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Big Five Personality Tests

It took long years before the big five personality tests were developed and have eventually become as popular as the Meyer Briggs Type Indicator, also known as the MBTI. Perhaps you have taken MBTI before you entered college or when you were applying for a job. Many employers use the big five personality test to ensure that they hire the right people. You as an applicant will also benefit to find out where you belong since the result of the test will help you determine the right industry for you.

When Sigmund Freud, the father of modern psychology, introduced his school of thought in personality along with Carl Jung, only the MBTI was supposedly the most accurate evaluation of a person’s personality. Now, the Big 5 is in very close competition to it. Concentrating on five main character traits, the big five personality testsis now considered as more relevant and is more credible than MBTI.

The Big 5 History

You might be thinking that whoever made the Big 5 is a genius. Well, it was not only one man who developed the big five personality tests. There are several professionals who worked together to standardize it. Among these were Gordon Allport, Ernest Tupes, Raymond Cattell, Walter Mischel, and several others. It was back in the 1970s when this test was developed by two independent groups. These two groups used different methods and approaches in measuring a person’s personality but in the end, they both concluded that all personality types can be characterized or bucketed into five main categories or dimensions.

To come up with these five main categories, the researchers had to conduct interviews with thousands of people, asking them to answer questionnaires which would help them analyze commonalities. Using several statistical methods, particularly the factor and Lexical analysis, the group was able to identify five basic personalities.

The Big O.C.E.A.N

Maybe you are curious what the big five personality traits measure. Essentially, the big five factors are acronymed as O.C.E.A.N and this represents the five types or categories of personalities that the group came up with.

By taking the test, you will be able to identify your key strengths and weaknesses so it is therefore important that you take it with honesty and integrity. The feedback provided to you is based on your answers and will be a reflection of who you are. By knowing how you are likely going to be perceived, you will be able to detect the key characteristics you need to change or maintain.


This personality type means you are open-minded and you show interest in aesthetics. You are adventurous and you have a lot of new ideas to share. You are curious and you love to create.


With this personality, you are considered as very self disciplined and orderly. You love being organized and you put structure to things. You adhere to tradition and ensure your duties and obligations are fulfilled.


This refers to a person who has a lot of energy to share. If you are this type of person, you are very outgoing and you love being with others. You are comfortable with yourself and you are not insecure.


With this, it is said that you are highly compassionate, cooperative, and can be very forgiving. You are practical and you want to get things done.


The last class is for people who are sensible. If you have this type of personality, you are emotionally unstable and can become neurotic. Individuals with this personality are extremely unpredictable.

The Big Problem

Many critics claim that the big five personality tests are not enough to be used to predict a person’s behaviour or personality. The main problem, critics argue, is that you cannot simplify character or personality under five main categories. After all, people react in different situations and individuality cannot be stereotyped under five categories.

Another problem with the big five personality tests is its lack of theoretical background. According to critics, the test was developed using data out of the surveys and questionnaires that the proponents asked. It is simply based on analysis and not on logical assumptions or studies. The results of the proponents’ studies were not backed up by scientific experimentation and are there susceptible to be clustered in the way they decided it to be.

Although these arguments are scientifically valid, you must keep in mind that the results of the Big 5 Personality Tests are always interrelated and can cross with each other. Although the model is not an exact predictor of who you are or who you will be, it provides a substantial understanding of what you are for the time being.

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