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Thread: More on the "Big Five" Five-Factor Model of Personality

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    More on the "Big Five" Five-Factor Model of Personality

    I mentioned the Big Five model earlier in Theories of personality (Big Five personality traits, Hierarchical structure of the Big Five)
    • Openness to experience (inventive/curious vs. consistent/cautious)
    • Conscientiousness (efficient/organized vs. easy-going/careless)
    • Extraversion (outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved) (often spelled "extroversion")
    • Agreeableness (friendly/compassionate vs. analytical/detached)
    • Neuroticism (sensitive/nervous vs. secure/confident) (may also be called emotional (in)stability)

    Drew D'Agostino has a nice series on the Big Five. In Personality Neuroscience #4: The Big Five personality traits (from Metatraits of the Big Five differentially predict engagement and restraint of behavior. - PubMed - NCBI) he groups them into two supertraits:
    • Stability - "Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is known to stabilize information, disrupt impulses, and allow you to focus on goals."
      • Neuroticism: (-) emotional stability
      • Conscientiousness: motivational stability
      • Agreeableness: social stability
    • Plasticity - "Dopamine is a different neurotransmitter that facilitates exploration, learning, and cognitive flexibility. It controls your sensitivity to rewards and potential rewards."
      • Extroversion
      • Openness

    DDA followed that post with a post on each of the five traits. Each one has two subtraits:
    • Openness - An individual’s ability and tendency to explore and create new experiences, manifesting curiosity, imagination, perception, and creativity.
      • Intellect, which refers to cognitive engagement with abstract information and ideas.
      • Openness to experience, which refers to cognitive engagement with perceptual and sensory information.
    • Conscientiousness - An individual’s ability and tendency to pursue non-immediate goals and follow a set of rules (either self-imposed or imposed by others).
      • Industriousness, which refers to the ability to suppress disruptive impulses and pursue non-immediate goals
      • Orderliness, which refers to the ability to adopt and follow rules (either self-imposed or imposed by others).
    • Extroversion - An individual’s ability and tendency to explore, interact, and engage with external rewards (including social, material, and experiential rewards).
      • Assertiveness, which refers to incentive reward sensitivity - drive toward goals.
      • Enthusiasm, which refers to consummatory reward sensitivity - enjoyment of actual or imagined goal attainment.
    • Agreeableness - An individual’s ability and tendency to understand the perspectives of others and adjust their behavior to accommodate them.
      • Compassion, which refers to emotional attachment to and concern for others.
      • Politeness, which refers to the tendency to suppress and avoid impulses that are aggressive or violate norms.
    • Neuroticism - An individual’s tendency to experience feelings like anxiety, fear, anger, and panic.
      • Volatility, which refers to active defense to avoid or eliminate threats.
      • Withdrawal, which refers to passive avoidance: inhibition of goals, interpretations, and strategies, in response to uncertainty or error.


    Personality Neuroscience #5: The biological causes of Openness
    Personality Neuroscience #6: The biological causes of Conscientiousness
    Personality Neuroscience #7: The biological causes of Extraversion
    Personality Neuroscience #8: The biological causes of Agreeableness
    Personality Neuroscience #9: The biological causes of Neuroticism

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    Dave D'Agostino also discusses biological factors.
    • Openness
      • + Working Memory
      • +? Dopamine
      • - Latent inhibition (getting accustomed to common stimuli)
    • Conscientiousness
      • + Connections between (cognitive control network) and (salience network: about paying attention)
      • + Prefrontal Cortex (brain part) volume
    • Extroversion
      • (Assertiveness) + Dopamine system (pursuit of rewards, though not enjoyment of them)
      • (Enthusiasm) + Opiate system (enjoyment of rewards)
    • Agreeableness
      • (Politeness) + Serotonin
      • (Politeness) - Testosterone
      • (Compassion) + Empathy-system connections and activity (mirror neurons)
    • Neuroticism
      • + Fight-flight-freeze system (FFFS) (quick responses to danger)
      • + Behavioral-inhibition system (BIS) (responds to threats of punishment, confusion, and anger)
      • + HPA (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal) axis (regulates response to stress)


    From twin studies, heritability of all five factors is around 50%. But one can nevertheless train oneself to have more or less of some factor. Also, as we age, we get more Conscientiousness, more Agreeableness, and less Neuroticism. In short, more Stability.

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    THE FIVE UNIVERSAL SUPERTRAITS OF THE HUMAN PERSONALITY Author Bálint Kőszegi lists the Big Five factors and compares them to other theories.

