I’m a huge geek when it comes to the Myers-Brigg Type Indicator and the enneagram, and one of my goals for the year was to learn more about another model of understanding personality: the Big Five.
Corporate culture loves MBTI, and spiritual directors love the enneagram, but psychologists have long been squeamish about both, calling them tools for amateurs and laymen. The Big Five is a tool of their own making, and it measures personality across five broad factors. They are:
- Neuroticism (sometimes reversed and called Emotional Stability)
(These five traits are often referred to using the acronym CANOE or OCEAN, which helps me remember them.)
I just finished reading Quirk: Brain Science Makes Sense of Your Peculiar Personality by Hannah Holmes, which provided a decent introduction to the five-factor model for non-scientists like myself. (It didn’t blow me away, but it was the only book I could find on the subject.)
When I finished Quirk, I took yet another personality test–a five factor assessment, this time.
I have a love/hate relationship with personality tests. I love geeking out over the results, but because I’m a terrible decision maker, making two hundred tiny decisions in a row is torture! And I’m not great at answering these questions correctly about my own personality. (I can’t help it, I’m a nine. And an INFP.)
Nevertheless, I muddled through, and my results strike me as reasonably accurate: I scored low on extraversion, high on agreeableness and openness to experience, and average for conscientiousness and neuroticism.
I’m planning on doing some more reading on the Big Five this year. Do you have any recommendations for books or articles? Send them my way.
Take the test for the five factor model of personality here.
Have you heard of the Big Five before? How did you come out on the test, and does it strike you as accurate?
P.S. I wrote a book about personality! In Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything, I walk you through 7 different frameworks, explaining the basics in a way you can actually understand, sharing personal stories about how what I learned made a difference in my life, and showing you how it could make a difference in yours, as well.