What makes you, you: common personality traits explained
Every person is born with a unique personality, and it’s no surprise that character traits are some of the most searched for topics online, with many different attributes to choose from. The science behind personality has been widely discussed, but psychologists increasingly agree that most people contain a range of the Big Five, a five factor model-theory that serves as the building blocks of personality: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism (a measure of emotional stability), or OCEAN.
Your willingness to try new experiences determines your openness. People at the high end of openness tend to be more adventurous, creative and have a broader range of interests. People on the lower end tend to stay within their comfort zone and sticking to a set routine.
If you’re the type who is often ready to try that new restaurant or go on that spontaneous hiking trip, you’re likely higher on openness.
Are you goal-oriented? Do you like to do a task well or ensure your bed is made every morning? If so, you’re likely on the higher range of conscientiousness. Conscientious people are usually organized and disciplined, while people low on the trait are typically more spontaneous or careless.
A person who scores high in conscientiousness is likely to benefit from it in their occupation. The National Institute on Aging found that conscientiousness is linked to better income and job satisfaction.
This is one of the most recognizable personality traits and can often be interpreted with how well someone excels in social situations. Someone high on the E scale is chattier, more sociable and draws energy from social situations, as someone lower on the extroversion scale is energized by being alone. The science behind what makes a person extroverted and introverted is still in question, as studies are being done to pinpoint the key indicators.
A night in for the weekend with your favorite movie and ice cream may indicate you are lower on the extroversion scale than someone who frequently wants to go out in a social setting.
A person with high levels of agreeableness is likely to be more trusting, helpful and compassionate. They also have more optimistic views and get along better with others.
People lower on agreeableness may be less cooperative than their agreeable counterparts, but, according to one 2011 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, those with lower agreeableness are more likely to make more money in the workplace than those on the higher end of the spectrum.
If you have high amounts of neuroticism, every little thing can seem like a big deal. People high on neuroticism often worry frequently and can let their anxiety get the best of them. Those who are lower end of the N spectrum are described as more emotionally stable and even-tempered.
Having high levels of neuroticism could be beneficial to those who have high levels of conscientiousness, as anxiety can be a motivator to work more urgently to accomplish a task.