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The Big Five Personality Theories

Background of the big five personality theory

The big five is a personality theory that has been used by psychologists to describe human personality. The theory has five factors which are extraversion, openness, agreeableness, neuroticism and conscientiousness. The most commonly used acronyms in the theory are NEOAC, CANOE or OCEAN. Psychologists believe that there are reasons why people behave the way they do (Carver & Scheier 2000).

The big five theory was derived in 1970 by two research teams; Robert McCrae and Paul Costa at the institute of health and Warren Norman from university of Michigan. Even though the teams took different route, they arrived at a conclusion that most human personality can be narrowed down to five broad dimensions of personality regardless of culture, ethnicity, age or language (Phares, 1991).

This paper explores the thesis that the big five is a personality theory that is used to explain and describe application of communication, basic problem solving, and ethnic diversity, helping relationship and skills and techniques. Many psychologists believe that the theory outlines five basic dimensions of personality that describe these applications

Researches of personality have proposed that in the big five theory, there are five basic dimensions of personality in basic problem solving, ethnic diversity, skills and techniques and establishing and using the helping relationship. These big five dimensions are agreeableness, extraversion, openness, neuroticism and consciousness (Carver & Scheier 2000). The extraversion traits include characteristics such as sociability, high amount of emotional expressiveness, talkativeness, assertiveness and excitability. While the agreeableness includes attributes such as kindness, trust, altruism and other pro-social behaviors. The dimension of openness features traits such as insight and imagination and individual high in this trait tend to poses broad range of interests. Neuroticism makes individuals to experience sadness, anxiety, emotional instability and irritability. While Conscientiousness include traits such as good directed behavior, high levels of thoughtfulness, good impulse control, organized and mindful of details (Phares, 1991).

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