Thursday, April 19, 2012

The "Big Five"

The “Big Five”
By: Kori Bower

I am not talking about the next big lottery here; I am talking about personality.  Individuals have a personality that has been proven through research to typically remain stable through his/her lifespan.  Most of us have heard of the introvert, the extrovert, and the occasional neurotic.  Yet you may be surprised to hear that introvert is not listed as one of the big five personality traits.  “I use that word to describe one of my adult children frequently,” you might say to yourself. 

Below you will find a reference that may help you consider other ways to define your adult child.  In actuality, all of us have characteristics that fall on a continuum for each of these five traits.  Here is the list with a brief description of each:

High Characteristics
Low Characteristics
Worrisome, temperamental, self-conscious, emotional
Calm, even-tempered, unemotional, hardy
Talkative, active, passionate
Reserved, passive, quite, emotionally uncreative
Openness to experience
Creative, original, liberal, curious
Down-to-earth, conventional, conservative
Trusting, good-natured, generous, lenient
Irritable, critical, suspicious, antagonist
Hard-working, punctual, well-organized, persevering
Lazy, aimless, negligent, nonresistant

These traits have been researched across cultures.  Agreeableness and conscientiousness expand after the adolescent years into middle age adulthood.  Extroversion and openness to experience tend not to change, and neuroticism tends to decrease.  This research also concluded that personality has a genetic influence.  (Berk, 2010)

Consider these defining terms to describe your adult children now that you have an expanded knowledge of personality.  

1 comment:

  1. I found this interesting. I had not thought in terms of "high & low" traits instead of introvert. It seems the "Big Five" are written in a positive, respectful, more enlighted way than a negative sounding term of introvert. I wonder where the word "introvert" came from or if the concept was changed for political correctness? - Sam Dillé