The Big Five Inventory

The Big Five Inventory is self-report measure that is based on the trait-based model of personality (the Big Five) that measures human personality across five broad traits. Each trait represents a range between extremes, in which we lie somewhere in between the two polar ends. It is also commonly referred to as the Five Factors model.

The ?Big Five? traits are often remembered using the acronym OCEAN. The first letter in ?OCEAN? stands for openness to experience. Each of the five traits can be measured by score on its ?facet?, or ?subcomponent? level, by which there are 18 facets for the big five.

At one end of the scale, individuals who score high on openness are inventive and curious. At the other end, individuals low on openness are consistent and cautious.

The C stands for conscientiousness. At one end of the scale, individuals high on the conscientiousness scale tend to be efficient, organized and have a high level of self-discipline. Whereas, at the other end of the scale, those low on conscientiousness tend to be easy-going, careless and less achievement driven.

The E stands for extraversion. At one end of the scale, individuals high on extraversion are energetic, outgoing and energised by social interactions. On the other end on the scale, those who are low in extraversion, and are otherwise referred to as introverts, are reserved, quiet and less socially involved with the world.

The A stands for agreeableness. Highly agreeable individuals tend to be friendly, compassionate and focus on social harmony. At the other end of the scale, those who score low on agreeableness are challenging, detached and are generally unconcerned with the wellbeing of others.

Finally, the last letter, N, stands for neuroticism. At one end, those who score high on the neurotic scale tend to be sensitive, nervous and have a tendency to experience negative emotions. At the other end, those who score low on the neurotic scale are referred to as ?emotionally stable?. These individuals tend to be secure, confident and calm.

There is still disagreement as to what exactly the five factors should be named but overall, there is a significant body of research to support the big-five model. There is also evidence to support the reliability and validity of the Big Five inventory, making it a useful tool for both researchers and practitioners. Like all personality assessments, the five factor model proves to be a useful tool for self-reflection and self-development.