Defining and gauging temperaments and personality types appear to be one of the cornerstone activities in trait psychology. In attempts to measure human personality, an array of models and tests have been created. The Big Five Model seems to be one of the most recognized methods to define the peculiar ways people behave, think, and feel. Currently, researchers use the model to measure and predict multiple aspects of human life, varying from leadership potential to academic achievements (Sorić, 126). The scope of application of the Big Five Model demonstrates the extent to which specific personality traits can determine one’s life. According to the model, openness to experience, agreeableness, extraversion, conscientiousness, and neuroticism are the most influential factors. Hence, obtaining insight into one’s own behavioral and emotional patterns, cognitions, and qualities can be valuable for self-improvement and development. To describe in-depth my personality, I reflected on my past experiences, considered feedback from people close to me, and took a corresponding test.
Openness is the first trait in the Big Five Model, which is used to measure receptivity to novel ideas and situations. The concept is also related to open-mildness, encompassing similar qualities. Regarding my personality, I consider myself to be rather inquisitive, comfortable in new situations, and ready to try unknown experiences. This self-concept is corroborated by the Big Five Model personality test results that I took and in which scored 70 out of 100 – this result shows a relatively high level of openness. I also enjoyed participating in a variety of extracurricular activities and clubs, which entails certain disadvantages. The primary downside of being involved in multiple activities is the shallowness of interest and its fleeting nature; consequently, I did not reach mastery in any of my school hobbies. Additionally, I am often characterized as insensible and lacking realism by my relatives. This arbitrary opinion accentuates another possible downside of being always open to new experiences – impracticality.
Conscientiousness is a trait defining a person’s capacity to self-organize and exercise self-control to achieve a specific goal. Personality tests based on the Big Five Model assign low scores in this segment to impulsiveness and unreliability. On the other hand, high scores are associated with dedication, dependability, and self-control. My experience with planning, deadlines, and chores suggests moderate conscientiousness (my score is 62). For instance, my trips to other cities were always preceded by scheduling sessions and rather thorough preparation. To choose the most optimal variant, I examined several transportation options and outlined a plan of action. Nonetheless, it seemed vital to leave room for spontaneity so that my plans were drafted but not detailed. However, in some instances, procrastination overpowers me, and I find myself, for example, taking a walk listening to a podcast instead of doing my chores. Yet, I strive to a greater level of persistence and discipline. Hence according to the model, my conscientiousness is closer to medium scores, and my experience supports this idea.
Extraversion is another segment in which I obtained a medium score. This trait is used to explain an individual’s relationships and mode of interaction with the outer world. Extraverted people necessitate more stimulation and social interaction, which does not seem to be applicable in my case. My need for communication and the company appears to be relatively low, as I tend to be quickly exhausted in tumultuous crowded settings. Even though social rewards and connections occupy a fundamental place in my life and, to an extent, predetermine my behavior, I do not have a preoccupying need to belong to a community. Despite the fact that my social life is not limited to a close-knitted friend group or several friends, I prefer to observe rather than directly interact with others in a large gathering. However, I do not think that I am an introvert either, as shyness and reclusiveness are not typical for me. Although I am not a socially dynamic and completely outgoing person, I accumulated a rather large friend group throughout my school years. On the scale of extraversion and introversion, I believe myself to be somewhere closer to the middle.
Agreeableness is a quality that determines the degree to which a person is ready to accommodate others. The lack of friendliness can be expressed in hostility, competitiveness, or possibly antisocial and deviant behavior. I would not characterize myself as an entirely agreeable person. Although I never was an agitator or a rebel, questioning authority was a part of my nature growing up and to a certain level remains it. During my school years, I occasionally tried to undermine the power of my parents and school by sabotaging family dinners and disagreeing with teachers on various general subjects in classes. The impulse to do the opposite of what I was advised or directly told used to be strangely overwhelming. Additionally, I lacked the ability to forgive, and when conflict situations emerged with my friends, sometimes they marked the end of relationships. This behavior can be partially attributed to mood swings during adolescence, yet it is still a part of my character, which I learned to manage over the years.
Some individuals are more inclined to experience negative emotions, and in the Big Five Model, neuroticism is included to measure this trait. Additionally, neuroticism describes how quickly a person becomes alarmed and how readily succumbs to stress. Sometimes neuroticism is replaced by emotional stability in the model. On the neuroticism scale, my score is low, indicating emotional resilience. The moments when I experience frustration, worry, or anger do not last and are easy to control. Intense and stressful conditions, I have a tendency to remain relatively calm and search for possible solutions instead of panicking. For instance, losing my first job did not provoke anxiety or fear, as I received the news calmly. The same day I started searching for a new job and shortly after found one. Yet, my general calmness in the face of problems does not cross the line of carelessness or nonchalance. Overall, based on my experience with stress, I think of myself as emotionally stable.
Conclusively, in accordance with the Big Five model, I would include openness to new experiences, moderate conscientiousness, low agreeableness, and emotional stability to my personality traits. Additionally, regarding the continuum of extraversion and introversion, my experience suggests that I combine qualities of both and can be considered an ambivert. This exercise helped me to gain additional insight into my character and understand what characteristics I should work on. Measuring personality appears to be instrumental in making more informed decisions and accurately analyzing events of one’s life.
Sorić, Izabela, et al. “The Big Five Personality Traits, Goal Orientations, and Academic Achievement.” Learning and Individual Differences, vol. 54, 2017, 126–134.