Big Five Trait Clusters

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In modern psychology, the “Big Five” Personality Traits are five categories of personality that are used to describe human personality and the behaviors in which they differ from each other. Some researchers have concluded that adult personality change is genetically influenced. Researchers say individual differences in the “Big Five” traits are large and highly stable and, an adult scoring high or low at a certain age is likely to do the same at another age, with intervals of three to 30 years’ time (Costa & McCrae, 1994). In more than 150 longitudinal studies with more than 5000 participants, reanalysis showed personality trait stability improved during early and middle adulthood, peaking in the fifties (Roberts & DelVecchio, 2000). These traits are broad categories of personality traits and not all researchers agree on the names given. However, these five categories that remain stable throughout adulthood are: neuroticism, extroversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.

I have listed each trait below and a description of each with high and low ratings. I will rate myself with each trait rated from 1 as very low to 5 as very high, and will rate myself three times on each trait as to “how I was 10 years ago,” how I am now,” and “how I imagine myself to be in 10 years.” I will explain the life patterns I see when considering my answers from the past through the future.

The first trait is Neuroticism. Individuals high on this trait are worrisome, temperamental, self-pitying, self-conscious, emotional, and vulnerable; and those persons low on this trait are calm, even-tempered, self-content, comfortable, unemotional, and hardy.

In explaining how I was 10 years ago, I rate my perception of this characteristic as a 2. I chose this rating because I have been a calm, even-tempered, and contented person. I was comfortable being married, raising my children, and in my work position at the time. The life patterns I see are achieving civic and social responsibilities and assisting my children to become responsible and happy adults.

To explain how I am now, I rate my perception of this characteristic as a 3. I rarely worry, I am not temperamental, I do not pity myself, and I am not self-conscious or emotional. I rated myself a 3 because although I remain calm in tense situations, I have been feeling somewhat vulnerable because my current position as a Licensed Practical Nurse is being eliminated by the hospital I work at in July 2012. I do see myself as somewhat emotional because by the time my job is eliminated; I will have worked at the hospital for 12.5 years. The life patterns I see are finding a social group to interact with in my free time.

And finally, how do I imagine myself to be in 10 years? I perceive myself as being a 2 in ten years. My plan to get my Associate Degree in Nursing, my Registered Nurse license, and to accomplish my Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing in the next three years will complete my goal in education. I plan on getting hired as a RN at the hospital I am currently working at now after passing my State Board tests. I will be at retirement age by ten years’ time and hope to continue to work for at least another five years past my retirement age. The life patterns I see include maintaining a satisfactory performance in my career.

The second trait is Extroversion. Individuals high on this trait are affectionate, talkative, active, fun-loving, and passionate; and those persons who are low on this trait are reserved, quiet, passive, sober, and emotionally nonreactive.

In explaining how I was 10 years ago, I rate my perception as a 3. I chose this number because even though I have an affectionate side to me, and am passionate about my family, and things I like or want to do, I can have fun being active at different times with hiking, traveling, and projects at home. I have not been a really talkative person in my lifetime. This is kind of a crossover, because these...
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