What is Personality?
The word person, derived from the Latin word persona, is a noun with two meanings. The first meaning is a human being or a human body. The second meaning of person can mean “role” which stems from the Latin word persona, which refers to a theatrical mask worn by performers in order to perform the role.
Personality is basically the set of basic mental habits that the person embodies. Most personality structures maintain consistency throughout life, but can also be moulded by external influences.
When dealing with human beings, it's often difficult to understand their true motivations. However, by understanding their personality and the world around them, we will be able to better establish a connection and gain insight into their character.
Everyone has a personality. It's what makes us unique individuals. Personality is different from behaviour because our behaviours are determined by the situations we are in and the environment around us, while our personality is more stable. Our personalities can change because of life experiences, but it takes time for this to happen.
Every person is unique in their own way. They have personal characteristics they will keep for the rest of their life that are resistant to change. Our personalities are usually there from a young age and aren't easily altered over time.
Personality is one of the most interesting and complex aspects of human beings. It is the idiosyncratic pattern of enduring, long-term characteristics that determine how somebody interacts with other individuals and the world around them.
Personality traits suggest consistency and stability. For example, someone who scores high for Extraversion is expected to be sociable in different situations..
It is important to know that not everyone’s personality traits are the same. The broad categorization of traits suggests consistency and stability, but this is not always the case. Individuals can have one or two traits that are very strong, while their other traits are quite low. This means that people can still be successful in different roles, despite their discrepancies in personality types.
Personality is reflected in many different ways. The way someone speaks, the clothes they wear, the music they listen to, and their favourite food are all ways to get an idea of someone’s personality.
What are Five Personality Traits
Trait psychology is based on the idea that people differ in terms of their attitude to life. They are said to vary on dimensions like extroversion or agreeableness, which have a significant impact on both present and future decisions.
The idea of traits occupies a central position in psychology, not least because it is often assumed to be the only way to account for individual differences.
- Neuroticism—anxiety and volatility versus emotional stability and confidence.
- Conscientiousness—persistence and responsibility versus sloppiness and laziness.
- Agreeableness—friendliness and empathy versus hostility and insolence.
- Openness to experience—creativity and curiosity versus intolerance and rigidity.
- Extroversion—assertiveness and urgency versus introversion and shyness.
Neuroticism refers to the tendency to experience negative emotions. This may be called emotional instability or it might just be referred to as “emotional stability”. Neuroticism is a personality trait dimension that highlights how emotionally reactive and unstable an individual is. Those with higher levels of neuroticism typically experience emotional instability and moodiness. They can also be more easily frustrated, take things too personally, and have a low self-esteem.
Neuroticism is a trait often associated with mood swings and sadness. People high in the neurotic trait experience higher levels of anxiety, irritability and sadness than those with lower levels of it. Those who are less neurotic tend to be more stable and emotionally resilient.
Those with a higher degree of neuroticism may also have a more difficult time regulating their emotions and may be more likely to experience delusions or hallucinations.
Neuroticism is interconnected with a low tolerance for stress or adverse stimuli. Neuroticism is a classic temperament trait that has been studied in temperament research for decades, before being adopted by the Five Factors Model
People with high neuroticism scores are emotionally reactive and vulnerable to stress. If they perceive something as stressful or threatening, they will see it as more difficult than it might actually be. A minor frustration can be viewed as an insurmountable obstacle. As well as being inexpressive, their emotions are persistent. They are frequently in a bad mood & overreact negatively to situations. It's hard to tell exactly how they're feeling at any given time. They tend to show prolonged signs of anger, sadness or frustration which can often disrupt your more light-hearted conversations.
Neuroticism is connected to a pessimistic approach towards work, certainty that work impedes personal relationships, and higher levels of anxiety from pressure at work. High neuroticism scores also display more skin-conductance reactivity than those who score low on neuroticism.
Individuals with a higher level of neuroticism often experience a lack of satisfaction and discontent, which can lead to high-stress levels, frustration, and other negative aspects.
Lacking contentment in one's life achievements correlates with high neuroticism scores and increases one's likelihood of falling into clinical depression. These problems in emotional regulation diminish the ability of a person scoring high on neuroticism to think clearly, make decisions, and cope effectively with stress.
Furthermore, individuals high in neuroticism tend to experience more negative life events. However, neuroticism also changes in response to positive and negative experiences. Individuals with higher levels of neuroticism also report worse mental health on the whole.
