The concept of the "Big Five" personality traits is taken from psychology and includes five broad domains that describe personality. These five personality traits are used to understand the relationship between personality and various behaviors. The traits are:
Openness to experience reflects the degree of intellectual curiosity, creativity, and preference for novelty and variety. Some disagreement remains about how to interpret this factor, which is sometimes called intellect rather than openness.
Extraversion includes energy, positive emotions, assertiveness, sociability, talkativeness, and the tendency to seek stimulation in the company of others.
Agreeableness is the tendency to be compassionate and cooperative rather than suspicious and antagonistic toward others.
Neuroticism is the tendency to experience unpleasant emotions easily such as anger, anxiety, depression, or vulnerability. Neuroticism also refers to the degree of emotional stability and impulse control and is sometimes referred to as emotional stability.
All five of these factors are assumed to represent the basic structure behind all personality traits. These five factors were defined and discovered by several different researchers during multiple periods of research. However, as a result of their broad definitions, the Big Five personality traits are not nearly as powerful in predicting and explaining actual behavior as are the more numerous lower-level, specific traits.
When scored for individual feedback, these traits are frequently presented as percentile scores. For example, a conscientiousness rating in the 80th percentile indicates a relatively strong sense of responsibility and orderliness, whereas an extraversion rating in the 5th percentile indicates an exceptional need for solitude and quiet. Employees are sometimes tested on the Big Five personality traits in collaborative situations to determine what strong personality traits they can add to the group dynamic (Figure 1). In addition, personality tests may be a part of a behavioral interview process when a company is hiring to determine an individual's ability to act on certain personality characteristics.