Why The “Big Five” Are A Big Deal - PsychTests’ Study Advocates The Importance Of Nurturing Certain Personality Traits

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New study by PsychTests.com indicates that cultivating the Big Five traits, namely Emotional Stability, Extroversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness, can, among other things, act as a buffer against stress, boost social popularity, and increase goal achievement.

These are five personality traits that, if developed and nurtured, can change a person’s life for the better.

Developing the Big 5 traits makes life more colorful.

The Big 5 attributes are linked to academic and professional success, the ability to cope with stress, and even happier marriages.

Achieving self-actualization has always been the goal of an elite few, with even fewer actually attaining it. Most people would gladly settle for straight-up happiness, mixed in with a little financial prosperity. So what is the ever-elusive key to living a relatively happy life that self-improvement gurus are constantly searching for? Why is it that some people are able to walk around with a perpetual grin on their face and song in their heart while others struggle to find a reason to live? The answer is personality. Specifically, five personality traits that, if developed and nurtured, can change a person’s life for the better.

Collecting data from 3,781 people who took their Big Five Personality Test, PsychTests’ study reveals that cultivating Emotional Stability, Open-mindedness, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness and, to some degree, Extroversion, can yield several benefits.

The researchers compared those who score high on all of the Big Five personality traits (i.e. people who are agreeable, emotionally stable, extroverted, conscientious and open-minded) with those who score low on all of the Big 5 traits (people who are disagreeable, neurotic, introverted, careless and close-minded).

According to PsychTests research, of those who score high on the Big Five:

  • 83% thrive under stress and in high-pressure situations (compared to 5% of those who score low on the five traits).
  • 98% consider themselves easy to get along with (compared to 30% of those who score low).
  • 78% are considered popular in their social group (compared to 5% of those who score low).
  • 93% have a wide variety of friends from different cultures and ethnic groups (compared to 60% of those who score low).
  • 88% adapt well to change in general, whether at work or in their personal life (compared to 11% of those who score low).
  • 65% are satisfied with their job (compared to 16% of those who score low).
  • 75% have been rated as a top performer at work (compared to 22% of those who score low).
  • Of the goals they’ve set, 81% have achieved most, if not all of them (compared to 5% of those who score low; in fact, 37% of the low group actually don’t set any goals for themselves).

On the flipside:

  • 73% of those who score low on the Big Five traits experience negative emotions like sadness, guilt, shame or anxiety on a weekly basis (compared to 3% of those who score high).
  • 33% of those who score low find themselves in serious conflict situations on a weekly basis (compared to 6% of those who score high).
  • 36% of those who score low have sought the help of a therapist in the last year. Another 14% are thinking about attending a therapy session (compared to 6% and 5% respectively for those who score high).
  • 34% of those who score low lack tact and have a tendency to offend others, either through their words or actions (compared to 2% of those who score high).

PsychTests' research also reveals interesting gender differences. Men outscored women on Emotional Stability (score of 58 vs. 53, on a scale from 0 to 100) and Openness (score of 70 vs. 68), while women outscored men on Agreeableness (score of 69 vs. 67). No significant gender differences were found for Extroversion and Conscientiousness.

In terms of age differences, older age groups consistently outscored younger age groups on every trait aside from Extroversion, which revealed no statistically significant differences.

“Like other studies, our research solidifies the importance of adopting the Big Five traits,” explains Dr. Jerabek, president of PsychTests. “These attributes have been linked to academic and professional success, the ability to cope with stress, and even happier marriages. So working on developing these traits is really worth the effort. In general, those who score high on the Big Five traits fare much better in life than those who score low.”

“Although we recommend that people strive to nurture all of the Big Five traits, the one gray area would be Extroversion. On the one hand, extroverts do perform slightly better than introverts in several areas – and better than ambiverts, much to our surprise – based on preliminary results from our latest study. However, it’s important for people to understand that there is nothing wrong with being introverted or extroverted; they are orientations, not personality flaws. Contrary to popular belief, an introvert can have very good social skills, just as there are extroverts with poor social skills. Extroverts enjoy the benefits of a strong social support system; they have people to turn to in times of need, and tend to be better networkers. As for introverts, their ability to turn their attention inward and immerse themselves in the world of thoughts and emotions boosts their creativity and allows them to process information in order to make well-informed decisions,” concludes Dr. Jerabek.

Want to assess your Big Five personality? Go to http://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/3892

Professional users of this assessment (therapists, life coaches and counselors) can request a free demo of the Team Orientation Test or any other assessments from ARCH Profile’s extensive battery: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/testdrive_gen_1

To learn more about psychological testing, download this free eBook: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/personality-tests-in-hr

About PsychTests.com
PsychTests.com is a subsidiary of PsychTests AIM Inc. PsychTests.com is a site that creates an interactive venue for self-exploration with a healthy dose of fun. The site offers a full range of professional-quality, scientifically validated psychological assessments that empower people to grow and reach their real potential through insightful feedback and detailed, custom-tailored analysis.

PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see ARCHProfile.com). The company’s research division, Plumeus Inc., is supported in part by Research and Development Tax Credit awarded by Industry Canada.

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Ilona Jerabek
PsychTests AIM Inc.
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