Ever wondered why people respond differently to different situations? According to psychology, there are 5 personality traits that can explain human behavior. The big five personality traits include conscientiousness, openness, extraversion, neuroticism and agreeableness. These 5 factors are believed to account for people’s personality, behavior and differences. These five main traits came into being after extensive research was conducted over different periods of time on different people.

Understanding the Big 5 Personality Traits



This is a trait that tries to explain a person’s degree of creativity, curiosity and their openness to variety and novelty. This is the personality trait believed to differentiate between imaginative, creative people and conventional, practical people.

People who are intellectually curious, open to new ideas and artistic normally score highly in this category. These are the people who possess a fulfilling and rich internal life. They spend most of their time thinking about different concepts, looking at art work and meditating on intellectual things they learned. On the flip side, people who score low in this trait are believed to prefer simple and familiar as opposed to complex and novel.



This is another one of the big 5 personality traits that is a measure of a person’s ability to be goal oriented and organized. A person’s level of conscientiousness is believed to influence various factors in their life like being successful or even becoming a drug addict.

This trait gauges a person's ability to deal with hardship and life changes, their approach to work and organization, how hard working they can be, their ability to critically think about issues before they make decisions and also their self discipline.

People who score high on this are believed to be very hardworking and dependable. They are good at setting goals and breaking down tasks to reach the goals. They are very organized and systematic.

Low scorers are more laid back and impulsive. They are very spontaneous in the way they approach life situations. They are not schedule oriented and are not good with making concrete plans.



This one of the big five personality traits is a concept that gauges where different individuals derive their strength from as well as their sociability. It checks on the warmth of a person in terms of how friendly or affectionate they are, their extroverted nature and desire to be around other people as opposed to being by themselves, their ability to dominate in social situations, their energetic disposition as well as their need for stimulation.

High scorers in this trait are mostly extroverted and find it more comfortable being around people. They are what most people call ‘life of the party’. They love it when they are the centre of attention and are very attracted to thrilling experiences.

People who score low in this trait are reserved in nature and feel uncomfortable when around other people. They lead a slow and deliberate lifestyle and are more inclined towards quietness.



This is a trait that focuses on an individual’s receptiveness to trust, compliance as well as honesty. Agreeable people are more tolerant in nature and more straightforward. This trait gauges an individual’s thoughts when it comes to their belief in other people in terms of being trustworthy, straightforward, tender-mindedness, modesty, compliance and altruism.

People who score highly on this are interpersonally mild mannered. They are the types of people who always seek to see the best in everyone they come across and uphold loyalty. They are found to be very generous, dependable, and honest and show genuine concern for other people.

People who score low in this trait are more cautious of other people and always think there is a motive behind every act they encounter. These are skeptical and cynical people. They are more inclined to apply craftiness and flattery as a way of winning favor with people.



This is one of the big five personality traits that focus on how individuals respond to negative emotions. It focuses on a person's fearfulness, restlessness and tenseness. It also gauges an individual’s ability to experience anger, bitterness and frustration.

Those who score highly in this trait are more prone to experiencing negative emotions intensely and have a hard time controlling these emotions. They are highly likely to undergo psychological stress, including depression.

People who score low in this trait are able to control their emotions. They are relaxed and calm when faced with stressful situations and are very slow to anger. They have confidence in their ability to control stress.

Importance of Understanding the Big Five Personalities

People’s personalities are affected by their genes as well as environment. This makes them somewhat important. These personality traits determine greatly our choices, behavior, thoughts as well as emotions. These personalities also play a role in how we interact with the world around us, how we solve problems as well as how we handle adversity.

It is important for one to understand the five big personality traits in order to be able to predict human behavior. Learning your traits can be useful when you want to know where your natural preferences lie.

When you understand your personality better, you are able to make the best of them and make them work in your personal life, work life and social life. You are also able to understand the people around you better and understand why they are the way they are.

How the Big 5 Personality Traits Predict Human Behavior

According to research, the big five personality traits offer a very good framework for predicting human behavior. There are traits that are indicative of a better performance in work. People who score highly in conscientiousness are found to have the ability to develop better job knowledge, perform better and are also hard working. Emotional stability relates greatly with job satisfaction. Extraverts are happier in their jobs. Open people make good leaders and are more creative. People who pass the agreeableness test perform best in social setups.


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