    BK starts with biological basis:
    • Openness: Increased breadth of mental associations
    • Conscientiousness: Increased ability to inhibit impulses (prefrontal cortex)
    • Extroversion: Increased sensitivity to reward (dopamine, midbrain)
    • Agreeableness: Increased empathy and regard for others
    • Neuroticism: Increased sensitivity to threat (serotonin, limbic system)


    Other theories, with approximate matches. LG = Lewis Goldberg, RC = Raymond Cattell, HE = Hans Eysenck, AH = Allan Harkness, MBTI = Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, inspired by Carl Jung, HBDI = Hermann Brain Dominance Instrument, DISC = Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, Conscientiousness.

    - Neuroticism Extroversion Openness Agreeableness Conscientiousness
    LG's Lexical Big 5 (-) Emotional Stability Surgency Intellect/Culture Agreeableness Conscientiousness
    RC's 5 Global Factors Anxiety Extroversion Receptivity (-) Independence Self-Control
    HE's P-E-N Model Neuroticism Extroversion (-) Psychoticism (-) Psychoticism
    AH's MMPI-2 Psy-5 Negative Emotionality Positive Emotionality Psychoticism (-) Aggressiveness (-) Disconstraint
    MBTI - E Extroversion N Intuition F Feeling J Judging
    (-) MBTI - I Introversion S Sensing T Thinking P Perceiving
    HBDI - - D Imaginative C Interpersonal -
    (-) HBDI - - B Sequential A Analytical -
    DISC - Active (D & I) - People (I & S) -
    (-) DISC - Passive (S & C) - Task (D & C) -

    Two of the theories features mixtures of two of the Big Five factors.

    DISC:
    Dominance +E -A
    Influence +E +A
    Steadiness -E +A
    Conscientiousness -E -A

    Hippocrates's Four-Humor Theory (~400 BCE)
    Sanguine +E -N
    Choleric +E +N
    Phlegmatic -E -N
    Melancholic -E +N

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    Why do you post this in science?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Juma View Post
    Why do you post this in science?
    Because it's mainstream personality psych?

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    Quote Originally Posted by J842P View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Juma View Post
    Why do you post this in science?
    Because it's mainstream personality psych?
    Yes, that's my reason.

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    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    I mentioned the Big Five model earlier in Theories of personality (Big Five personality traits, Hierarchical structure of the Big Five)
    • Openness to experience (inventive/curious vs. consistent/cautious)
    • Conscientiousness (efficient/organized vs. easy-going/careless)
    • Extraversion (outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved) (often spelled "extroversion")
    • Agreeableness (friendly/compassionate vs. analytical/detached)
    • Neuroticism (sensitive/nervous vs. secure/confident) (may also be called emotional (in)stability)

    Drew D'Agostino has a nice series on the Big Five. In Personality Neuroscience #4: The Big Five personality traits (from Metatraits of the Big Five differentially predict engagement and restraint of behavior. - PubMed - NCBI) he groups them into two supertraits:
    • Stability - "Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is known to stabilize information, disrupt impulses, and allow you to focus on goals."
      • Neuroticism: (-) emotional stability
      • Conscientiousness: motivational stability
      • Agreeableness: social stability
    • Plasticity - "Dopamine is a different neurotransmitter that facilitates exploration, learning, and cognitive flexibility. It controls your sensitivity to rewards and potential rewards."
      • Extroversion
      • Openness

    DDA followed that post with a post on each of the five traits. Each one has two subtraits:
    • Openness - An individual’s ability and tendency to explore and create new experiences, manifesting curiosity, imagination, perception, and creativity.
      • Intellect, which refers to cognitive engagement with abstract information and ideas.
      • Openness to experience, which refers to cognitive engagement with perceptual and sensory information.
    • Conscientiousness - An individual’s ability and tendency to pursue non-immediate goals and follow a set of rules (either self-imposed or imposed by others).
      • Industriousness, which refers to the ability to suppress disruptive impulses and pursue non-immediate goals
      • Orderliness, which refers to the ability to adopt and follow rules (either self-imposed or imposed by others).
    • Extroversion - An individual’s ability and tendency to explore, interact, and engage with external rewards (including social, material, and experiential rewards).
      • Assertiveness, which refers to incentive reward sensitivity - drive toward goals.
      • Enthusiasm, which refers to consummatory reward sensitivity - enjoyment of actual or imagined goal attainment.
    • Agreeableness - An individual’s ability and tendency to understand the perspectives of others and adjust their behavior to accommodate them.
      • Compassion, which refers to emotional attachment to and concern for others.
      • Politeness, which refers to the tendency to suppress and avoid impulses that are aggressive or violate norms.
    • Neuroticism - An individual’s tendency to experience feelings like anxiety, fear, anger, and panic.
      • Volatility, which refers to active defense to avoid or eliminate threats.
      • Withdrawal, which refers to passive avoidance: inhibition of goals, interpretations, and strategies, in response to uncertainty or error.