Highly neurotic individuals are defensive pessimists. They experience the world as unsafe and use fundamentally different strategies in dealing with distress than non-neurotic people do. They are vigilant, uneasy, and on guard at all times, and they believe that they can control what happens to them through their thoughts and actions.
There is a general misconception that high neuroticism is always associated with unfavourable characteristics. This is not always the case. For example, in certain contexts and settings, neurotic behaviours may be essential for success and can lend themselves to favourable outcomes.
Neurotic individuals, such as the American filmmaker Woody Allen, have developed creative channels through which to tap their rich, overpopulated intrapsychic worlds. The result is typically a successful artist. In the case of Allen, his neurosis has fueled his writing and filmmaking output for decades.
This article explores the idea that freedom from negative feelings does not mean that low scorers experience a lot of positive feelings. The article examines biases in emotion regulation and studies the effects of mindfulness on well-being.
Each person can be positioned somewhere on this personality trait scale between two extreme poles: perfect emotional stability and complete emotional chaos.
Individuals who score low in neuroticism are less easily upset and emotionally reactive. They tend to be calm & emotionally stable, as well as free from persistent negative feelings.
A recent study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that neuroticism of one partner (or both) predicted lower levels of satisfaction in relationships. Neuroticism, the researchers further found, tended to undermine marital quality by increasing arguments, decreasing sexual satisfaction, and lowering levels of trust. The research indicated that neuroticism dampens sexual satisfaction because neurotic individuals are prone to negative affect and expectations, which have been shown to relate to lower arousal and satisfaction.
Neuroticism is similar but not identical to being neurotic in the Freudian sense. Some psychologists prefer to call neuroticism by the term emotional instability to differentiate it from the term neurotic.
- Frequent mood swings.
- Get irritated easily.
- Feel blue often.
- Stressed out easily.
- Worry about things.
- Easily disturbed.
- Get upset easily.
- Mood swing.
High neuroticism scores
- Experiences a lot of stress
- Worries about many different things
- Gets upset easily
- Experiences dramatic shifts in mood
- Feels anxious
- Struggles to bounce back after stressful events
Low neuroticism scores
- Emotionally stable
- Deals well with stress
- Rarely feels sad or depressed
- Doesn't worry much
- Is very relaxed
How to reduce neuroticism score
Neuroticism is an interesting personality trait for two reasons. Firstly, it does appear to be the only one that mellows with age. Secondly, it can sometimes feel like neurotic people have special powers that others find hard to use too. Or think of neuroticism as a strong spice. Extreme neuroticism can be crippling, but in moderation it's desirable
Neuroticism is a personality trait that can be hard to change, but a bit of change is possible. You're unlikely to go from being classified as being highly neurotic at the ninetieth percentile to being classified as not being at all neurotic–a huge difference–but you can make small adjustments with perseverance.
There are lots of ways to reduce neuroticism. One of the most effective is through mindfulness, which is essentially a way to sit with your feelings & accept them. Instead of avoiding or suppressing them, you can learn to let go and observe without judgment. What we call “ Face your fears.”
It's also beneficial to note that neuroticism usually decreases as you get older. You can reduce your own neuroticism and thereby hasten the recovery process from addiction in a few ways; for example by using therapy, mindfulness, a healthy lifestyle, exercise and monitoring your self-talk.
Exercise is a great reliever of stress. It promotes the release of neurotransmitters that improve your mood, such as serotonin and endorphins. It also increases BDNF levels, which also boosts the regions of your brain involved with memory. Exercise also causes structural changes in the brain that make your brain less sensitive to stress. A structure called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) is plugged into several parts in your brain that is responsible for identifying an emotional event, researching it in the hippocampus & regulating emotional response through the amygdala.
The traits that make up your personality are also slow to change. But if you are patient, they will change, albeit very slowly. For this reason, it helps to make some of these changes habitual and to enlist the support of friends and family.
Social self-efficacy is the belief in one's ability to take on and succeed at social interactions. When people have greater self-efficacy, they are more likely to act in social situations, leading to increased success. This gives them a greater sense of self-efficacy which can lead to other positive changes like higher self-esteem and more confidence.
Meaningful volunteering work can often help you escape negative self-ruminations, build feelings of gratitude, work on social skills without the pressures of high-stakes life events, and allow people to stop freaking out about what they will do after graduation. When you care for others, using empathy as a motivator helps to create the perfect relief by adding to the motive of reducing personal distress by imbuing caregiving with greater compassion.
