Agreeableness items
* I am interested in people.
* I feel others’ emotions.
* I have a soft heart.
* I make people feel at ease.
* I sympathize with others’ feelings.
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