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major dimensions of personality

Your Personality Trait Scores

This Big Five assessment measures your scores on five major dimensions of personality: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism (sometimes abbreviated OCEAN). Check out your scores on each of the five dimensions in the graph below, then read on to discover what each score means.

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Openness

Openness describes a person’s tendency to think in abstract, complex ways. High scorers tend to be creative, adventurous, and intellectual. They enjoy playing with ideas and discovering novel experiences. Low scorers tend to be practical, conventional, and focused on the concrete. They tend to avoid the unknown and follow traditional ways.

Openness is strongly related to a person’s interest in art and culture. People who are high in openness tend to enjoy the arts and seek out unusual, complex forms of self-expression. People who are low in openness are often suspicious of the arts and prefer to focus on more practical pursuits.

Conscientiousness

Conscientiousness describes a person’s ability to exercise self-discipline and control in order to pursue their goals. High scorers are organized and determined, and are able to forego immediate gratification for the sake of long-term achievement. Low scorers are impulsive and easily sidetracked.

The concept of Conscientiousness focuses on a dilemma we all face: shall I do what feels good now, or instead do what is less fun but will pay off in the future? Some people are more likely to choose fun in the moment, and thus are low in Conscientiousness. Others are more likely to work doggedly toward their goals, and thus are high in this trait.

Extraversion

Extraversion describes a person’s inclination to seek stimulation from the outside world, especially in the form of attention from other people. Extraverts engage actively with others to earn friendship, admiration, power, status, excitement, and romance. Introverts, on the other hand, conserve their energy, and do not work as hard to earn these social rewards.

Extraversion seems to be related to the emotional payoff that a person gets from achieving a goal. While everyone experiences victories in life, it seems that extroverts are especially thrilled by these victories, especially when they earn the attention of others. Getting a promotion, finding a new romance, or winning an award are all likely to bring an extrovert great joy. In contrast, introverts do not experience as much of a “high” from social achievements. They tend to be more content with simple, quiet lives, and rarely seek attention from others.

Agreeableness

Agreeableness describes a person’s tendency to put others’ needs ahead of their own, and to cooperate rather than compete with others. People who are high in Agreeableness experience a great deal of empathy and tend to get pleasure out of serving and taking care of others. They are usually trusting and forgiving.

People who are low in Agreeableness tend to experience less empathy and put their own concerns ahead of others. Low scorers are often described as hostile, competitive, and antagonistic. They tend to have more conflictual relationships and often fall out with people.

Neuroticism

Neuroticism describes a person’s tendency to experience negative emotions, including fear, sadness, anxiety, guilt, and shame. While everyone experiences these emotions from time to time, some people are more prone to them than others.

This trait can be thought of as an alarm system. People experience negative emotions as a sign that something is wrong in the world. You may be in danger, so you feel fear. Or you may have done something morally wrong, so you feel guilty. However, not everyone has the same reaction to a given situation. High Neuroticism scorers are more likely to react to a situation with fear, anger, sadness, and the like. Low Neuroticism scorers are more likely to brush off their misfortune and move on.

Your Traits in Depth

Now, we’ll take a detailed look at each of your scores and how they compare with average scores for the population. We’ll see what your scores mean for your individual experiences, and how the latest scientific research can help you to understand what your traits really mean.

Your Openness Score in Depth

Openness describes an individual’s tendency to think in complex, abstract ways. People who are high in Openness are abstract thinkers, while people who are low in Openness are concrete thinkers.

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As a person who is moderate in Openness, you are about as likely as the average person to think in an abstract, creative way. You are neither especially offbeat nor overly conventional in your thinking. You tend to think of yourself as practical, but open to new ideas.

Openness correlates highly with an interest in art and cultural experiences, and as someone who is moderate in this trait, you will probably have some level of interest in art. You may enjoy the occasional museum or symphony performance, but you likely have more conventional interests as well (for instance, sports or popular music). You may also have some artistic hobbies, like painting or dancing, although you may feel that you are not creative enough to really excel. You probably dislike very unusual or experimental forms of art, and prefer to enjoy cultural activities that are a bit more mainstream.