Personality traits are the distinguishing qualities or characteristics of a person. People’s traits are viewed along a continuum where people are seen to differ in the quantity of a characteristic they display. Yet, how are personality traits grouped and what are some words that describe personality traits?
The field of psychology’s Big Five model uses five words that describe personality traits. The personality traits can be grouped into these categories:
The model is a comprehensive data-driven finding on the most basic personality traits in people. It is a very broad model with several subgroups to describe more specific traits.
People who display the openness trait appreciate adventure, imagination, curiosity, new ideas, emotion, and diversity of experiences. This category separates people who are imaginative from those who are more practical. Open people are often appreciative of art and in amazement of the natural beauty that surrounds them. They are often travelers seeking new cultures and ideas to add to their own experiences.
Scoring high on the openness scale often indicates people who are more creative and able to express and understand their emotions. Scoring low on the scale generally indicates people who are more straightforward or traditional. People with low scores are generally uninterested in the arts and sciences and prefer a simple solution to a more complex or inventive one. Any words that describe adventurous and imaginative people can be used to describe individuals with the openness personality type.
People who score high on the conscientiousness scale show great self-discipline and awareness of their responsibilities to themselves and society. They often have a very high regard for achievement and will use achievement as a means to measure themselves against others. This leads to conscientious people to be very organized, academically prepared and successful in a variety of situations. In fact after intelligence was factored conscientiousness was found to be the most useful predictor of performance in the workplace out of any of the Big Five traits.
People who are conscientious are very organized and follow schedules, but low scores on the conscientiousness scale correlate with people who are unorganized and seemingly unable of accomplishing tasks that they would like to. Low scores are also strongly correlated with procrastination. Any words that describe organized and hard working people can be used to describe individuals with the conscientiousness personality type.
People who score high on the extraversion scale show enthusiasm, self-confidence, and stimulation from other people’s company. They are often full of energy and actively seek out attention from others. Extroverts are often competitive in nature and highly involved in many social circles and activities. Any words that describe fun loving people who are the life of the party can be used to describe individuals with the extraversion personality type.
People who score high on the agreeableness scale show great compassion, cooperativeness, and empathy for all the members of society. They value being congenial with others and will go to great lengths to secure and maintain their relationships. Agreeable people have an optimistic view on human nature and believe that people in general and honest and cooperative. This altruistic view on life leads to them being involved in many social causes. Any words that describe cooperative and caring people can be used to describe individuals with the agreeableness personality type.
People who score high on the neuroticism scale show a propensity to experience anxiety, depression, or anger. They are often easily disturbed or stressed by a variety of common situations leading them to express a negative emotion. This often leads to them experiencing normal interactions as threatening and trivial problems as impossibly difficult. Any words that describe people who are often angry or anxious about normal situations can be used to describe individuals with the neuroticism personality type.
While these are five widely accepted traits, there are many other words to describe aspects of character and personality. View these personality trait flashcards to see more.