13 julio, 2024

Top 10 Personality Traits (with Examples)

The personality traits They are a set of tendencies, behaviors, ways of thinking, and emotional patterns that are formed through the interaction of biological and environmental factors. These traits are considered stable in a person; that is, they are maintained over time and manifest themselves in similar ways in very different situations.

Theories that understand personality as a set of traits support the idea that there are a series of basic factors that can be used to predict a person’s behavior in any situation. Some of the major trait theories out there are Raymond Cattell’s, Carl Jung’s, Hans Eysenck’s, and the Big Five model.

As an alternative, there are also some theories that understand personality as a set of learning and habits, and therefore would not have a genetic component. However, these have less scientific support and are therefore less commonly used in therapy or research contexts.

The study of character traits is known as «personality psychology.» This discipline tries to take into account biological, cognitive, learning and psychodynamic factors to formulate what are supposed to be the fundamental components of our personality. In this article we will see some of the traits that have more evidence.

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What is personality?

Personality is a concept that is used very frequently and that serves to describe the characteristics of a person, that is, the way of being that an individual has.

Personality is the deeply ingrained patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior that characterize a person’s unique lifestyle and mode of adaptation and are the consequence of constitutional, developmental, and social experience factors.

Thus, personality can be understood as the set of emotional and behavioral traits (relatively stable and predictable) that characterize a person in their daily life.

Personality traits according to the Big Five model

One of the most accepted personality theories in the world of psychology is the Big Five model. It was developed from a process of factor analysis (a statistical technique), which found that when conducting personality interviews, five factors appeared over and over again to describe people.

The five factors described in this model are openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Each of them is divided, in turn, into smaller features that correlate with each other. It has been proven that genetics has a very important weight in the formation of each one of them.

1- Openness to experience

Openness to experience is a personality factor that refers to the ability to appreciate unusual ideas, art forms, varied experiences, and unusual lifestyles. People who score high on this trait tend to seek adventure, have a good imagination, are curious, and experience a broader range of emotions.

People with a high openness to experience are typically more in touch with their own feelings, and tend to have unusual beliefs and lifestyles. Normally, in addition, they tend to seek intense experiences with the aim of improving themselves.

On the contrary, people with little openness to experience tend to be dogmatic, they are against what is not familiar to them, and they tend to have more problems accepting the changes that occur in their routine and adapting to them.

A person with high openness to experience could be, for example, an artist who leads a bohemian lifestyle, or someone who lives an unconventional lifestyle, such as commune dwellers, travelers, or those in an open relationship. Often, individuals with this trait spend a lot of time reflecting on topics such as philosophy, art, psychology, or metaphysics.

2- Responsibility

Responsibility is understood as the tendency to seek the resolution of objectives and goals, to use self-discipline, and to control, regulate and redirect one’s own impulses to achieve a specific goal. People who score high on this personality factor are usually able to focus easily on a task, and are generally perceived as stubborn.

On the other hand, low responsibility is associated as much with mental flexibility and spontaneity as with lack of coherence, difficulty achieving goals, and laziness. Interestingly, it has been proven that the levels of responsibility are one of the best predictors of the professional and personal success that an individual will achieve in her life.

An example of a person with high responsibility could be a businessman with a stable schedule, who gets up every day at the same time to complete his tasks and does not let any external factor influence his obligations. In contrast, someone with low responsibility might be a student who neglects his obligations and spends a lot of time partying and playing video games.

3- Extraversion

Extraversion is defined as the level of need that a person has to receive external stimulation, and their tendency to seek it. In this way, someone who is very extroverted will continually seek participation in intense activities and relationships with other people, while someone who is more introverted will prefer solitude and carry out calmer activities.

It has been proven that the level of extraversion of an individual has to do with the functioning of their nervous system, making it one of the most stable and difficult to change personality factors that exist.

An extroverted person would be one who would prefer to be in the company of others as long as possible. These individuals tend to seek noisy environments and high intensity activities such as extreme or team sports; and in general they are capable of becoming leaders of their social groups.

In contrast, introverts don’t need as much stimulation, and they tend to feel exhausted if they engage in very intense activities. Because of this, they tend to prefer more solitary hobbies, such as reading, practicing music, or computer programming. However, it is important not to confuse introversion with pathologies such as depression or social anxiety.

4- Cordiality

Friendliness is a common personality factor in people who seek to maintain social harmony and get along as well as possible with others. Characteristics include compassion, empathy, generosity, and a willingness to put aside your needs to care for other individuals.

Conversely, people with low cordiality are those who have a trait known as psychoticism. These individuals find it difficult to put themselves in the shoes of others, and tend to put their interests ahead of those of others.

An example of a person with high cordiality could be a volunteer who goes to another country to take care of sick children; while someone with very low cordiality would be a criminal who does not hesitate to rob others to improve their economic situation.

5- Neuroticism

Neuroticism is the personality factor that predicts the tendency to experience negative emotions, such as anger, depression, or anxiety. It is also known as emotional instability, and those who score high on it have difficulty controlling their own feelings and have them very intensely.

People with high neuroticism tend to be more vulnerable to stress, lose control of their emotions easily, and are prone to mental illness. Conversely, those who score low on this trait are more stable and often report being happier.

An example of a person with high neuroticism would be the person with agoraphobia, whose emotions go so far as to prevent them from leaving the house.

Eysenck three-dimensional model

It is interesting to briefly comment on Eysenck’s three-dimensional model, which postulates only 3 main personality traits.

According to Eysenck’s theory, there are three main and independent dimensions of personality. These are: extraversion vs. intraversion, neuroticism vs. emotional stability, and psychoticism.

Each of these traits specify a series of characteristics, so it depends on the point that a person is in, they will have a specific personality. Let’s see how Eysenck specifies these three factors.

Extraversion vs Intraversion

Regarding the extraversion vs. intraversion trait, Eysenck demonstrates how extroverted people are characterized by being sociable, vital, active, assertive, carefree, dominant, and ambitious.

A person with a high trait of extroversion will have these characteristics in their personality, while a person with a high trait of introversion will be characterized by the opposite.

Neuroticism vs emotional stability

Regarding the neuroticism trait vs. emotional stability, Eysenck proposes that people with a high neuroticism trait will be anxious, depressed, with feelings of guilt, low self-esteem, constant tension, irrationality, labile and shy.

On the other hand, people who have the opposite characteristics in this trait will be defined as having high emotional stability.

psychoticism

Finally, the third trait postulates that people with high psychoticism tend to be aggressive, cold, self-centered, impersonal, impulsive, antisocial, not very empathetic, and with closed minds.

other traits

Although the Big Five model is the most widespread and accepted, there are other personality models that include different factors. Next we will see some of the most important ones.

Reasoning

Reasoning has to do with a person’s intellectual capacity. Someone with a high score in this trait would have an easier time understanding the world, comprehending abstract ideas, learning about all kinds of subjects, and adapting to changing environments.

On the contrary, people with low reasoning ability would have less ability to adapt to their environment, because it is more difficult for them to understand what is happening to them and because they have higher levels of mental rigidity.

Dominance

Dominance is the tendency to compete, to act independently and authoritatively, and to try to outdo others and try to get them to behave the way we want them to. On the contrary, submissive people tend to be more conformist, avoid conflict and follow the orders of other individuals.

An example of a person with high levels of dominance could be Steve Jobs, the businessman famous for his aggressiveness with his employees and his need to control the entire creative process in his company.

group conformity

The group conformity trait has to do with the ability to act independently when our reference group judges us for it. The…

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