    Personality Neuroscience #5: The biological causes of Openness
    Personality Neuroscience #6: The biological causes of Conscientiousness
    Personality Neuroscience #7: The biological causes of Extraversion
    Personality Neuroscience #8: The biological causes of Agreeableness
    Personality Neuroscience #9: The biological causes of Neuroticism
    All psychiatrists I've asked about big five have said that it's a flawed test, because we're likely to switch groups a lot, even within the same day. It seems to be a pop-psychological thing, more used to sell books than to actually help anyone

    I don't have an opinion myself. I'm not a psychologist/psychiatrist. I don't know enough to argue for or against.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    I mentioned the Big Five model earlier in Theories of personality (Big Five personality traits, Hierarchical structure of the Big Five)
    • Openness to experience (inventive/curious vs. consistent/cautious)
    • Conscientiousness (efficient/organized vs. easy-going/careless)
    • Extraversion (outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved) (often spelled "extroversion")
    • Agreeableness (friendly/compassionate vs. analytical/detached)
    • Neuroticism (sensitive/nervous vs. secure/confident) (may also be called emotional (in)stability)

    Drew D'Agostino has a nice series on the Big Five. In Personality Neuroscience #4: The Big Five personality traits (from Metatraits of the Big Five differentially predict engagement and restraint of behavior. - PubMed - NCBI) he groups them into two supertraits:
    • Stability - "Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is known to stabilize information, disrupt impulses, and allow you to focus on goals."
      • Neuroticism: (-) emotional stability
      • Conscientiousness: motivational stability
      • Agreeableness: social stability
    • Plasticity - "Dopamine is a different neurotransmitter that facilitates exploration, learning, and cognitive flexibility. It controls your sensitivity to rewards and potential rewards."
      • Extroversion
      • Openness

    DDA followed that post with a post on each of the five traits. Each one has two subtraits:
    • Openness - An individual’s ability and tendency to explore and create new experiences, manifesting curiosity, imagination, perception, and creativity.
      • Intellect, which refers to cognitive engagement with abstract information and ideas.
      • Openness to experience, which refers to cognitive engagement with perceptual and sensory information.
    • Conscientiousness - An individual’s ability and tendency to pursue non-immediate goals and follow a set of rules (either self-imposed or imposed by others).
      • Industriousness, which refers to the ability to suppress disruptive impulses and pursue non-immediate goals
      • Orderliness, which refers to the ability to adopt and follow rules (either self-imposed or imposed by others).
    • Extroversion - An individual’s ability and tendency to explore, interact, and engage with external rewards (including social, material, and experiential rewards).
      • Assertiveness, which refers to incentive reward sensitivity - drive toward goals.
      • Enthusiasm, which refers to consummatory reward sensitivity - enjoyment of actual or imagined goal attainment.
    • Agreeableness - An individual’s ability and tendency to understand the perspectives of others and adjust their behavior to accommodate them.
      • Compassion, which refers to emotional attachment to and concern for others.
      • Politeness, which refers to the tendency to suppress and avoid impulses that are aggressive or violate norms.
    • Neuroticism - An individual’s tendency to experience feelings like anxiety, fear, anger, and panic.
      • Volatility, which refers to active defense to avoid or eliminate threats.
      • Withdrawal, which refers to passive avoidance: inhibition of goals, interpretations, and strategies, in response to uncertainty or error.


    Personality Neuroscience #5: The biological causes of Openness
    Personality Neuroscience #6: The biological causes of Conscientiousness
    Personality Neuroscience #7: The biological causes of Extraversion
    Personality Neuroscience #8: The biological causes of Agreeableness
    Personality Neuroscience #9: The biological causes of Neuroticism
    All psychiatrists I've asked about big five have said that it's a flawed test, because we're likely to switch groups a lot, even within the same day. It seems to be a pop-psychological thing, more used to sell books than to actually help anyone

    I don't have an opinion myself. I'm not a psychologist/psychiatrist. I don't know enough to argue for or against.
    That's not the Big Five, you are thinking of the Myer's Briggs, which is not really taken seriously in the personality psych community, but laypeople people seem to eat it up, and it is sold to hiring managers as a way of screening candidates. I think it is more similar to astrology and horoscopes than serious science, although that may be harsh. It's basically a failed model that got really popular among non-psychologists and business people.

