HomeLIFESTYLEExplore The Big Five Personality Trait Model

Explore The Big Five Personality Trait Model

Disclaimer: Presented by BetterHelp.

When considering what distinguishes one person from another, it often comes down to their personalities. Our best friends are those people that we get along with best, who seem to just “get” us, and who we can fully express ourselves around. Likewise, those we bump heads with most tend to have personalities that conflict with ours, such as the person who’s always trying to have a good time when we’re just trying to get our work done. 

Personalities are intricate and complex, making it hard to put people into groups based on their traits and characteristics. However, there are certain frameworks we can use to understand each other more clearly, such as the Big Five Personality Model. Here, we’ll explore how this model breaks down personality into easy-to-understand categories without neglecting our individuality.  

What Is Personality? 

Personality can be defined as “the enduring characteristics and behavior that comprise a person’s unique adjustment to life, including major traits, interests, drives, values, self-concept, abilities, and emotional patterns.” In other words, your personality is what makes you uniquely you; it’s how you interact with other people, how you express yourself, and how you respond to and feel about life. 

What Influences Personality?

Our personalities begin to form from the time we’re born. The unique traits we develop tend to be influenced by a few different factors including genetics, our environment, and our experiences. 

Genetics refers to the genes we adopt from our biological parents, meaning this area is entirely out of your control. Hereditary influences might be responsible for your temperament, such as whether you’re generally easygoing or more difficult to interact with. Research has shown that around 30-60% of our personality is determined by our genes. 

The environment we grow up in can also play a critical role in the development of our personality. For example, the culture or religion we’re raised in can cause us to be more modest and reserved, or confident and outspoken.

A harsh parenting style could lead to timidness, while an undisciplined parenting style might create rebelliousness. Other factors that can be influential include family dynamics, financial status, socialization with other children and families, and more. 

The experiences we have while growing up can also contribute to our developing personalities. If you’re surrounded by loud, confident friends, you may be more likely to be that way, too. If you experience bullying or feel left out of social circles in school, you might be more prone to introversion. 

Everyone’s personality develops in a unique, personal way, impacting us for years to come. 

The Big Five Personality Traits

The Big Five Personality Model attempts to categorize personalities based on five distinguishable factors. While it doesn’t capture the full complexity of our personalities, it can help us more effectively understand each other.

The following five personality traits present a framework for understanding how people may respond differently to life’s challenges and triumphs:  

1. Openness: 

Openness to experience refers to how willing a person is to try new things and participate in self-reflection. Those who score higher in this area tend to be adventurous, creative, insightful, and imaginative. People who are low in openness are often more closed off to new experiences and prefer familiarity and routine to novelty. 

2. Conscientiousness: 

Conscientiousness refers to how dedicated, responsible, and conforming someone is. Highly conscientious individuals are likely to be organized, hard-working, and efficient rule-followers. Those on the other end of the spectrum may be more rebellious rule-breakers who struggle with self-discipline and planning.   

3. Extraversion: 

Extraversion measures how sociable, outspoken, and comfortable someone is when surrounded by other people. Highly extroverted individuals usually like to be in the spotlight or are at least comfortable with it. They enjoy getting to know new people and feel energized spending time with others.

Contrastingly, those who are introverted get their energy from being alone and may feel burnt out when they spend too much time with other people. They’re more likely to enjoy smaller groups and calmer activities. 

4. Agreeableness: 

Agreeableness is a measure of an individual’s ability to get along with and relate to other people. Highly agreeable individuals are likely to be friendly, empathetic, trustworthy, and cooperative. Those scoring low in agreeableness tend to be unconcerned with fitting in, potentially displaying traits like aggression, low empathy, and emotional detachment.  

5. Neuroticism: 

Neuroticism refers to a person’s ability to manage and control their emotions. Those who score high in this area tend to experience instability in their emotional state. Individuals scoring low in neuroticism are often calm and collected, skilled at emotional regulation, and less likely to be impacted by disorders like anxiety or depression. 

Each of these traits runs on a spectrum, meaning that you can score very highly in one area, quite low in another, or fall somewhere in the middle. Therefore, this model still leaves quite a bit of room for variance. 

Can Personality Change?

Experts once thought that our personalities developed and became fixed during childhood. However, new evidence shows that this isn’t the case, with most people experiencing changes in their personality throughout their lifetime. Those who maintain a level of self-awareness and seek to improve themselves may be more likely to experience these changes. 

Personality-Related Concerns

All personalities are not created equal. While we all have our strengths and weaknesses, in some cases, certain traits could point to a personality disorder. When someone has a personality disorder, it means that their “way of thinking, feeling and behaving deviates from the expectations of the culture, causes distress or problems functioning, and lasts over time.”

Some of the different types of personality disorders include:

  • Antisocial personality disorder 
  • Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
  • Dependent personality disorder
  • Histrionic personality disorder
  • Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)
  • Paranoid personality disorder 
  • Schizoid personality disorder

It can be crucial for individuals living with these conditions to seek help from a qualified professional, such as a therapist. To learn more about the best forms of therapy for personality disorders like narcissism, try visiting the following link and connecting with a therapist: www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/what-is-the-best-form-of-therapy-for-narcissism/

Final Thoughts:

Our personalities can greatly influence how we view and interact with the world around us—for better or for worse. While personality can be difficult to change, as it’s often innate, it is possible to grow in self-awareness and make useful changes as needed. Finding a balance between embracing who you are and chasing the person you’d like to be can lead to closer relationships and greater life satisfaction. 

I'm Bipasha Zaman, a professional author with vast experience in the research field. Presently, I work for many sites. Also, I have a strong passion for writing creative blogs.


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