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Big 5 Personality Traits

The differences between people’s personalities can be broken down in terms of five major traits—often called the “Big Five.” Each one reflects a key part of how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. The Big Five traits are:

  • Openness to experience (includes aspects such as intellectual curiosity and creative imagination)
  • Conscientiousness (organization, productiveness, responsibility)
  • Extroversion (sociability, assertiveness; its opposite is introversion)
  • Agreeableness (compassion, respectfulness, trust in others)
  • Neuroticism (tendencies toward anxiety and depression)

Individual personalities are thought to feature each of these five broad traits to some degree. When the traits are measured, some people rate higher and others rate lower: Someone can be more conscientious and less agreeable than most people, for instance, while scoring about average on the other traits. These traits remain fairly stable during adulthood.

People can also differ on the more specific facets that make up each of the Big Five traits. A relatively extroverted person might be highly sociable but not especially assertive.

Source : Psychology Today (www.psychologytoday.com)