Cultivating a proactive attitude can help you avoid future suffering. For instance, by imagining the regret that may come next week or in twenty years when you look back on your life in its totality, thinking about the benefits of change, and focusing on your goals while outlining specific steps to achieve them.
Guided self-help, mindfulness and compassion meditation, therapy and therapy groups in a number of formats, good self-care, and engaging in activities that address challenge areas can all help you get the most out of your life. These practices can help to maximize the positives while “moving the needle” when it comes to hardship.
What is Conscientiousness?
Conscientiousness is a personality trait related to impulse control and the need for organization. It is one of the five broad dimensions of personality, along with openness to experience, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. The trait that helps people to be organized, act dutifully and aim for achievement.
It is related to the way in which people regulate their impulses, their attention, and their actions. People who are high in conscientiousness are often perceived as being stubborn and focused. However, this perception can be based on a lack of understanding of their motivations. Highly conscientious people are dependable and of course, they're reliable. They're on time and they go the extra mile. They're also on the conservative side, for example, they'll think twice before spending money or starting a risky new project.
High conscientiousness is associated with reliability and a preference for planned rather than spontaneous behaviour. You might think that low conscientiousness, or a lack of interest in planned behaviour and reliability, would lead to more flexible and spontaneous behaviour. However, low conscientiousness can also appear as sloppiness and a lack of reliability.
The definition of conscientiousness is a propensity to follow socially prescribed norms for impulse control, to be goal-directed, to plan, and to be able to delay gratification. These characteristics have been found in people that are seen as hardworking and successful. On the other hand, those who exhibit a lack of these characteristics are more likely to have a criminal record, though not always.
Being conscientious is not just about being mindful of yourself, but also of those around you. This is because conscientious person will be conscious of the first impression that they make. This person will have a keen sense of their environment and will be careful not to offend or put others in an uncomfortable situation. When walking down the street, conscientious people are aware of their surroundings and are careful to notice when someone might
Being conscientious is not always easy. It requires a lot of self-awareness and introspection. People who are conscientious are able to see themselves for who they are and what they want to be. They can take an honest look at their values, beliefs, and habits in order to become better people.
Conscientious person will ensure that they don't upset others by either their words or actions. The conscientious person will also be considerate of others' feelings and take into account the likely effects of their words or actions on them before proceeding with them.
It is well-known that conscientious people are more likely to be successful in their careers and relationships. The study of 1,000 drivers in the United States found that those who were more conscientious were less likely to have accidents.
One of the things conscientious people tend to do is be reliable, prompt for meetings & appointments. They're also typically organized in their habits which shows up in many aspects of life!. They like to keep to their schedule and plan for the future. They also keep track of detail and budget well in advance.
Careful people are more focused on achieving their goals, take initiative in academia & work, and feel more productive when they are well-prepared.
This goal-oriented behaviour can be tiring, but it often has high rewards. For example, in a University of Iowa study of the performance of salespeople, conscientious employees achieved more sales than their less competent co-workers.
They are more willing to put in the effort to stay on projects that may be tough or demanding. They might get a reputation among colleagues for being dedicated, which is appealing if you’re looking for someone who can stay with something until it's done
People with the Conscientiousness trait are generally more organised and dependable. They're self-disciplined, they set themselves achievable goals and they prefer things to be planned in advance. These people don't like surprises or sudden changes. Conscientiousness is a critical life skill for several reasons. The trait can help you focus, stay organized, plan ahead, and avoid any potential time-wasting or dangerous scenarios.
Conscientious person might take longer to make decisions but they will be more sure that the final decision was correct. People with conscientiousness are also more likely to pay attention to the potential consequences of their actions. They will take the time to mull over their options rather than make an impulsive decision.
- Always well prepared.
- Always pay attention to details.
- Like to get chores done right away.
- Like the order.
- Follow the schedule.
- Spends time preparing
- Finishes important tasks right away
- Pays attention to detail
- Enjoys having a set schedule
- Dislikes structure and schedules
- Makes messes and doesn't take care of things
- Fails to return things or put them back where they belong
- Procrastinates important tasks
- Fails to complete necessary or assigned tasks
In the same way that other personality traits exist on a continuum, people's level of conscientiousness is also measured on a spectrum. Those whose conscientiousness level is low, tend to be more dismodified and disorganized. People with low levels of conscientiousness have more difficulty meeting their responsibilities, e.g., deadlines or financial obligations.
