What Are the Big Five Personality Traits?

What are the big five personality traits? Have you ever wondered why do different individuals respond differently to a similar situation? For example, if you have a chance to ask every person to define who they are, you will get different answers. In this post, we will define what personality is, how it can be classified, and how it defines us!

Personality Traits

The simple question “who are you?” is among the toughest questions to answer – there are very many ways to comprehend it. So every individual will respond to this question depending on his/her understanding. A possible answer could include

  • Your name
  • Job Title
  • Passions
  • Place of birth/residence/community
  • Hobbies
  • Family role etc.

On top of these, someone else could include his/her beliefs and values. How you respond to this simple question tells a lot about who you are. We may have several common aspects with our friends, e.g., religion, race, skills, sexual orientation, family, etc. but there is one simple thing that sets us apart – Personality. You can fly across the world trying to interview as many people as you can, but rest assured that you will never find two individuals who are exactly the same – as far as personalities are considered.

But wait! What’s personality and why does it set people apart? Well, keep reading this post to find out more.

Big Five Personality Traits

The modern-world-psychologists believe that there are up to five “big personality traits” which are;

1. Conscientiousness

How conscientious are you? According to research conducted by various psychologists, your level of conscientiousness tells more regarding how and to what extent you can be able to keep your impulses under control. Essentially, your conscientiousness level reveals how much success you are likely to experience, how you can obtain it easily, etc. Highly conscientious individuals are more likely to respond better to their impulses and lead a successful life! While individuals may appear somewhat “rigid” and possibly boring, they stand better chances to pursue and achieve their goals in life – this is possible through proper planning, internal motivation, self-desires, etc. Besides, such people know how to avoid unnecessary decisions and trouble. Their main concern is when things go against their plans or when they achieve fewer results than what they actually expected. On the other hand, individuals are not conscientious or are less conscientious lacks self-motivation, are unable to manage gratification – they follow their impulse easily. These are the most fantastic characters you encounter at parties – people who know how to make fun of everything. They can be whatever you need them to be whenever a need arises, however, they aren’t able to manage and as such it’s easier for them to get involved in the conflict.

General characteristic of people who are

Highly Conscientious

– Are attentive

– Spend time preparing

– Work with a clear plan

– Adheres to their schedule

– Have self-motivation etc.

Less Conscientious

– Procrastinate important tasks

– Don’t care about things – they do mess a lot

– Don’t meet deadlines – no matter how important the tasks/assignment is

– Don’t work with schedules – poor time managers

2. Agreeableness

This is simply the measure of how a person is willing or able to commit to social cooperation. Agreeable individuals are usually viewed positively by those close to them, however, a study shows that these people suffer indecision when trying to handle complex or more technical tasks. An agreeable person understands why it’s so important to get along well with his/her peers. These people value others to extent that they may even sacrifice everything to see others making it in life. They are easy to get along with and won’t disappoint or fail you when you need their help the most. On the other, individuals who are disagreeable tend to value their own interests and care less about the rest. They will not mind how others are doing – they are to some extent jealous and don’t cooperate.

General characteristics of people who are


– Cares about others

– Are ready and willing to offer help

– They are concerned about the interests of those around them

– Loyal, welcoming and friendly


– Mind about their own business

– Jealousy and not ready to offer help

– Can’t be trusted with other people’s concerns

– Manipulate things into their own favor

3. Openness to Experience

Your level of openness determines a lot regarding your reaction to new ideas or experiences. Individuals who are open to themselves or others do well in creative roles and lead a happy life. They have a lot of common interests with their peers and don’t engage in conflict easily. These people know the right approach for every situation – they are keen and do express themselves in the right manner. Individuals who are not so open live a challenging life as it’s not easier to tell their emotions or intentions. They can be fierce especially if you engage them in things they don’t like. Funny as they are, these individuals tend to do shine in certain careers such as police, security agencies, etc.

General characteristics of people who are:


– Very creative

– Know how to handle technical challenges

– Friendly and easy to understand

– Ready to face a new challenge or try new things

Not Open

– Resist new challenges

– Dislike change

– Not so creative

– Can be rude and fierce

4. Extraversion

This determines how you interact with your physical and external world. If you rank high on the Extraversion scale, then you have the “I can do it” spirit. You are always brimming with energy; do well with social interactions, etc. Introverts are those who have a bad attitude and tend to procrastinate things. They are led by the “I still have some time” spirit which delays them from achieving their desires.

General Characteristics of People Who:

Rank Higher on Extraversion Scale

– Highly attentive

– Enjoy meeting new people/visit new places

– Are more likely to spark into conversation

– They say things before they reason

– Have a wide circle of close friends

– They are more okay when around others – don’t like spending time on their own


– It’s not easy to start conversations

– Prefers solitude

– Not so social

– They think before speaking etc.

5. Neuroticism

This determines your levels of emotional stability and your reaction towards emotional stimuli. If you score high on the Neuroticism scale, you’ve experienced anger, depression, anxiety, etc. – this is because are emotionally reactive. On the other hand, individuals who score less in Neuroticism are not so emotionally reactive. They don’t experience depression, stress, anger, etc. easily, and when they, they know how to manage.

General characteristics of those with:

High Neuroticism

– Suffers stress regularly

– Feel anxious

– Get upset easily

– Have a lot of things to worry about

– Suffer dramatic mood swings etc.

Low Neuroticism

– Often very relaxed

– Know how to manage stress

– Emotionally stable

– It’s not simple to feel depressed or sad etc.

The Bottom Line

Now that you know more regarding the big five traits, it’s your responsibility to find out where you fall – this will help you know yourself better. Understanding your personality traits will help you lead a more successful life!

Big Five Personality Traits | Infographic

What Are The Big Five Personality Traits?

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