Anyone totally obsessed with personality quizzes will likely know that the reigning champ in psychology is The Big Five. This test holds that dimensions of personality can be divided into five main personality traits — and, as it turns out, we can also use these traits to deduce what common, everyday habits say about your personality. It's all very well and good knowing what our personality type is, but knowing how that might affect our everyday behaviors could go a long way towards helping explain more about why human beings do what they do.
Instead of classifying people into categories, the Big Five theory describes personalities depending on where the person falls on a spectrum of five distinct traits. Extraversion measures how friendly and social you are; agreeableness looks at well you get on with others; openness to experience compares adventure and caution; and conscientiousness examines carelessness versus meticulousness.
That all sounds a bit ambiguous unless you know what it all means in everyday life, right? Luckily, Science Of Us has the rundown on a recent study which allows us to see how the Big Five traits relate to our day today existence. The research, conducted by by Benjamin P. Chapman and Lewis R. Goldberg and published in Personality and Individual Differences, examined data from the ’90s where previous respondents who answered the Big Five inventory also analyzed questions related to the Act-Frequency Approach, which looks at how everyday, mundane behaviors relate to regular life. After analyzing both sets of data and comparing them, the researchers established a list of things humans often do which correlated to certain Big Five characteristics.
According to the study, people who display high levels of agreeableness are more likely to sing in the shower. It's also been accepted within the tenets of the Big Five that agreeable people generally have a wide circle of friends, but have trouble getting ahead at work. The opposite to being agreeable, of course, is being aggressive and disagreeable, with previous research suggesting that those with outlandish walking styles tend to be a little more aggressive.
If you're extroverted, you constantly crave social interaction and love being around people, according to the classifications of the Big Five. However, Chapman and Goldberg's study concluded that extroverts also like "telling dirty jokes." Science Of Us also notes that extroverts are more likely to lean towards riskier behaviors such as driving while talking on the phone, or speeding at more than 75 miles per hour. Yikes.
The current study says that if you're higher in levels of conscientiousness, you're less likely to nibble on a pencil. Previous research has also pointed to this type of person being meticulous, a hard worker, and as having incredible attention to detail. In contrast, non-conscientious people are more slapdash with how they carry out tasks and are happier to leave things half finished.
Openness To Experience
Science Of Us noted that scientists found the most interesting results about how our personalities change based on this category. Those higher in intellect, or openness to experience, as it's also known, are apparently more likely to be artistic, curse in public, walk around their house naked, buy organic food, eat spicy breakfasts and not follow a sports team. Sound like anyone you know?
The Big Five test suggests that if you're neurotic, you tend to be a little volatile at times and are less in control of your own emotions. In contrast, those who are more emotionally stable tend to give less of a hoot what others think of them.
Of course, it's usually worth taking personality tests with a grain of salt — even the Big Five. No matter what negative traits you think you display, you can always retrain your brain and learn behaviors to help make your daily life easier. Research also shows your personality is still in flux until you hit 30, too, so who you are right now might not be who you are in a few years. Failing that, it's good to remember that we can all just work on being the best versions of ourselves, too.