The Big Five: In the Professional Literature

Counting search-engine hits is a rather crude way of estimating the interest that the scientific community has in various theories, but it is a rather simple one.

I find with it that the Big Five personality model has by far the most hits among the personality models that I surveyed. Myers-Briggs got only 1/10 of its hits, HEXACO (Big Five + Honesty/Humility) 2%, and the enneagram (nine personality types) 1%.

So if you want to take an online personality quiz, take a Big Five one. If anything, I find it easier to interpret than Myers-Briggs. But if you want to take a Myers-Briggs one, look for one that returns continuous values. Binary ones, ones like extrovert or introvert with nothing in between, are pretty much worthless.

Continue reading

The Big Five: Subtraits

Drew D’Agostino, in his series starting with Are personality differences real? An introduction to personality neuroscience., not only discusses supertraits of the Big Five but also subtraits or aspects of them (Allen_DeYoung_FFM_neuroscience.pdf – Google Drive). Bálint Kőszegi in THE FIVE UNIVERSAL SUPERTRAITS OF THE HUMAN PERSONALITY mentions some sub-subtraits of the Big Five, some NEO facets. Below the fold is a combined list, using DDA’s descriptions of the subtraits.

Continue reading

The Big Five: Supertraits

Drew D’Agostino has a nice series on the Big Five personality traits: Are personality differences real? An introduction to personality neuroscience.. In Personality Neuroscience #4: The Big Five personality traits, DDA worked from Metatraits of the Big Five differentially predict engagement and restraint of behavior. – PubMed – NCBI and noted that the Big Five are not completely independent, but instead fall into two clusters: stability and plasticity. Each one is associated with its own neurotransmitter,

Continue reading

The Big Five: Alternatives

Here I will discuss various alternatives to the Big Five personality model, and I will show that they all fit into it in some way or other. They are:

Continue reading

The Big Five: Their Biology

There is some evidence of a biological basis for the Big Five personality traits, in the form of evidence of brain-activity variations corresponding to variations in four of the five.

There is also some evidence that Big-Five variations are partially heritable, and there is some evidence of differences between the sexes. However, the variations also have a strong environmental component, something that suggests that we may be able to shape our personalities to some degree.

Many other species also have personality variations, and some of these variations may be very old, dating back to the common ancestors of much of the animal kingdom.

Continue reading