    The Big Five on the other hand, is taken seriously. Although, it is somewhat controversial (or rather, some people simply don't find it appealing), because it is an empirically derived model, essentially the result of factor analysis on personality survey data. In terms of explanatory value, it is probably the most robust model in personality psych, which is often criticized for its lack of rigor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J842P View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    I mentioned the Big Five model earlier in Theories of personality (Big Five personality traits, Hierarchical structure of the Big Five)
    • Openness to experience (inventive/curious vs. consistent/cautious)
    • Conscientiousness (efficient/organized vs. easy-going/careless)
    • Extraversion (outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved) (often spelled "extroversion")
    • Agreeableness (friendly/compassionate vs. analytical/detached)
    • Neuroticism (sensitive/nervous vs. secure/confident) (may also be called emotional (in)stability)

    Drew D'Agostino has a nice series on the Big Five. In Personality Neuroscience #4: The Big Five personality traits (from Metatraits of the Big Five differentially predict engagement and restraint of behavior. - PubMed - NCBI) he groups them into two supertraits:
    • Stability - "Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is known to stabilize information, disrupt impulses, and allow you to focus on goals."
      • Neuroticism: (-) emotional stability
      • Conscientiousness: motivational stability
      • Agreeableness: social stability
    • Plasticity - "Dopamine is a different neurotransmitter that facilitates exploration, learning, and cognitive flexibility. It controls your sensitivity to rewards and potential rewards."
      • Extroversion
      • Openness

    DDA followed that post with a post on each of the five traits. Each one has two subtraits:
    • Openness - An individual’s ability and tendency to explore and create new experiences, manifesting curiosity, imagination, perception, and creativity.
      • Intellect, which refers to cognitive engagement with abstract information and ideas.
      • Openness to experience, which refers to cognitive engagement with perceptual and sensory information.
    • Conscientiousness - An individual’s ability and tendency to pursue non-immediate goals and follow a set of rules (either self-imposed or imposed by others).
      • Industriousness, which refers to the ability to suppress disruptive impulses and pursue non-immediate goals
      • Orderliness, which refers to the ability to adopt and follow rules (either self-imposed or imposed by others).
    • Extroversion - An individual’s ability and tendency to explore, interact, and engage with external rewards (including social, material, and experiential rewards).
      • Assertiveness, which refers to incentive reward sensitivity - drive toward goals.
      • Enthusiasm, which refers to consummatory reward sensitivity - enjoyment of actual or imagined goal attainment.
    • Agreeableness - An individual’s ability and tendency to understand the perspectives of others and adjust their behavior to accommodate them.
      • Compassion, which refers to emotional attachment to and concern for others.
      • Politeness, which refers to the tendency to suppress and avoid impulses that are aggressive or violate norms.
    • Neuroticism - An individual’s tendency to experience feelings like anxiety, fear, anger, and panic.
      • Volatility, which refers to active defense to avoid or eliminate threats.
      • Withdrawal, which refers to passive avoidance: inhibition of goals, interpretations, and strategies, in response to uncertainty or error.


    Personality Neuroscience #5: The biological causes of Openness
    Personality Neuroscience #6: The biological causes of Conscientiousness
    Personality Neuroscience #7: The biological causes of Extraversion
    Personality Neuroscience #8: The biological causes of Agreeableness
    Personality Neuroscience #9: The biological causes of Neuroticism
    All psychiatrists I've asked about big five have said that it's a flawed test, because we're likely to switch groups a lot, even within the same day. It seems to be a pop-psychological thing, more used to sell books than to actually help anyone

    I don't have an opinion myself. I'm not a psychologist/psychiatrist. I don't know enough to argue for or against.
    That's not the Big Five, you are thinking of the Myer's Briggs, which is not highly regarded in the personality psych literature.

    The Big Five on the other hand, is taken seriously. Although, it is somewhat controversial (or rather, some people simply don't find it appealing), since essentially it is a purely empirical model, derived from factor analysis on personality survey data.
    Aha... no you're right. sorry

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    My own score:
    • Openness: high
    • Conscientiousness: high
    • Extroversion: low
    • Agreeableness: middle
    • Neuroticism: low


    Bálint Kőszegi has a diagram of the hierarchy of factors in the Big Five model. I will turn it into a nested list and add the two superfactors.
    • Stability
      • Conscientiousness
        • Industriousness: Achievement Striving, Competence, Self-Discipline
        • Orderliness: Deliberation, Dutifulness, Order
      • Agreeableness
        • Compassion: Tender-Mindedness, Altruism, Trust
        • Politeness: Compliance, Modesty, Straightforwardness
      • Neuroticism
        • Volatility: Angry Hostility, Impulsiveness
        • Withdrawal: Anxiety, Depression, Self-Consciousness, Vulnerability
    • Plasticity
      • Openness
        • Intellect: Ideas
        • Esthetic Openness: Actions, Aesthetics, Fantasy, Feeling, Values
      • Extroversion
        • Enthusiasm: Gregariousness, Positive Emotions, Warmth, Excitement-Seeking
        • Assertiveness: Activity, Assertiveness, Excitement-Seeking

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