Five Factor Model (The Big Five)

I know most psychology junkies know what the Five Factor Model (aka The Big Five) is, but I’ll still make a post about it because I’ll be referencing to The Big Five in later posts.

The Big Five

The Five Factor Model (most commonly known as The Big Five) is a frequently used method by many psychologists to reliably measure the personality traits of persons. The questionnaire itself is called Revised Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R), and it measures the levels of Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. A way to memorize The Big Five is using the acronym O.C.E.A.N.

Openness to Experience

Persons who score high on Openness to experience tend to want new experiences, are curious, and usually creative. These are the “open-minded” people who are not afraid to look at things differently and who are not afraid to try new things. On the hand, persons who score low on Openness prefer things that are familiar to them, are unadventurous, and tend to be more traditional. These are the people who like to stick to a particular method or way of thinking because it has helped them in the past. They are usually conservative in their way of viewing things.


Persons who score high on Conscientiousness are organized, reliable, and responsible. These are the individuals you want to seek out when working on a group project. They are also very good at adapting to new authority. Persons who score low on conscientiousness are quite the opposite. They tend to be disorganized, irresponsible, unmotivated, and unreliable. These people are all over the place when it comes to setting priorities. 


Persons high on Extraverson tend to be more outgoing and social. These are the persons who like to go to parties and are comfortable when interacting with others. On the other hand, persons low on Extraversion tend to be more reserved and prefer to have their alone time. (NOTE: Someone low on extraversion—an introvert—is not necessarily a shy person. Even though an introvert prefers to be alone, he or she may not necessarily have a problem interacting with others.)


Persons high on Agreeableness are the warm and caring individuals. They like other people and are usually interested in helping others. These are the people who like to do volunteer hours to help their community and usually like to donate money to charity. Persons low on agreeableness tend to be unconcerned about others, and it may be easier for them to get angry at others. They are usually uncooperative and uncaring of others. 


Persons high on neuroticism tend to be anxious, insecure, and unhappy. These are the persons who have trouble controlling their emotions and are more susceptible to depression. Persons low on neuroticism are more in control of their feelings. They are calm, secure and happy. These are the people who are less worrisome and therefore stress less.

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