OCEAN Quizzing

Today I took a quiz that is apparently measuring what psychologists call the 5 fundamental dimensions of personality. It was defined by 2 different sets of psychologists (Costa and MacRae)(Norman and Goldberg). According to the website both groups of psychologists both arrived at a definition of these 5 states on the back of research.

Wikipedia (on this occassion) more reliably informs me that it did in fact derive from a much earlier piece of work (or at least mentioned in) by Thurston back in 1933. The big 5 aim to describe elements of the personality as opposed to giving a combined view of the personality. This limited view of the personality means it has been criticised: McAdams described it as the

“Psychology of the stranger”

Based on the idea that the traits are so obvious even an observer would be able to correctly identify an individuals key traits.

So back to the important bit – Me…

I scored 65%: “relatively open to new experiences”.

Openness to Experience/Intellect
         High scorers tend to be original, creative, curious, complex; Low scorers tend to be conventional, down to earth, narrow interests, uncreative.


I scored 41%: “Neither oragnized nor disorganized”.

         High scorers tend to be reliable, well-organized, self-disciplined, careful; Low scorers tend to be disorganized, undependable, negligent.


         High scorers tend to be sociable, friendly, fun loving, talkative; Low scorers tend to be introverted, reserved, inhibited, quiet.

I scored 74%: I’m relatively sociable and enjoy the company of others.

         High scorers tend to be good natured, sympathetic, forgiving, courteous; Low scorers tend to be critical, rude, harsh, callous.

I scored 44%: You are neither extremely forgiving nor irritible

         High scorers tend to be nervous, high-strung, insecure, worrying; Low scorers tend to be calm, relaxed, secure, hardy.

I scored 27%: You are generally relaxed

To date this is one of the most useless descriptors of my personality I have found to date (ranking somewhere between Spiderman and the Plum). It doesn’t offer me any insight that I didn’t already know or cause me to appraise what my answers mean. They are by and large obvious.

The issue with the big 5 as a descriptor (in comparison to Myers Briggs that links the personality traits together) Is it doesn’t attempt to cross reference answers or use any kind of theory to understand what those answers mean outside of their individual context. Yes, its interesting that I’m reliable but what does it mean to a typology if I am reliable and sociable, does that start to underpin a different type of personality?

Check out here to read a bit more


Posted on January 29, 2009, in Masters research and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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