People who are less conscientious are usually lax about time-keeping. This can often make them late for work or miss important appointments. They also show less goal-orientated behaviour and are driven by other priorities which can prevent them from succeeding.
The study was conducted on a sample of 136 children between the ages of 5 and 12. Researchers found that children whose parents were affectionate towards them tended to score higher on conscientiousness than participants whose parents were more distant. The study also found that parental warmth had no effect on any other personality traits such as agreeableness, neuroticism, or openness.
Studies also showed that there are biological and environmental differences between the personalities of conscientious people and those exhibiting lower levels of the trait.
MRI scans have also identified a link between brain structure and conscientiousness. A study published in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience in 2017 found that the brains of participants who scored higher in conscientiousness had more grey matter volume in the prefrontal cortex.
Yet, conscientiousness does not necessarily remain constant. The extent to which we experience it can vary throughout our lives, but it always remains a part of our personality.
It is a common belief that our personality traits become more fixed as we grow older. According to the ‘maturity principle’, traits such as conscientiousness tend to increase gradually from birth till death. Aside from a slight decrease in maturity from early adolescence to mid-adolescence, there tends to be little change in personality traits throughout adulthood.
The three components of conscientiousness are impulse control, task completion and achievement striving. Additionally, it is suggested that people with a high score on a career test will be able to formulate long-range goals and organize them in a way that will get the individual closer to their goal. Despite short-term troubles they may experience, people usually have a high opinion of conscientious people because they are seen as responsible and reliable.
However, individuals who score high in conscientiousness might also be seen as having negative characteristics. This includes being seen as boring or inflexible. They may also be compulsive perfectionists and workaholics, though this is not always the case
Some of the sub traits of conscientiousness are:
Conscientious people are proactive in making decisions big and small. They tend to set timeframes for their goals, which makes it easier for them to meet what they've set. They also do well in jobs where attention to detail is key, such as surgeons and pilots. It's no surprise that they have a lot of success in these roles.
A new study suggests that people at the higher end of the conscientious scale may be at risk of perfectionism and workaholism and may fare poorly under conditions of high stress. As mentioned, overly conscientious people are prone to mistakes and to becoming overwhelmed by their tasks.
Being punctual and considered to be meticulous in your work is the mark of a conscientious person. They keep to-do lists, prepare thoroughly and before you can blink they will have completed their tasks. They make notes confidently and rarely worry about penning the first draft.
The less conscientious may oversleep, and be late for class or work and avoid tasks that demand action.
What is extraversion?
One of the dimensions of personality, extraversion is typically measured on scales from introversion to extraversion. People who are high in this trait are energetic, sociable and friendlier.
Social scientists have spent years researching what extroversion is and what effect it has on an individual. Extroverts and introverts can both come with pros and cons, but as time progresses you may be able to better understand how your personality fits into your life.
Extraverts are commonly understood as being a ‘people’s person’ drawing energy from being around others directing their energies towards people and the outside world. Extroverts are impulsive and prefer to do an activity rather than think about doing something. They also tend to be more sociable and assertive than introverts, who would rather contemplate or ponder things before acting.
They have a natural tendency to be outgoing and make friends quickly. Extroverts like to talk and tend to be the life of the party. They enjoy doing things such as socializing, participating in group activities, and attending parties.
Extraverts are known for their outgoing personalities, but they can also be reserved. They may enjoy time with friends and family, but they may also need downtime to recharge. There is a common assumption that extroverts are attention seekers. This is definitely not the case as they gain energy from their social interactions and need plenty of external stimulation to feel energised.
It is not uncommon for introverts to be accused of being shy, but in reality, they are just drained from dealing with people and want to recharge by withdrawing from the outside world.
Introverts are often misunderstood by society. While they are not necessarily anti-social, they do not draw energy from being around other people and may even find it draining. Introverts direct their energies inside themselves and towards the internal world of thoughts and feelings.
According to the Myers Briggs personality types, extroverts often work best in high-energy jobs such as sales or teaching. They enjoy social interactions and need to recharge with solitude periodically.
When extraversion is generally about being more excitable, sociable and expressive than other personality types. An individual high in extroversion might be outgoing and enjoy talking to others or be assertive.
