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The Big Five: Openness

Updated on February 22, 2012

What are the Big Five?

There are many ways to analyze personality. One of these methods consists of the Big Five, a combination of different traits commonly seen in each person. There are five main traits that are rated as either high or low areas of these traits. The traits are:

  • Openness
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness
  • Neuroticism

What is Openness?

This area is rated on how open a person is to new situations, people, society, etc. How far out of your way do you go to try new things? Do you just go to try a new dish at your favorite restaurant? Do you try to visit new countries? Have you tried free-falling? Is your version of being open attempting a new form of calligraphy? Do you try to talk to people that you have never met before? How often do you make new friends in public situations? Openness is also rated by five different minor areas.

  • Imagination
  • Artistic Interests
  • Emotionality
  • Intellect
  • Psychological Liberalism

High on Openness?

Individuals that are high on imagination tend to be extremely creative. They can day dream a lot, come up with new ideas. Constantly thinking and seeing situations from a different light. They enjoy art and beautiful works if they are high in artistic interests. These artistic interests include nature, art, and recognizing beauty. Also those high in emotionality tend to have a good idea of what they are feeling and know how to adjust their emotions. They can recognize where their emotions come from, what causes them, and how to change those emotions. If an individual is high in adventurousness they try new situations, new possibilities, new interests. Going to different countries, attempting sky diving, trying a new food like snake or frog. High in psychological liberalism? They are a little more interesting. They constantly challenge authority and traditions. They dare to be different and change the pace. Then there are those who are high in intellect are extremely open-minded. They play with situations and possibilities. They love new ideas and debate just to learn more.

Low on Openness?

As things normally are with high and lows, being low on openness is the exact opposite of being high on openness. Those who are low on openness are conventional and traditional. They stay within the lines and rules. They remain on the known route. For example, they go the same way to work every day, each week. They are know what they want and how to get there. Their creativity is low and only believe in what they can touch and see.


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