MY CHARACTER STRENGTHS
come from my genes & my family life
Previous: Dimension of C, Part 1
REMINDER: See ACRONYM Page for abbrev.
The “O.C.E.A.N.” scale: The following “Big Five” factors of personality are broad dimensions based on comprehensive research findings, discovered and refined from several studies. At least 4 sets of researchers have worked independently for decades coming to about the same conclusions. While no personality scale is complete, OCEAN includes influences from both heredity (H) and environment. Studies of twins suggest that these 2 effects contribute in roughly equal proportion.
OPENNESS to experience (H = 57%) Re. Culture, Originality, Intellect
• Continuum from Inventive/curious —to— Consistent/cautious
a. People with a high ‘O’ score have a strong intellectual curiosity, sensitivity to beauty, a preference for novelty & variety, tolerance for & active exploration of the unfamiliar, and are more likely to hold liberal or unconventional beliefs. They are generally more creative, with more awareness of their emotions, open to new & different values, belief & attitudes.
b. Lower scorers see themselves as “down to earth”, being more reserved, conventional, traditional & conforming. They prefer the plain, obvious & straightforward rather than the complex, ambiguous or subtle. Generally more analytical and resistant to change, they may view the arts and sciences with suspicion, a waste of time or as uninteresting. At the extreme – they’re closed-minded, provincial, dull, literal-minded, inflexible.
CONSCIENTIOUSNESS (H = 49 – 61%) The Will to Achieve
• Continuum from Efficient/organized —to— Easy-going/careless
a. High ‘C’ scorers are personally: self-disciplined, dutifully, orderly, cautious, prompt, like to be in control, regulate & direct their impulses & tend to be thought-provoking.
In life they’re : organized, efficient, persistent – aiming for achievement using definable measures or outside expectation. They’re generally regarded responsible and reliable.
• At the extreme they may be stoic, cold, methodical – becoming compulsive perfectionists and workaholics.
b. People with lower C. scores are more laid back & spontaneous, not as organized or driven to succeed & take it ‘a day at a time’.
• At the extreme – may be lazy, sloppy, careless & have poor impulse control (make a mess of things, shirk their duties….). Can easily be gullible, compulsive followers & put the needs of others before their own. Very low ‘C’ has been linked to antisocial and criminal behaviors. Combined low ‘C’ with low ‘A’ is also associated with substance abuse
EXTRAVERSION (H = 54%) ‘Surgency’: dominance, self-confidence, competitiveness, & decisive
• Continuum from Outgoing/energetic —to— Solitary/reserved
a. Hi ‘E’ scorers are friendly & cheerful, easily experiencing pleasant emotions (capacity for joy, relaxation, fun, seeing the lighter side…) and are energized by being with other people.
They’re action-oriented types who prefers all forms of group activities, lots of friends and acquaintances, loud music, and social events.
They’re assertive, likely to say “Yes!” or “Let’s go!” to opportunities for excitement as well as learning. They love to talk & get attention. Since they get easily bored with a need for constant stimulation, they may become followers just to avoid this boredom by having company
b. Introverts are energized by internal reflection, are low-key, deliberate. Being more reserved, less outspoken in groups & less involved in the social world, they’re often misunderstood as being shy or depressed. However they simply need less stimulation than ‘Es’.
Even though they can be charming and talkative, they don’t reveal much about themselves except to a few intimate friends. They flourish with quiet music, one-to-one sharing, individual sports & time alone.
• Often becoming overwhelmed in larger venues, which causes anxiety, they prefer to limit or avoid long exposure to crowds & noise. They can be considered individualists & therefore sometimes become leaders.
AGREEABLENESS (H = 42%) Accommodation
• Continuum from Friendly/compassionate —to— Cold/unkind
a. Hi ‘A’ scorers tend to be compassionate, cooperative, sympathetic, with a general concern for social harmony. They’re usually considerate, friendly, generous, helpful, willing to compromise, are concerned about the feelings of others & have the ability to forgive.
‘As’ are trusting & easily form bonds with people since they have an optimistic view of human nature – believing people are basically honest, decent, and trustworthy. Being pragmatic, they allow things to get done without interference
b. At the other end, Disagreeable people place self-interest above getting along. They’re not usually concerned with others’ well-being & so are less likely to extend themselves. Sometimes their skepticism about others’ motives make them suspicious, unfriendly & uncooperative. They can be argumentative, strong-willed, stubborn & antagonistic.
NEUROTICISM (H = 48%) Need for Stability
• Continuum from Secure/confident —to— Over-sensitive/nervous
a. N. measures emotional stability / instability, impulse control, and anxiety level. Anyone hi on the ‘sensitive/nervous’ end of the scale is more reactive & likely to regularly experience painful emotions such as anger, fear, sadness, embarrassment, guilt or depression.
Hi ‘Ns’ are prone to psychological distress, excessive cravings or urges & unrealistic ideas, more likely to interpret ordinary situations as threatening & minor frustrations as hopelessly difficult.
• Painful emotional reactions persist much longer than for other types, so they’re often in a bad mood. Difficulty being able to regulate emotions (not easily evened out) diminish their ability to think clearly, make decisions, and cope effectively with stress. They can be self-conscious, easily vulnerable, difficult to understand & have less successful relationships. BOOK: “The Highly Sensitive Person” ~ E. N. Aron PhD
b. At the other end of the scale, individuals who score low in neuroticism are considered well-adjusted – reserved, calm, self-confident & positive. They cope better with stress – are emotionally stable (less easily upset or reactive), free from persistent painful feelings & less likely to feel tense or get rattled.
• However, low levels of emotional distress does not automatically mean they experience a lot of happy feelings – which is a characteristic of Extroverts. For some, too low ‘N’ can mean being shallow or unemotional
NEXT: Chart – C. Traits, Contrasts & Opposites