Free «Five-Factor Structure of Personality» Essay

Five-Factor Structure of Personality

The Big Five model is a research output that identifies the structure of the human traits and personality. According to Igor Balasanov (2012), Personality is the set of characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviors that make a person unique. It arises from within the individual and is fairly consistent throughout life.  Further she asserts that personality can be identified by various attributes which include; behavior that leads to actions, regularity in behavior, and is seen in multiple expressions in relationships with others


The first point is willingness to get new experience which refers to the recognition for emotional, unusual thoughts, creativity and diverse exposures. A variety of reflections can be defined as a display of intellectual abilities. Moreover, the five factor structure of personality can be explained as extraversion which is the ability to be sociable to be outgoing in the manner which one interacts with counterparts. An additional personality trait is ability to be agreeable. An agreeable person is considered to expose kindness as well as cooperativeness as compared to opposition in regard to other people opinions.

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Thirdly, a person should be conscientious other than careless. As a result such a person should be dependable since his organized behavior leads him to achieve. An additional trait is neuroticism whereby a person is able to manage emotional disturbances. These may include irritation, anxiety, desperation and unstable urges and their resultant.

Evidence For and Against the Five-Factor Structure of Personality

The five factor model is illustrated by cross-sectional and orthogonal tests carried out on various individuals to vary on different stages of life. Srivastava asserts that traits including agreeableness and conscientiousness manifest unenthusiastically during childhood and varies across individuals.

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Sato and De young findings show that the capacity of the middle frontal gyrus in left lateral PFC of the brain directly correlates to the conscientiousness of an individual. Costa and McCrae (2008) state that women display more evidence of neuroticism, extraversion, openness to expression as well as agreeableness.  On the contrary, men show more assertiveness as well as openness to facts.

The five factor structure of personality has faced criticisms of various kinds. It viewed as being limited in that it does not describe all of human personality. According to McAdams (2009), this structure is a ‘psychology of the stranger’. He asserts that it refers to traits that are outwardly easily observed. Internal traits are left out such as honesty, sense of humor, conservativeness and ability to take risks

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In case of many factors to choose from, the five factor structure does not offer a unanimously accepted origin for selecting the best solution. Harm (2012) states that longer, more detailed questions in assessing personality test give more accurate results. On the contrary, the five factor model majorly relies on self-reports to assess personality.

The five factor model is said to lack a solid theoretical foundation. It is based on empirical findings on the five factors described therein. Jack Block (2010) suggested that the five factor model was based on an untheoretical framework, and deemed it unsuitable for studying early childhood behavior.

Moreover, the five factor model is subject to biased answers from respondents who may want to portray only the best traits about themselves. This means the results may not be accurate or may be an overstretched truth about the respondent. The five factor model on the other hand lacks objective clarity on cultural issues examined. It often ignores the diverse worldview possessed by different cultures on particular acts.

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Generally, the five factor model of personality aids in self-testing of one’s personality. It describes personality differences in a manner that cuts across gender, age, and race. It is useful for employees, business organizations and individuals to assess their personalities. However, it focuses more on external traits than hidden, internal traits. The flaws of the model cannot be ignored and more research needs to be input to fill in the huge gaps such as cultural diversities and biases that arise from self-testing.

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