The five-factor model is a commonly used model within psychotherapy and psychology in order to assess people’s personalities. It has also evolved into another assessment tool for personalities which is called HEXACO.
This article examines the original 5-factor model which has the acronym OCEAN:
The HEXACO model has changed this slightly – the X now stands for extroversion, the E is for emotionality and the H is for honesty and humility.
Openness relates to how imaginative you are and how much of a daydreamer you are and how much you might have artistic interests.
Conscientiousness could mean you are someone who likes to complete tasks successfully or if you tend to misjudge situations. Whether you like things in order or if you can work in a mess, whether you like to break or follow the rules, whether you are someone who does enough to get by or if you really like hard work.
Extraversion relates to whether you are warm and friendly easy to get to know or whether, you know, maybe you’ve got a little bit of a cold shoulder and a bit more difficult to get to know. If you are gregarious and love large gatherings or if you prefer to be alone. If you’re assertive and take charge or if you hang back and wait for others to take the lead.
Agreeableness relates to whether you are trusting or distrusting whether you comply or not, whether you make people feel welcome or if you tend to look down on others. If you are straightforward or cooperative. If you are modest or you like being the centre of attention and if you sympathise with others.
Neuroticism – whether you get anxious and worry about things or if you tend to be quite relaxed most of the time. If you’re hostile or get easily irritated depressed or comfortable with yourself self-conscious so whether you’re easily intimidated or embarrassed.
What you will have noticed with those different elements that I’ve just shared with you is that they’re not all on a ‘this’ or ‘that’ kind of scale. For example, we could say with openness, that you are an open person and open to new experiences or maybe you’re more closed off so that’s kind of a ‘this’ or ‘that’ choice. Whereas, with conscientiousness, you are not completely conscientious or not at all. You can be partially so. What I found really interesting from going through the five-factor model for myself today is that it’s relatively accurate in representing my personality. It’s got me thinking to about my new employees who are going to be coming through as to how I might profile them to make sure that they are suitable for my company.
Something like ‘openness to new experience’ is really important in my organisation because we switch things up a lot. Whilst I want someone who can do the job I also want someone who is open to completely changing what they’re doing too.
If someone is looking for a romantic partner and you want someone who is open to new experiences and a bit of an adventurer versus someone who is happy to do the same thing day in and day out and has a more routine behind them. This is a really useful tool for both work and relationship purposes.
The 5-factor personality model can be found here: https://www.truity.com/test/big-five-personality-test-std
I’m interested to hear if your scores reflect who you think you are!
By Gemma Bailey