Introverts are more reserved & less social than extroverts. Spending time with them is often draining because they need to recharge on their own.
Some of the personality traits;
- Enjoying social situations
- Activity level
- Make friends easily
- Aren’t afraid of risk
- Seek excitement
When it comes to personality types, everyone will meet an extroverted person at some point. For professional or personal reasons this type of person tends to thrive on excitement and is usually very enthusiastic about social interactions.
Extroverts may come across as a little pushy but they're usually natural leaders which mean it's up to them to get the job done. They're usually happier with their work and take a more positive approach to things, convinced that they can be successful.
Extroverted people enjoy and actively cultivate networking and meeting new friends. They're well-equipped to build conversations and form solid, personal connections – giving them the energy they need to be able to function at work or in a social environment.
Extroverts are often enthusiastic and have a positive attitude which can positively affect other people around them. With their natural communication skills, extroverted professionals are the best team players.
Extroverts are typically more open about their lives, they may openly discuss details that can be distracting for leaders or coworkers.
Those high in extraversion on their career test are inclined to seek the company and stimulation of other people. They enjoy engaging with the external world, which is why they thrive on excitement and are enthusiastic, action-oriented individuals.
What makes an individual extrovert? Fundamentally this all boils down to nature vs nurture. Is it that a person becomes extroverted or introverted through how they grow up or is there a genetic component that influences this more than we might think?
The answer to this question is not as simple as it may seem. There are many factors that influence an individual's personality and these can vary from the environment, social structure and genetics. For example, social structure can influence extroversion and introversion. If a person lives in a society that values extroverted behaviour, they will be more likely to develop this trait than if they live in a society that
Studying the genetic link to extraversion shows that there's a major factor in determining whether someone will fall on the extrovert or introvert spectrum. Twin studies have shown that individual experiences carry more weight than genes in shaping an individual's personality.
Introverts or extroverts can change over time, so it's good to be aware of where your current personality tendencies lie. Ambiversion is a term used to describe people who fluctuate between the two extremes.
Ambiverts can be both extroverted and introverted and sometimes flip to one style or the other based on their mood, situation or goals. For example, one can be in the sports team wanting attention but then wants time to himself just as much.
You have likely heard of terms such as outgoing introverts or anti-social extroverts. This means they are ambiverts – which is just a way to describe someone's extroversion on a sliding scale. It's often better understood as being “on the fence” about one's social behaviour – simply put, it could be described as being mixed in their extroversion scale.
Advantages of high extraversion
- Easier to establish valuable relationships
- Able to steer/guide conversations
- Higher levels of confidence
- Cheerful and upbeat
- Easier to start conversations with strangers
- Larger social networks
Disadvantages of extraversion such as:
- Not always work well in solitude
- Manner can be annoying to others
- May take unnecessary risk
- Exhausting personality type
- Over the top and thus, exhaustive
- Rely for others to find satisfaction
Different workplaces call for different personality traits. A high level of introversion may be best suited for workplaces where you only need to interact with people on an occasional basis, like high-level management, engineering, and mathematics.
Positions that require a lot of solitude might better suit an introvert with a lower level of extraversion
Agreeableness is one of the five dimensions of personality. The dimension can be identified by an individual's level of empathy, modesty, and concern for others. Agreeable individuals display a stable and supportive interpersonal style that is characterized by a tendency to cooperate with others and avoid conflict.
Agreeableness is a superordinate trait, meaning that it is a grouping of personality sub-traits that cluster together statistically. The agreeableness trait reflects individual differences in general concern for social harmony. Agreeable individuals value getting along with others. The lower-level traits, or facets, grouped under this broad trait include trust, altruism, straightforwardness and compliance.
In psychology and social science, this personality trait is measured using the agreeableness scale. It is a person's degree of kindness, cooperation, and empathy. People who score high on this dimension are empathetic and altruistic, while a low agreeableness score relates to selfish behaviour and a lack of empathy.
Those who score very low on agreeableness show signs of antagonism or negativeness. Disagreeable individuals place less importance on social harmony and getting along with others. They are generally unconcerned with others' well-being and less likely to extend themselves for other people. A person who scores low on agreeableness may put their own interests above those of others, and be seen as uncaring and unfriendly to other people.
Building teams is easier if team members are agreeable. Studies have found that people who are more agreeable are more likeable than those who aren’t.
