What are the Big Five dimensions of personality? Discuss the various theoretical perspectives of the Big Five.
Personality researchers have proposed that there are five basic dimensions of personality. The five categories of traits are described as follows:
- Extra-version: This trait includes characteristics such as excitability, sociability, talkativeness, assertiveness and high amounts of emotional expressiveness.
- Agreeableness: This personality dimension includes attributes such as trust, altruism, kindness, affection, and other pro-social behaviors.
- Conscientiousness: Common features of this dimension include high levels of thoughtfulness, with good impulse control and goal-directed behaviors. Those high in conscientiousness tend to be organized and mindful of details.
- Neuroticism: Individuals high in this trait tend to experience emotional instability, anxiety, moodiness, irritability and sadness.
- Openness: This trait features characteristics such as imagination and insight, and those high in this trait also tend to have a broad range of interests.
The Big Five dimensions have different theoretical perspectives. Interpersonal theory highlights the individual’s relationships. According to Sullivan, the Big Five describes the enduring patterns of recurrent interpersonal situations which characterize human life. Wiggins and Trapnell put much importance to interpersonal motives and interpret all the Big Five factors as per their interpersonal Implications. Hogan’s socio-analytic theory talks about the social functions of self and other perceptions.
According to the evolutionary theory, individual differences are perceived due to different detecting mechanisms. Buss states that the Big Five traits include the most important dimensions of the survival needs of the person. In five factor theory, McCrae and Costa talks about the Big Five taxonomy. They say Big Five are causal personality dispositions. The Big, Five Factors derive from biological structures and processes since they have a substantial genetic base. Personality traits are basic tendencies which show the underlying potentials of the individual. The comparative theory to personality highlights individual differences.