Dimensions of CHARACTER (Part 2)


come from my genes & my family life

Previous: Dimension of C, Part 1

Take: Big 5 Personality Test


TheO.C.E.A.N.” scale:
These “Big 5” personality factors are broad dimensions based on research, & includes influences from both heredity (H) & environment. Studies of twins suggest the combination contributes in roughly equal proportions.

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 aware 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, they view the arts and sciences with suspicion, as a waste of time or 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 expectations. Generally regarded as responsible & reliable.serious
• At the extreme they may be stoic, methodical, cold – becoming compulsive perfectionists & 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 other extreme (very low C) – may be lazy, sloppy, careless & have poor impulse control (make a mess of things, shirk 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 associated with substance abuse

EXTRAVERSION (H = 54%) ‘Surgency’: dominant, self-confident, competitive, decisive
Outgoing / energetic <—to—> Solitary / reserved
intro-extroa.  high ‘Es’ are friendly & cheerful, easily fee 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 fr
iends & 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 caring, cooperative, sympathetic, with a general concern for social harmony. They’re usually considerate, friendly, generous, helpful, willing to compromise, considerate of others’ feelings, & 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, & anxiety levels.
High Ns on the ‘sensitive /nervous’ end are more reactive & so likely to experience painful emotions more easily (anger, fear, sadness, embarrassment, guilt, 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 Ns are often in a bad mood. They have trouble evening out Es – which lessens the ability to think clearly, make decisions, or cope effectively with stress.  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 Es & less likely to feel tense or get rattled.
• However, low levels of emotional distress does not automatically mean being happy (a characteristic of Extroverts). For some, too low ‘N’ can mean being shallow or unemotional.

NEXT: Chart – C. Traits, Contrasts & Opposites

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