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The Big Five Theory of Personality

List and define the five traits included in the Big Five theory of personality. What are the limitations of this approach?

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1. List and define the five traits included in the Big Five theory of personality.

In psychology, the Big Five theory of personality include five broad factors or dimensions of personality traits discovered through empirical research (Goldberg, 1993). These factors are Neuroticism, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Openness to Experience. Each factor consists of a number of more specific traits. The Big Five are a descriptive model of personality, not a theory, although psychologists have developed theories to account for the Big Five. (see on-line test at http://www.outofservice.com/bigfive/).

The Big Five traits included in the Big Five theory of personality are as follows:

. However, these five categories are usually described as follows:

1. Extraversion: This trait includes characteristics such as excitability, sociability, talkativeness, assertiveness, and high amounts of emotional expressiveness.

2. Agreeableness: This personality dimension includes attributes such as trust, altruism, kindness, affection, and other prosocial behaviors.

3. Conscientiousness: Common features of this dimension include high levels of thoughtfulness, with good impulse control and goal-directed behaviors. Those high in conscientiousness tend to be organized and mindful of details.

4. Neuroticism: Individuals high in this trait tend to experience emotional instability, anxiety, moodiness, irritability, and sadness.

5. Openness: This trait features characteristics such as imagination and insight, and those high in this trait also tend to have a broad range of interests. (http://psychology.about.com/od/personalitydevelopment/a/bigfive.htm)

Also see http://www.personalityresearch.org/bigfive.html.

The acronym for the Big Five as the Five-Factor Model is the OCEAN or CANOE models of personality. When scored for individual feedback, they are often presented as percentile scores, with the median at 50%; so for example, a Conscientiousness rating in the 80th ...

Solution Summary

Lists and defines the five traits included in the Big Five theory of personality. It also discusses some of the limitations of this approach. Last updated July 3, 2009.