Personality Traits & Personality Types: What Is Personality?

Personality Traits & Personality Types: What Is Personality?

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Science Square

To begin with, let’s answer the question of what Personality is. In general, Personality is the accepted combination of thoughts, characteristics, emotions and behaviors that make a person unique. They are the descriptions we use to understand our own qualities, as seen by others. Although personality characteristics remain fairly consistent and permanent throughout life, research suggests that personality is also influenced by biological processes and needs.

Specific characteristics are called Personality Traits and can be either negative or positive, on a socially subjective scale. The most widely accepted personality dispositions that form the five core personality traits, as given by the trait theories, are:

  • Openness: Characterized by such traits as such as imagination and insight, and a wide range of interests that in as well as intellectual curiosity, creativity and an inclination towards novelty and variety.
  • Conscientiousness: Underlined by high levels of thoughtfulness, control on impulsive behavior and portraying goal-directed behaviors. Those high in conscientiousness tend to be more organized and mindful of details. They also act dutifully, aim for achievement, and prefer planned behavior over spontaneity.
  • Extraversion: Individuals with this trait are outgoing, social people with such characteristics as sociability, excitability, talkativeness, with a higher tendency to be emotionally expressive.
  • Agreeableness: Identifies by such traits as trust, kindness, affection, and other interactive social behaviors. It also includes a tendency towards compassion and cooperation, instead of a suspicious or antagonistic attitude towards others.
  • Neuroticism: Involves an inclination towards experiencing emotional instability, moodiness, anxiety, and irritability, as well a low tolerance for stress.

According to researchers,

  • These Big Five personality traits come together in various degrees, to form the basic makeup of our personalities.  A person might exhibit in variable amounts, conscientiousness and openness, some extraversion, plenty of agreeableness and almost no neuroticism at all. Or they could be exactly the opposite.

  • An easy way to remember the Big Five is to remember the word OCEAN, formed by the first letter of each trait.
  • This mnemonic device allows us to not just remember the Big Five personality characteristics that we all share but also reminds us that we share these traits in varying degrees.

Understanding more about our own personalities can help in how we relate to the people around us — and help them understand us better. It can also improve workplace relations and learning behaviors, as the more, we know about our natural traits, the better we can work with them rather than against them.


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