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HEALTH & WELLBEING : Personality traits series #1

Personality are all the unique features of individuals and how they have characteristic ways of thinking, being and doing in the world. A small – but critically important – set of personality traits are referred to as ‘the big five’.

These traits are considered by many to be some of the most known, stable and cross-culturally established ways we express ourselves throughout the lifespan. 

In the coming months we will take a small dive into each of the big five personality traits and realise how we can better understand ourselves and others but for now, let’s start with an introduction into what they are briefly.

They are best memorised with the acronym “OCEAN”. 

  • Openness to experience: General curiosity and appreciation for a variety of experiences. 

  • Conscientiousness: Dutiful, diligent and self-disciplined. 

  • Extraversion: Gaining of energy and vitality from being around others. 

  • Agreeableness: A value in getting along, social concern for other people. 

  • Neuroticism: Is more likely to experience negative emotions. 

Each of these traits are generally placed on a scale when people do psychological tests to determine their own personalities. They are usually quite accurate when done initially and that accuracy appears to extend to others who know you well  enough to consider your traits too (think about your spouse, parents, siblings or close friends).

The actual test to take a look at with the Big Five is found here:

It is recommended it is done once and not repeatedly (especially right away). This is because we’re generally clever creatures as people, so we can quickly learn to answer things as to how we’d want to be rather than how we actually are. Note that there is nothing wrong with wanting to become more and thrive, but for the sake of this test it appears that the  first and innate responses are more reflective of who we are and how we behave in the world. 

We will dive into these more thoroughly as we go forwards. Take the test, see how you go and what you learn about yourself! 

Yours in great health, 

Dr Troy

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