The Five-Factor Model of Personality

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The main goal of psychology is to understand both the brain and human behavior. Several different substantial theories have been created to prove the cause behind a human’s thought process and actions. However, one of the main theories is The Five-Factor Model of Personality. Through the five – factor model of personality, this breaks down why an individual follows certain actions and how this will affect one’s life.

The Five – Factor Model of personality is compromised of five personality traits: openness to experience, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and neuroticism (Weiten,W., 2018, pgs. 29 & 30). Openness to experience is focused on a person’s ability to open their mind, emotions, and beliefs up to the world and be more accepting of everything around them (Weiten, W., 2018, pg. 30). The second trait, conscientiousness, is a more strict trait (Weiten, W., 2018, pg.30). It focuses more on determination, regulation, and goal-achievement (Weiten, W. 2018, pg. 30). Thirdly, extraversion follows being more eager to become involved in the social world (Weiten, W., 2018, pg.30). Agreeableness follows in the same way as openness to experience (Weiten, W., 2018, pg. 30). One who is agreeable is more accepting of other’s emotions and actions (Weiten, W., 2018, pg. 30). Lastly, neuroticism, deals with infuriation and quick thinking (in a negative manner). Each of these traits is put on a scale (Weiten, W., 2018, pg. 30). The higher one the scale, the more one relates to the trait (Weiten, W., 2018, pg. 30). For example, if one is higher on the scale for openness to experience, they are, “tolerant of ambiguity and have less need for closure on issues.”(Weiten, W., 2018, pg. 30) Each trait has a separate scale and scoring lower on one trait does not set one closer to another trait (Weiten, W., 2018, pg. 30). Each personality trait is measured separately, based on its delicate definition.

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Based on these personality traits, one’s life will, usually, have certain outcomes. For example, openness to experience can lead to “entrepenurial activity” and “longetivity”(Weiten,W., 2018, pg. 30). On a negative side, neuroticism can lead to divorce (Weiten, W., 2018, pg. 30). These are general outcomes that result from personality traits. However, these outcomes of one’s life based on these can go much deeper. Two articles, both written recently, discuss the emotional outcome that results from each of these traits (Baranczuck, U., 2019). The first discussed the “emotion regulation” that goes into each of these traits (Baranczuck, U., 2019). The second talked about the social support one will need based on the personality trait he or she has (Baranczuck, U., 2019). Neither are a direct look on a specific outcome one may have in life like earlier examples. These discuss the in-depth emotional side that each individual faces, and this can have a large impact long-term.

Within the first article, neuroticism was the only specific trait that’s emotional regulation was considered maladaptive (Baranczuck, U., 2019, pg. 8). Such as, “…people who declare greater neuroticism may use more strategies that cut them off from the negative experiences through avoidance and suppression strategies.” (Baranczuck, U., 2019, pg. 8). This is understandable considering the negative effects neuroticism can have on one’s life. Extraversion, on the contrary, uses adaptive emotional strategies (Baranczuck, U., 2019). Extraversion strategies focuses on, “…problem solving, mindfulness…” (Baranczuck, U., 2019, pg. 8) Openness to experience follows suit with positive strategies by being more open about considering new strategies to use, especially with others (Barancuck, U., 2019, pg. 8). Conscetiousness was very similar to openness to experience in the way that this trait is more focused on creating beneficial strategies to use rather than having a strategy itself (Baranczuck, U., 2019, pg. 9) Lastly, agreeableness states that, “… emotion regulation strategies may be formed through more emotion socialization process” (Baranczuck, U., 2019, pg. 8 & 9). This would also be understandable considering agreeableness lies greatly in communicating and understanding others.

As stated before, emotion regulation does not have a specific life outcome. Yet, the self-control one has over their emotions has a great effect on one’s life. To further this, the next article follows the emotional support needed (Baranczuck, U.2019). Based on research, neuroticism was the only trait out of the five that had a larger need for social support (Baranczuck, U.,2019, pg. 6). This is to not to say possessing the other four traits means one will not need social support (Baranczuck, U., 2019, pg. 6 & 7). This is only to say one is at a greater need for it if neuroticism is a larger personality trait (Baranczuck, U., 2019, pg. 6). It was specifically worded in this article that neuroticism was at a “higher level of need” for social support while the others have “a lower support of need” for social support (Baranczuck, U., 2019, pg. 6 & 7). So it not a finite, one needs assistance or one doesn’t. It is only a level of need.

Each of these traits, some more positive than others, have specific outcomes. When analyzing the human brain, it easier to understand moods, emotions, and the type of help someone will need when one is able to break it down to the personality trait someone has, the emotional regulation one will need, and the type of social support they will also need. All of these added together can greatly impact the outcome of one’s life.


  • Baranczuck, U. (2019). The Five factor model of personality and emotion regulation: A meta-analysis. Personality and Individual Differences, 139, 217 -227. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2018.11.025
  • Baranczuck, U. (2019). The five factor model of personality and social support: A meta-analysis. Journal of Research in Personality, 81, 38-46. Doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2019.05.002
  • Weiten, W., & Hammer, E.Y. (20180. Psychology applied to modern life: adjustment in the 21st century. Boston, MA: Cenage Learning.

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