While agreeableness may not be useful in some occupations, it can motivate people to make difficult decisions. For example, someone who is low on agreeableness in a personality test often makes excellent scientists, critics, or soldiers.
Agreeability is a personality trait that could be described as cooperative, polite, kind, and friendly. People high in agreeableness are more trusting, affectionate, altruistic and generally engaged in more prosocial behaviours than others.
People high in this trait are particularly empathetic. In fact, they're the first to offer help when people need it.
Neurotic people are less likely to benefit from placebos. Agreeable and resilient people, on the other hand, are more likely to have their pain soothed. During a painful experience, these agreeable/resilient individuals show more activity in a part of the brain called the anterior cingulate cortex.
Some of the sub traits are:
Those who are high in the personality trait of this come to see they're not as important as what is they're doing. They look for common ground with those around them and offer a warm atmosphere for work.
While it might be influenced by genetics, the environment also plays an important role. This trait can change with time, just like most others. Older people generally tend to be more sympathetic to life's little compromises.
In a sense, being agreeable can cause another to be selfless and thereby affect many more people. Seeing someone be agreeable and kind can end up boosting the same in others.
If you are too agreeable, people might take advantage of you and your needs. It’s important to ensure that you don’t give up on your opinions just to avoid arguments. Being too agreeable during discussions could result in poor communication which causes problems.
This can show in relationships when a person sometimes feels that their partner has radically changed since marriage. They might remember feeling much more positive about the partner before they were married, and are unhappy with how much they say “sorry” these days.
Research has shown that as people age they become more persuasive, have a better short-term memory, and are more responsible. Further factors to consider would be that – as their opportunities for a persistent career diminish or disappear – this personality trait may become a more desirable selling point for older employees. Also, living through hardships can make people more agreeable.
High score of Agreeableness
- Takes interest in other people
- Enjoys contributing to the happiness of others
- Assists other in need
Low score of Agreeableness
- Doesn't care about feelings of others.
- Little interest in other people's issues
- Insults and belittles others
- Manipulates, to get what they want
It's always good to have time to collaborate with others, socialize, and build relationships. And people who are agreeable are often well-suited for positions where they need these skills. People who can agree to disagree are less likely to be angry or negative all the time, and less likely to cause conflict, so are suitable for the right profession.
Although being agreeable is often a good thing, it does have some drawbacks for example, people who are agreeable may find it very hard to work alone. Other times, they might have trouble analyzing the validity of arguments. As a result, being not so agreeable may have its fair share of advantages. For one thing, that there is a profession that suits them well.
High Agreeableness Careers
- Public relations
- Human resources
- Event management
- Social science
Low Agreeableness Careers
- Upper management
- Arts criticism
Openness to experience is your level of willingness to try new things. It has long been considered to be one of the five key personality traits.
Those who have a high openness score in their personality type tend to be more open to new things. They enjoy the challenge of experiencing the novel and appreciating what it has to offer. They also have an uncanny potential to think up new ideas and make connections between topics.
Those who are open to new experiences tend to be creative, curious and have a hunger for knowledge. They also tend to be divergent thinkers and able to come up with multiple solutions easily.
People who have high levels of openness are more likely to seek out a variety of experiences, be comfortable with the unfamiliar, and pay attention to their inner feelings more than those who are less open. These individuals are also more likely to be creative and try new things.
Openness is correlated with higher measures of well-being. People high in this trait feel more positive and have warm and loving relationships with the people around them.
People high in Openness are willing they can bring a new approach to things. They have a good imagination and are very curious about the world. Less practical and less analytical, they rely on their intuition.
In the five-factor model, openness is a trait that is believed to have a genetic component and exists on a spectrum. Some people score very high, others very low, and most fall somewhere in the middle.
This is an excellent trait for innovators and creative people to have. Those with an appreciation of diverse perspectives and a willingness to try new things will be better able to make it through the day and come up with new ideas.
There is plenty of evidence suggesting that personality traits can increase or decrease employees' performance at work. A recent study even suggests that having the personality trait, openness to experience is correlated with increased job performance.
The trait of openness is the one that always predicts political orientation. A study in The International Encyclopedia for Social and Behavioural Sciences shows that people who are high in openness are far more likely to support liberalism.
Openness has been correlated with liberal attitudes, towards intimate experiences. And a more open approach to intimate interactions may pays off: Higher levels of openness have been shown to be correlated with greater levels of intimate satisfaction, particularly for women.
