Dimensions of CHARACTER (Part 2)


come from my genes & my family life

Previous: Dimension of C, Part 1

BOOK: “Born Entrepreneurs, Born Leaders: how your genes affect your work life” ~ Scott Shane

Take: Big 5 Personality Test


TheO.C.E.A.N.” scale:
These “Big 5” personality factors are broad dimensions based on research. While no scale is complete, this one includes influences from both heredity (H) & environment. Studies of twins suggest these 2 components contribute in roughly equal proportion.

OPENNESS to experience (H = 57%) Re. Culture, Originality, Intellect
Inventive / curious —to— Consistent / cautious
a. high ‘O’ scorers have strong intellectual curiosity, sensitivity to beauty, a curiouspreference for novelty & variety, tolerance for & active exploration of the unfamiliar, & holding liberal or unconventional beliefs. These people are generally more creative, more awareness of their Es, open to new & different values, belief & attitudes.

b. lower scorers see themselves as “down to earth”, more reserved, conventional, traditional & conforming. They prefer the plain, obvious & straightforward rather than the complex, ambiguous or subtle. Generally more analytical & resistant to change, viewing the arts and sciences with suspicion, a waste of time or as uninteresting.  At the extreme – they’re closed-minded, provincial, dull, literal-minded, inflexible.

CONSCIENTIOUSNESS  (H = 49 – 61%) Will to Achieve
•  Efficient / organized —to— Easy-going / careless
a. high ‘C’ scorers are: self-disciplined, dutifully, orderly, cautious, prompt, like to be in control, regulate & direct their impulses & tend to be thought-provoking.
They’re : organized, efficient, persistent – aiming for achievement using definable measures or outside expectation. They’re generally regarded responsible and reliable.serious
• At the extreme they may be stoic, cold, methodical – becoming compulsive perfectionists and workaholics.

b. lower Cs are more laid back & spontaneous, not as organized or driven to succeed & take it ‘a day at a time’.
• At the extreme – may be lazy, sloppy, careless & have poor impulse control (make a mess of things,  shirk their duties….). Can easily be gullible, compulsive followers & put the needs of others before their own.  Very low ‘C’ is linked to antisocial & criminal behavior.
Low ‘C’ + low ‘A’  is also associated with substance abuse

EXTRAVERSION (H = 54%)‘Surgency’: dominant, self-confident, competitive, decisive
Outgoing / energetic —to— Solitary / reserved
a.  high ‘Es’ are friendly & cheerful, easily experience pleasant Es (capacity for joy, relaxation, fun, seeing the lighter side…), energized by being with other people.
They’re action-oriented, preferring all forms of group activities, social events, lots of frintro-extroiends & acquaintances, loud music

They’re assertive, likely to say “Yes!” or “Let’s go!” to opportunities for excitement as well as learning. Love to talk & get attention. Easily bored with a need for constant stimulation, they may become followers just to have company (opposite of Introversion)

AGREEABLENESS  (H = 42%) Accommodation
Friendly / compassionate —to— Cold / unkind
a. high ‘As’ tend to be compassionate, cooperative, sympathetic, with a general concern for social harmony. They’re usually considerate, friendly, generous, helpful, willing to compromise, are concerned about the feelings of others & have the ability to forgive.

‘As’ are trusting & easily form bonds with people because of an optimistic view of human nature – believing peextrovertople are basically honest, decent & trustworthy. Being also pragmatic, they allow things to get done without interference

b. At the opposite extreme, Disagreeable people place self-interest above getting along. They’re not usually concerned with others’ well-being & so less likely to extend themselves. Sometimes their skepticism about others’ motives make them suspicious, unfriendly & uncooperative. They can be argumentative, strong-willed, stubborn & antagonistic.

NEUROTICISM  (H = 48%) Need for Stability
Secure / confident —to— Over-sensitive / nervous
a. N. measures emotional stability / instability, impulse control, and anxiety level.
High Ns on the ‘sensitive/nervous’ end are more reactive & likely to experience painful emotions (anger, fear, sadness, embarrassment, guilt or depression)
They’re are prone to unrealistic ideas, psychological distress, excessive cravings or urges, more likely to interpret ordinary situations as threatening & minor frustrations as hopelessly difficult.sensitive

• Painful emotional reactions persist much longer than for other types, so are often in a bad mood. Have trouble evening out Es, which lessens the ability to think clearly, make decisions, or cope effectively with stress.  They can be self-conscious, easily vulnerable, difficult to understand & have less successful relationships.
BOOK: “The Highly Sensitive Person” ~ E. N. Aron PhD

b. At the other end, low Ns are considered well-adjusted – reserved, calm, self-confident & positive. They cope better with stress – less easily upset or reactive, free from persistent painful feelings  & less likely to feel tense or get rattled.
• However, low levels of emotional distress does not automatically mean they being happy (characteristic of Extroverts). For some, too low ‘N’ can mean being shallow or unemotional

NEXT: Chart – C. Traits, Contrasts & Opposites

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