For decades, personality researchers have sought to measure how much an individual’s personality contributes to his or her achievement of success. Researchers analyzed personality traits in individuals for approximately 50 years before identifying five basic dimensions of personality (Cherry, 2010). The contents of this paper include brief explanations of the “big five” dimensions and relates them to the case study “A Diamond Personality.”
The “big five” factors are broad and consists of a range of more specific traits (Srivastava, 2010). Researchers do not always agree on the labels for each dimension; however, these five dimensions are usually described as follows (Cherry, 2010):
• Extraversion: This trait includes characteristics such assertiveness, excitability, sociability, talkativeness, and high amounts of emotional expressiveness.
• Agreeableness: This trait includes characteristics such as trust, kindness, affection, and altruism.
• Conscientiousness: This dimension includes high levels of thoughtfulness, organization, attention to details, good impulse control, and goal directed behaviors.
• Neuroticism: This label is often reversed and called Emotional Stability. Individuals high in this trait tend to experience sadness, anxiety, irritability, moodiness, and emotional instability.
• Openness to Experience: This personality dimension features characteristics such as imagination and insight, and individuals high in this trait tend to have a broad range of interests.
Although these dimensions represent broad areas of personality, research has demonstrated these groupings of characteristics tend to occur together in many people. However, these characteristics do not always occur together. For example, an individual who tends to be extraverted may not be talkative; he or she may be the “strong, silent type” (Cherry, 2010).