There is some evidence to suggest that drug use can actually increase openness for a short period of time. One such example is the sensation of hallucination caused by certain drugs. Those who are more open to new things tend to try out more dangerous activities, like drug use. That is because they embrace the riskier side of life and want to experience everything.
For instance, a person who is invited to talk about their openness to new experiences may still say they're open even if they're actually close, as people generally want to appear as open as possible.
Previous research has found that personality traits affect how people respond to negative life events. For example, a study of the unemployed found that those who scored higher on openness tended to cope better with unemployment. In the current study, researchers analyzed data from a U.S. survey of 10,063 people and found that older respondents reported lower levels of openness (alongside extraversion and neuroticism) than younger counterpart.
Intelligence and openness may be related, but they can also be seen as different dimensions of personality.
The Openness trait explains how open-minded, imaginative, creative and insightful a person is. Individuals with a high openness score are more likely to listen to a different opinion or try something new.
The study found that as we grow older, our willingness to embrace new ideas and experiences gradually decreases.
There have been a number of studies that have found gender differences for openness. One study found women to be more open than men on average, despite no difference in intelligence – so remember to consider this difference when dealing with people from the other gender.
It seems that openness is a key predictor of how we respond to change and new ideas. Those who are higher in openness tend to be more open to new ideas and less averse to change.
Research shows that those who are lower in openness tend to be averse to change and skeptical of new ideas. For example, they might not try a new restaurant or read a book that has been highly praised. They might avoid exploring new places or trying something that is different from their usual routine.
A new study has found that people with lower levels of openness are more likely to be conservative. These individuals are generally more fixated on the status quo and prefer familiarity. They might enjoy routines, people, or ideas that they are already familiar with.
People with low levels of openness prefer familiar routines, people, and ideas in an effort to simplify their lives. This can lead to the perception that they are closed-minded to new ideas or unfamiliar people; however, it's not that they are unwilling to try new things but rather feel more comfortable sticking with what they already know.
High score of openness
- Prefer variety and diversity
- Seek new experiences
- Think and express themselves creatively
- Curious about and perceptive to their environment
Low score of openness
- Avoid change
- Dislike conceptual or abstract thinking
- Uphold traditional values and beliefs
- Narrow focus on few specific interests
What does it mean to be “open-minded”? Are some people genuinely more inclusive in their thinking, more expansive in how they process information? Psychologists have found that people who are open-minded actually process certain situations very differently.
There seems to be a difference in the way people perceive the term “open-minded.” The dictionary definition of open-mindedness is ‘willing to consider other people's opinions, ideas, etc.; not narrow-minded.’ Openness is a broader term than that touched by this article in detail.
A brick can be used as a weapon, paperweight, or broken leg for a sofa. But it can also be smashed up to make paint. Open-minded people see more uses in even the most mundane of objects at the time on need or otherwise.
High openness is important for creative jobs. Jobs such as advertising, research, and other creative occupations all benefit from high levels of openness.
A person who scores low in openness on a career test may excel in jobs that involve routine work and do not require creativity. A study found that people who score lower on openness (and apply to more routine and less creative jobs) earn more than those with higher scores.
The sub traits of the openness are:
- Artistic interests
Behaviour is not just a result of personality. Psychology professor, Dan Ariely, explains that the way people behave in specific situations is influenced by situational variables. For example, when someone enters a room full of people, their behaviour can vary drastically depending on what type of personality they have. The environment a person finds themselves in plays a major role in how they react.
Personality traits are consistent across cultures. People offer responses that are consistent with their underlying personality traits.
You can use these dimensions to learn about a person's personality. Research has shown that people often show a balance of these traits. For example, someone who is sociable tends to also be talkative.
These traits don't always occur together. Personality is complex and varied, meaning that people may display behaviours across several of these dimensions.
Longitudinal studies also suggest that these big five personality traits tend to be relatively stable over the course of adulthood. One study found that personality tended to be stable over a four-year period and displayed little change.
Across psychology and personality research, there are several traits that can characterize a person. Some of these traits might be introversion, extraversion, neuroticism, and openness to experience. Introverts and extroverts differ in how they recharge their energy or feel stimulated: introverts often need time alone to feel recharged, while extroverts need social interaction in order to feel energized.
Studies have shown that as people age, they become less extraverted, less neurotic and open with experience – but more agreeable and conscientious.