Big Five Personality Traits

What are the big five personality traits?

The Big Five Personality Traits are a widely studied and accepted model in the field of psychology that aims to describe and categorise human personality. The five traits, also known as the Five-Factor Model (FFM), are openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

Openness is characterised by imagination, creativity, and a preference for novelty and variety. Conscientiousness is characterised by being responsible, organised, and dependable. Extraversion is characterised by sociability, assertiveness, and positive emotional expressiveness. Agreeableness is characterised by being cooperative, empathetic, and caring. Neuroticism is characterised by emotional instability, anxiety, and vulnerability to stress.

Each of the Big Five traits represents a continuum, meaning individuals can fall anywhere along the spectrum of each trait. Research suggests that these five traits are relatively stable across an individual’s lifespan and can provide insight into their behavior, thoughts, and emotions.

The Big Five traits have been extensively studied and have been shown to have a significant impact on various aspects of an individual’s life, including their career success, social relationships, and overall well-being. Understanding one’s own Big Five traits can help them better understand their strengths and weaknesses and make informed decisions about their life and relationships.


Openness is a personality trait that is characterised by a person’s ability to imagine and think creatively. People with high levels of openness are imaginative, curious, and adventurous. They are also more likely to have a preference for novelty and variety, as well as a desire to explore new ideas and experiences.

Individuals who score high in openness are often described as creative, artistic, and open-minded. They enjoy exploring new ideas and are not afraid to challenge conventional wisdom. They are also more likely to be interested in cultural and intellectual pursuits, such as music, literature, and philosophy.

People who score low in openness tend to be more conventional and traditional in their thinking. They are less likely to be interested in new ideas and experiences and prefer to stick to familiar routines and ways of doing things. They may also be less tolerant of ambiguity and uncertainty, and may be more likely to prefer clear rules and guidelines.

Openness is an important trait that can have a significant impact on a person’s life. It can lead to greater creativity, innovation, and intellectual curiosity. It can also make individuals more adaptable to change and better able to cope with uncertainty and ambiguity. On the other hand, low levels of openness can lead to a more narrow-minded and rigid approach to life, which can limit one’s ability to grow and adapt.


Conscientiousness is one of the five major personality traits and is characterised by a person’s degree of responsibility, reliability, and organisation. Conscientious individuals are highly dependable and are known for their attention to detail, thoroughness, and diligence. They are often seen as responsible and reliable and are more likely to follow through on commitments and obligations.

Conscientiousness can be broken down into several components, including achievement orientation, dependability, responsibility, and orderliness. Individuals who score high in conscientiousness are typically driven to achieve their goals and are highly motivated to work towards success. They are often organised and plan ahead to ensure that they can achieve their objectives. These individuals are also dependable and responsible, and they take their commitments seriously, fulfilling their duties and obligations in a timely and reliable manner.

In the workplace, conscientious individuals are highly valued for their work ethic and dependability. They are often seen as responsible and trustworthy, making them a valuable asset to their employer. In addition, their ability to plan ahead and organise their work often results in increased efficiency and productivity.

Outside of work, conscientious individuals tend to be reliable and responsible in their personal lives as well. They are often seen as trustworthy and dependable, and their attention to detail and organisation can make them effective at managing household tasks and finances.

Overall, conscientiousness is an important trait that contributes to an individual’s success in both their personal and professional lives.


Extraversion is one of the Big Five personality traits that refers to a person’s outgoing and sociable nature. People who score high in extraversion tend to be talkative, assertive, and enjoy being around others. They are often described as “people persons” and feel energised in social situations.

Extraverts tend to be comfortable with meeting new people, initiating conversations, and speaking in public. They enjoy being the center of attention and often thrive in environments that involve interaction with others. They are often viewed as confident and charismatic individuals, and may pursue careers that require high levels of social interaction, such as sales, marketing, or public relations.

Extraverts also tend to be more expressive in their emotions, and are more likely to show positive emotions such as happiness and enthusiasm. They may also be more impulsive and seek out excitement and stimulation.

However, it is important to note that not all aspects of extraversion are positive. People who score high in extraversion may also struggle with impulsivity, lack of introspection, and may be more susceptible to peer pressure. They may also have difficulty working independently and may require social interaction to feel motivated. Overall, extraversion is just one aspect of a person’s personality, and it is important to consider all five traits when evaluating an individual’s personality.


Agreeableness is a personality trait that reflects an individual’s ability to get along with others. People who are high in agreeableness are generally described as cooperative, empathetic, and caring. They are often considerate of others’ feelings and try to avoid conflict.

Individuals who score high in agreeableness are often supportive and helpful towards others, and they enjoy being part of a team. They are also typically considerate of others and take other people’s feelings into account when making decisions. Agreeable people tend to be good listeners and are often seen as empathetic.

On the other hand, individuals who score low in agreeableness may be seen as more confrontational or argumentative. They may be less concerned with the feelings of others and may be more focused on their own goals and desires.

Agreeableness has been linked to a variety of outcomes, including better social relationships, increased job satisfaction, and improved mental and physical health. However, it is important to note that being overly agreeable can also have negative consequences, such as being taken advantage of or being unable to assert oneself in situations where it is necessary.


Neuroticism is one of the five major personality traits that describes an individual’s tendency to experience negative emotions such as anxiety, fear, and sadness. People who score high in neuroticism tend to experience emotional instability and are more prone to worry, nervousness, and stress. They may also be more likely to experience mood swings and have difficulty regulating their emotions.

Individuals high in neuroticism may struggle with anxiety and may find it difficult to cope with stressful situations. They may also be more sensitive to criticism or rejection, and may have a tendency to ruminate on negative events or feelings.

On the other hand, people who score low in neuroticism tend to be emotionally stable, calm, and resilient in the face of stress. They are less likely to experience anxiety or worry and are generally better able to cope with challenging situations.

It is important to note that while high levels of neuroticism may be associated with negative outcomes such as poor mental health and lower life satisfaction, individuals who score high in neuroticism may also have positive traits such as being conscientious and detail-oriented. Similarly, low levels of neuroticism may be associated with positive outcomes such as better mental health, but individuals who score low in neuroticism may also be less empathetic or less attuned to the emotional needs of others.

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