Note from March 2021 – this post from 2012 on The Big 5 represents a framework that was later replaced by The Big 6 – see this 2021 post on:
The Big Six: The HEXACO Model of Personality
Why Use Tools for Assessment That Are Not Valid or Reliable?
Just because some thing is very popular – VERY POPULAR – doesn’t make it valid.
This is what is valid: The Big 5
UPDATE 2020 – in the early 2000s psychologists discovered evidence of a sixth personality factor, which led to a new model of personality called HEXACO. The distinctly new factor is called “honesty-humility,” and it is a component of moral character. The other components of HEXACO are all variations of the Big Five.
In contemporary psychology, the “Big Five” factors (or Five Factor Model; FFM) of personality are five broad domains or dimensions of personality that are used to describe human personality.
The Big Five framework of personality traits from Costa & McCrae, 1992 has emerged as a robust model for understanding the relationship between personality and various academic behaviors. The Big Five factors are openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism (common acronyms are OCEAN, NEOAC, or CANOE).
- Conscientiousness is exempliﬁed by being disciplined, organized, and achievement-oriented.
- Agreeableness refers to being helpful, cooperative, and sympathetic towards others.
- Neuroticism refers to degree of emotional stability, impulse control, and anxiety.
- Openness is reﬂected in a strong intellectual curiosity and a preference for novelty and variety.
- Extraversion is displayed through a higher degree of sociability, assertiveness, and talkativeness.
There is some evidence that personality and motivation are intricately tied with individual differences in learning styles, and it is recommended that educators go beyond the current emphasis on cognition and include these variables in understanding academic behavior.
Addendum July 14, 2018 – Same Source
Openness has been linked to learning styles that often lead to academic success and higher grades like synthesis analysis and methodical study. Because conscientiousness and openness have been shown to predict all four learning styles, it suggests that individuals who possess characteristics like discipline, determination, and curiosity are more likely to engage in all of the above learning styles.
According to the research carried out by Komarraju, Karau, Schmeck & Avdic (2011), conscientiousness and agreeableness are positively related with all four learning styles, whereas neuroticism was negatively related with those four. Furthermore, extraversion and openness were only positively related to elaborative processing, and openness itself correlated with higher academic achievement.
Besides openness, all Big Five personality traits helped predict the educational identity of students. Based on these findings, scientists are beginning to see that there might be a large influence of the Big Five traits on academic motivation that then leads to predicting a student’s academic performance.
Some authors suggested that Big Five personality traits combined with learning styles can help predict some variations in the academic performance and the academic motivation of an individual which can then influence their academic achievements. This may be seen because individual differences in personality represent stable approaches to information processing. For instance, conscientiousness has consistently emerged as a stable predictor of success in exam performance, largely because conscientious students experience fewer study delays. The reason conscientiousness shows a positive association with the four learning styles is because students with high levels of conscientiousness develop focused learning strategies and appear to be more disciplined and achievement-oriented.
The Association for Psychological Science (APS), however, recently commissioned a report whose conclusion indicates that no significant evidence exists to make the conclusion that learning-style assessments should be included in the education system. The APS also suggested in their report that all existing learning styles have not been exhausted and that there could exist learning styles that have the potential to be worthy of being included in educational practices. Thus it is premature, at best, to conclude that the evidence linking the Big Five to “learning styles”, or “learning styles” to learning itself, is valid.
The neuroticism factor is sometimes referred by its low pole – “emotional stability”. Some disagreement remains about how to interpret the openness factor, which is sometimes called “intellect” rather than openness to experience. Beneath each factor, a cluster of correlated specific traits are found; for example, extraversion includes such related qualities as gregariousness, assertiveness, excitement seeking, warmth, activity and positive emotions.
Continued From Wikipedia:
The Big Five model is a comprehensive, empirical, data-driven research finding. Identifying the traits and structure of human personality has been one of the most fundamental goals in all of psychology.
The five broad factors were discovered and defined by several independent sets of researchers (Digman, 1990). These researchers began by studying known personality traits and then factor-analyzing hundreds of measures of these traits (in self-report and questionnaire data, peer ratings, and objective measures from experimental settings) in order to find the underlying factors of personality.
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