While reading about psychology recently, I came across something that defines a person’s personality or behavior. It is called the five personality dimensions. It broadly classifies the personality traits of a person.
1. Extraversion: This basically defines how you express yourself – like being talkative, outgoing or reserved. We know them as extroverts who are on the higher end of this trait and introverts who are on the lower end of this trait.
2. Agreeableness: This personality dimension defines how compassionate you are. There are some people who always seem to be kind, affectionate while those on the other end are unkind and harsh.
3. Conscientiousness: This personality trait basically defines your levels of thoughtfulness. How efficient or organized a person is vs. being careless or easy going. How much goal oriented a person is, meticulously planning, being mindful of the finest details are some of the behaviors that define this trait. Basically perfectionists vs. a very clumsy person fall on opposites of the conscientiousness grid.
4. Neuroticism: This behavior is directly connected to the brain and hence describes the emotional side of the person. Person having high levels of this trait are generally more sensitive, express anxiety, moodiness while the person on the other end of the graph is confident and stable.
5. Openness: This trait distinguishes a person’s imaginative side. Basically an optimistic vs. a pessimistic, someone who is inventive and ready to take up challenges vs. someone who is cautious and wants stability.
Obviously each of us has these traits at varying amounts and the quantity of each of these traits defines each one of us uniquely. Not everyone will be high on all or low on all. I am sure while reading through the traits above most of you would have tried to connect it with your own self and probably also thought about someone you know who describes one or more of the behavior in a stronger way.
I am high on 2-3 of the traits above while midway on the rest. However, a person’s behavior doesn’t just depend on these traits but also on the surroundings – in other words called the variables. These variables determine how we react at various situations in our life and although the variables do impact our behavior – the basic traits that each one of us have (known as the constant) takes care of making sure that most of our behavior are consistent at all times.