What is the big five factor theory?  How does it affect our lives?

What is the big five factor theory? How does it affect our lives?

The theory of five major personality traits (or five major factors) is a theory developed in modern psychology to evaluate the basic factors of personality. Theory that treats personality in terms of openness, extraversion, neuroticism, adaptability, and self-discipline can help us determine our personality type. The five-factor theory, which was on the agenda of psychology research with the research of DW Fiske in 1949, was later developed by the studies of researchers (1967), Smith (1967), Goldberg (1981), and McCrae & Costa (1987). According to the theory that is still valid today and has inspired many psychology studies, the 5 major personality traits are:

Openness, which is a personality factor that is active in people with advanced features such as imagination and insight, provides effects such as diversity of interests. People with this trait are adventurous, creative, open to trying new things, and excited to think about abstract concepts. People with little of this feature do not like change and new things, resist new ideas, and their imagination is not that strong.

People with developed responsibility factor are thoughtful, emotional control, attention to detail and result-oriented work are seen. This character type, who likes to establish a kind of order within himself, is also very comfortable in teamwork and likes to work in a planned program. For people whose responsibility factor is less active, features such as planning difficulties, disorganization, and laziness may come to the fore.

Persons with active extroverts display talkative, animated character traits who like to socialize. They like to be the center of attention and are excited to meet new people. This character factor is lower, in other words introvert In individuals, features such as preferring loneliness, thinking carefully before speaking, getting tired of socializing draw attention.

The adaptability characteristic, which expresses people who are friendly, thoughtful, willing to compromise, manifests itself in people who are sympathetic, kind and cooperative, who consider others before themselves. While people with active compliance bills are recognized as trustworthy people, people with less compliance characteristics show argumentative, socially disinterested, selfish and jealousy traits.

The Neuroticism factor, which expresses emotional stability, is considered to be one of the 5 major factors as it can also express susceptibility to mental illness. People with intense neuroticism are prone to anxiety and depression. It is stated that they underestimate their own potential and are pessimistic. On the contrary, people with low neuroticism are emotionally stable, calm, balanced people.

Translated and compiled by: Duygu islamoglu


Ferhat is from Bitlis. Mehmet, Dinç. Esra, Çetinceli. Ummuhan, Carefree. “The Relationship Between Five-Factor Personality Traits and Academic Motivation: A Research for Süleyman Demirel University Isparta Vocational School Students” (2013). Retrieved from: https://dergipark.org.tr/download/article-file/194329

Cherry, Kendra. “The Big Five Personality Traits” (2019). Şuradan alındı: https://www.verywellmind.com/the-big-five-personality-dimensions-2795422

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