The Human Mind

The Big 5 Personality Factors

The big 5 Factors are Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism. If you take the initials it spells OCEAN or CANOE. The Openness factor is sometimes referred to as Intellect instead. Each of the 5 big factors consists of a set of specific traits.

1. Openness

inventive | curious vs. cautious | conservative

What is meant is openness to experience. It is a general appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, unusual ideas, curiosity, and variety of experience.
This factor differentiates imaginative people from conventional, down-to-earth people.

Understanding the Openness Factor


I have a vivid imagination.
I have excellent ideas.
I use difficult words.

Openness reversed

I do not have a good imagination.
I am not interested in abstractions.
I have difficulty understanding abstract ideas.

What is being looked at are 6 facets of openness to experience:
1. Fantasy - the tendency toward a vivid imagination and fantasy life.
2. Aesthetics - the tendency to appreciate art, music, and poetry.
3. Feelings - being receptive to inner emotional states and valuing emotional experience.
4. Actions - the inclination to try new activities, visit new places, and try new foods.
5. Ideas - the tendency to be intellectually curious and open to new ideas.
6. Values - the readiness to re-examine traditional social, religious, and political values.

The intuition preference on Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is related to openness to experience.

2. Conscientiousness

efficient | organized vs. easy-going | careless

A tendency to show self-discipline, behave dutifully, carefully & aim for achievement.
The behavior is planned rather than spontaneous.

Understanding the Conscientiousness Factor


I am always prepared.
I follow a schedule.
I pay attention to details.

Conscientiousness reversed

I leave my belongings around.
I make a mess of things.
I shirk my duties.

Many of behaviors associated with conscientiousness also fall in the category of emotional intelligence.

3. Extroversion

outgoing | energetic vs. shy | withdrawn

Energy, positive emotions, urgency, and the tendency to seek stimulation in the company of others.

Understanding the Extroversion Factor


I am the life of the party.
I don't mind being the center of attention.
I feel comfortable around people.

Extroversion reversed

I am quiet around strangers.
I don't like to draw attention to myself.
I have little to say.

4. Agreeableness

friendly | compassionate vs. competitive | outspoken

A tendency to be compassionate and accommodating rather than suspicious and sceptical towards others.

Understanding the Agreeableness Factor


I am interested in people.
I feel others' emotions.
I make people feel at ease.

Agreeableness reversed

I am not interested in other people's problems.
I feel little concern for others.
I like being isolated.

People with high scores on agreeableness generally have an optimistic view of human nature. They believe that people are decent, honest and trustworthy.

5. Neuroticism

sensitive | nervous vs. secure | confident

A tendency to easily experience unpleasant emotions, such as anger, anxiety, depression, or vulnerability. Neuroticism is sometimes called emotional instability.

Understanding the Neuroticism Factor


I am easily disturbed.
I get irritated easily.
I get upset easily.

Neuroticism reversed

I am relaxed most of the time.
I feel little concern for others.
I seldom feel blue.

Most people's scores are in the average range when it comes to neuroticism.

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