Understanding the Big Five Personality Traits Model

You might have come across several friends in your friend’s circle and various folks amongst your colleagues who love to go pub, party, and mingle with others. However, then some groups of people go to parties, sit on the corner, and enjoy their drinks. The change in an individual’s behaviour or reaction to certain situations is due to differences in an individual’s personality. This could be because the factor which recharges or rejuvenates a personality could be just a way of relaxing or others. The dissimilarity in human behaviours can be defined briefly using the Big five personality traits model, which elaborates such heterogeneity by dividing personality traits into several dimensions.

The Big Five Personality traits models are the five domains that define human Personality and account for individual differences. Several psychologists and personality researchers have developed and researched several theories which attempt to define and measure Personality. Out of numerous theories proposed, the most widely accepted taxonomy of Personality amongst industrialists and psychologists are the Big five personality traits model. These big five personality trait models, often referred to as Big 5 traits, break down human Personality into five components: agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, openness, stress tolerance.

History of Big Five Personality Theory

Big five personality traits

Personality researchers and psychologists have developed several theories to evaluate Personality of individuals. Some of the theories suggested earlier include Gordon Allport’s list of 4000 personality traits, Raymond Cattell’s sixteen personality factors, and Hans Eysenck’s three-factor theory. According to several researchers and industrialists, Allport’s theory was complicated, whereas Eysenck’s theory has limited scope. As a result of which bug five personality theory emerged to differentiate individuals Personality and to serve as a building block of Personality.

Several individual researchers have discovered and refined five personality traits models based on data-driven researches. JM Digman, in the year 1990, proposed the theory of big five personality. Later on, in 1993, Goldberg extended it to the highest level of organizations.

What is Personality?

Before we drill down the topic to understand how to differentiate people based on their Personality and behavior. Let’s understand what exactly Personality is?

Several times during the HR interview, you might be asked, ‘’Who are You’’? The question seems like easy, but the answer is complicated. Professionals interpret this question in varied ways. Everyone has their own answers. But we have a bit common with our fellow humans, such as race, gender, color, religion, etc. Remember, what individualize humans from other fellow humans is called Personality.

In simpler words, Personality is what you are. It describes your features, characteristics, and the quirk, which sets you apart from everyone else.

In the world of psychology research, the definition of Personality could be complex.

  1. According to Allport,- Personality is the dynamic organization within an individual of those psycho-physical systems that determine his/ her unique adjustments to his environment.
  2. J.B Watson- JB Watson in 1930 suggested that Personality is the sum of activities that can be discovered by actual observations over a long period of time to give reliable information.
  3. Cattel- Cattel defined personality is what permits a prediction of what a person will do in a given situation.

What are the Traits of the Big Five Personality Model?

HR managers often adapt to the big five personality model to select employees. Because these traits are considered as underlying traits that make up an individual’s overall Personality. Each trait explains a unique feature of human Personality.

The Big Five Traits are:

  • Openness: These traits define characteristics like creativity, imagination, insight, enthusiast, etc. People who score high in openness traits are enthusiasts and free people who eager to learn new things, enjoy new things, and have a broad range of interests. Instead, people who are low in this trait are traditional, stubborn.Big five personality traits
  • Conscientiousness: People with a high degree of conscientiousness are reliable and prompt. They have a high level of thoughtfulness, good impulse control, decision-making capability, and goal-directed behaviors.
  • Extraversion: These types of people get energy from others, whereas introverts people get their energy form themselves. Its often-seen people surrounding extraversion motivates them and encourages them. Such people are characterized by sociability, talkativeness, and emotionally expressive. People with low in extraversion are reserved type. Social events or interactions with others makes them feel draining.
  • Agreeableness: People with such Personality reflects traits like trust, kindness, affection, cooperative, friendly. People who are low in these traits are manipulative, dominant.

Neuroticism: Often called as emotional stability. People with neuroticism personality reflects attributes like sadness, moodiness, emotional. People high in these traits often witness mood swings, irritability, anxiety. In contrast, people low in this trait are stable and emotionally resilient.

Personality Test

Big five personality traits

The personality test gives you an insight into how an individual reacts or responds in certain situations, which can help individuals in opting career and HR managers in opting for employees. Hr managers, consultants use personality test information’s in recruitment and candidate assessment. Just having theoretical knowledge about traits of Personality isn’t enough. To determine your big five personality traits, you may take an online personality test. I would recommend 16 Personalities. It gives you a detailed overview about your strength and weaknesses. It even measures the big five personality traits, which is developed over the years by researchers.

So, have to take the big five personality traits test? What to do now? The big five personality traits can be used for numerous purposes. If you are seeking a job, then you can use a personality test score to find the right job for you. For example, if you are an extraversion person, you feel home in-crowd. So, opt for a job that requires teamwork, communication, etc. If you are recruiters, you can use personality test scores to find your firm’s right candidate. But as an individual or recruitment, do remember the Big Five personality trait model just gives an indication about what type of role may suit you or which type of candidate would be best. Be sure you make a decision on several other ranges of information. Don’t just rely on the reports of the personality test. Often, it is seen an individual isn’t satisfied with his/her job, leading to stress, mental issues, and absenteeism. It affects professionals as well as organization absenteeism; low interest leads to low productivity. So its always recommend to self-evaluate oneself before opting for a job or making career decisions.

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