So, the new new thing is the Big Five, which is a fairly straightforward personality quiz, found on FiveThirtyEight. I took it, and I liked my results. I thought they were fairly accurate.
OPENNESS TO EXPERIENCE: 92 out of 100
High openness to experience: You’ve probably tried on several personal styles and hobbies during your life, and your curious brain is actively seeking new things to explore. Your identity may be flexible and open to change, but you’re likely to find success in careers that value that — the arts, for instance. Don’t trap yourself in a “Theater Kid” box, though. People with high openness also do well in careers that involve investigation and discovery. They might become scientists, lawyers or investigative journalists — basically weaponizing their intellectual curiosity and willingness to try new things and explore new ideas. Be aware, though, that dangerous drugs are among the things you’re more likely to be willing to try. Substance use disorders are a serious risk.
Your openness to experience subtraits:
- Aesthetic sensitivity
- Creative imagination
- Intellectual curiosity
AGREEABLENESS: 58 out of 100
Moderate agreeableness: You have to be pretty danged un-agreeable to truly count as a low agreeableness person. A lot of the outcomes that correlate with low agreeableness, like being chronically bullied (or bullying) or having a criminal record, don’t kick in until someone’s score is down in the 10th percentile. So even though all the Big Five traits operate on a spectrum — with the people in the middle tending to experience a little of what both poles feel to the extreme — the population of people who count as “moderately agreeable” is particularly large. (It’s just that some of you may have a little less tendency toward empathy, compassion and trust of your fellow human beings than others.) You’re no goody-goody, but you’re also not what the professionals might refer to as “a selfish jerk.”
Your agreeableness subtraits:
CONSCIENTIOUSNESS: 92 out of 100
High conscientiousness: You are one of the organized, the responsible, the possibly just-a-wee-bit boring. The highly conscientious can be thought of as the carriers of tradition. They’re likely to be religious and join organized clubs like the Elks or the local bowling league. People like you work hard, and your boss probably loves your well-planned productivity. You’re likely politically conservative. And your sense of commitment and attention to the little details make you great to date and stable in marriage. If all of that fails to sell you to a potential partner, try this: Some research suggests that the spouses of highly conscientious people can end up with better health than they otherwise would have. Frankly, “hey, baby, I’ll increase your positive health outcomes” may well be the most “highly conscientious” pickup line imaginable.
Your conscientiousness subtraits
NEGATIVE EMOTIONALITY: 54 out of 100
Moderate negative emotionality: You don’t exactly have a propensity toward sadness, anger, and anxiety. But you also aren’t exactly lacking those tendencies, either. All the Big Five traits operate on a spectrum — the people in the middle tend to experience a little of what both poles feel to the extreme. And that means you’re also likely getting a taste of the outcomes correlated with both those poles, too. People who score high on negative emotionality have rocky relationships — maybe you’ve had one relationship that brought that side out more than others. The low negative emotionality folks will cheerfully work the same job for decades with no burnout — maybe you take a little longer to reach burnout stage (even if you eventually do). If you’re reading this and thinking, “Hey, doesn’t that just make me a normal human?” Well, statistically, yes, that would be how bell curves work, wouldn’t it? Don’t worry. There’s probably another personality trait where you’re more extreme.
Your negative emotionality subtraits:
- Emotional volatility
EXTRAVERSION: 29 out of 100
Low extraversion: We live in a society that generally values and rewards extraversion, and that can make life tough for a more withdrawn person. Science tends to emphasize the downer aspects of your personality — you probably have difficulty making friends and finding people to date, for instance. You might also have a low opinion of your own looks. But being an introvert isn’t all bad. Some scientists think low extraversion has protected humans from disease — you can’t pick up a bug from people if you avoid people. And one study even found a lower prevalence of extraversion in places where contagious diseases were historically common. One of the best bits of advice for the less extraverted is to find spaces where they get to live the way they want and where their personalities are valued. That’s probably why being less extraverted is correlated with choosing, and excelling at, jobs that require working alone. And there is a higher prevalence of introverts in the American West. Have you considered a career in ranching?
Your extraversion subtraits:
- Energy level
Now it’s your turn!
Take the Big Five quiz yourself.