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Big Five Openness


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If you guys have met people with extremely low level of Openness to Experience, what are they like? 

 

Also what do you think would people with unusual Big Five combinations be like? Like someone who is very low on intellectual curiosity but very high on aesthetic sensitivity/creativity?

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People not open to experience are usually either fearful (because they have been injured or threatened) or complacent (self-satisfied; convinced that they are already complete).

 

Are these references to a test or chart of some kind? What are Big Five? 

 

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Okay, so i took the dumb test. It's a dumb test. They ask what you are and and then tell you are what you just said you were.

8 hours ago, Hans de Vries said:

with unusual Big Five combinations be like?

Probably people like me: who didn't take the test seriously and just put down whatever.

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The Big Five inventory is the most widely used personality inventory. it consists of five facets - Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness to Experience, Agreeableness and Conscientousness.

 

While valid, it does not tell everything about one's personality. It's said that one may get a good estimate of someone's Big Five within the first minute of knowing them.

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On 8/31/2021 at 7:23 AM, Hans de Vries said:

The Big Five inventory is the most widely used personality inventory. it consists of five facets - Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness to Experience, Agreeableness and Conscientousness.

What about the criticisms that the B5 is limited in scope, isn't based on any underlying theory, and doesn't cover the population as comprehensively as it should (neglecting traits like thriftiness or a sense of humor or honesty)? There are already updated models that involve six factors, and I wonder if the B5 is going the way of the Triune Brain model.

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I question the value - and perhaps even the validity - of classifying "personality" in the first place. What, exactly is a personality type? Every intelligent entity has a personality made up of innate and learned traits, early childhood stimuli, experience, memory, associations, education, environmental and physical influences. I don't believe any adult character can be reduced to five or six vaguely defined factors.  In comparison to what degree of calm is a person neurotic? Is the same behaviour agreeable  in Manhattan and Sensai? In what culture is extraversion admired and in which is it seen as pushy? 

What I'm really asking is : What is this test for?

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26 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

I question the value - and perhaps even the validity - of classifying "personality" in the first place. What, exactly is a personality type?

Without any test at all I can identify people I know who are outgoing, introverts, neat freaks, cautious, confrontational, etc. Classifying personality is simply a recognition of the reality of differences between people. No different than classifying soft drinks, music, or species.

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2 hours ago, Peterkin said:

I question the value - and perhaps even the validity - of classifying "personality" in the first place. What, exactly is a personality type? Every intelligent entity has a personality made up of innate and learned traits, early childhood stimuli, experience, memory, associations, education, environmental and physical influences. I don't believe any adult character can be reduced to five or six vaguely defined factors.  In comparison to what degree of calm is a person neurotic? Is the same behaviour agreeable  in Manhattan and Sensai? In what culture is extraversion admired and in which is it seen as pushy? 

What I'm really asking is : What is this test for?

For determining people's peronality traits even in a rather rough and not comprehensive manner.

At the root of the Big Five is the so called lexical hypothesis. A hypothesis that all important personality traits will be reflected in the language. A group of psychologists analyzed words describing human personality and came up with (IIRC) several dozen triats which was later narrowed down to 5 traits and 30 facets. It is by far the most widely used personality model in psychology and other popular ones like Alternative Big Five and HEXACO are basically variations of it.

There is certain % of people whom the Big Five cannot deal with - stuff like Autism, Schizotypy/Schizoprenia do not map nicely into Big Five but the model is good enough to describe majority of personality variation in vast majority of normal people

IIRC thriftiness is covered in the Agreeableness facet Industriousness and honesty under Agreeableness. Humor is also at least partially a function of certain facets of Extraversion and Agreeableness 

 

 

Edited by Hans de Vries
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1 hour ago, zapatos said:

Without any test at all I can identify people I know who are outgoing, introverts, neat freaks, cautious, confrontational, etc. Classifying personality is simply a recognition of the reality of differences between people.

Why do you need a test to realize that everyone isn't the same? You identify dominant behaviours in the people you witness acting in a particular environment. Those same people may differently - that is, exhibit more of a different set of their traits - in another environment. They may not always have behaved the same way before some transformative experience or pivotal event or the influence of a cult. Had this person been brought up in India, where some of his traits were disapproved of, he would have learned to suppress those traits and develop the ones that are rewarded. People to a different part of the world have to learn this in adulthood and are less successful, just as they are with a new language, but children do it automatically, without even knowing it.

Then there is deliberate presentation of self in various situations: in the classroom, or doctor's office, or football pitch, people put on an appropriate personality, some of which is not entirely genuine. That goes triple for taking a personality test administered by a potential employer. They're not exactly hard to fake!

1 hour ago, zapatos said:

No different than classifying soft drinks, music, or species.

Those categorizations have little in common. How many categories of and distinct characteristics do soft-drinks have? But it's easy to find similarities among all canines or all bovines and differences between canines and bovines. However, humans are a single species with going on 8 billion variants. Why do you need to classify them at all? 

1 minute ago, Hans de Vries said:
2 hours ago, Peterkin said:

What is this test for?

For determining people's peronality traits even in a rather rough and not comprehensive manner.

I got that part. But - What is the purpose of determining their personality type? If you need to know what somebody's like, why can't you just have a conversation with them? Body language, tone, facial expression, eye movement, word choice and inflection are infinitely more difficult to fake than a multiple choice standard form. 

5 minutes ago, Hans de Vries said:

At the root of the Big Five is the so called lexical hypothesis.

In what language? How well does it translate?

 

6 minutes ago, Hans de Vries said:

It is by far the most widely used personality model in psychology and other popular ones like Alternative Big Five and HEXACO are basically variations of it.

Yes, I can see its usefulness to the psychology industry and the personnel files of corporate offices. I just can't see its usefulness to people.   

 

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34 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

Why do you need a test to realize that everyone isn't the same?

Since you seem to have missed it let me quote the very first thing I said to you:
 

2 hours ago, zapatos said:

Without any test at all I can identify...

 

36 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

Those same people may differently - that is, exhibit more of a different set of their traits - in another environment. They may not always have behaved the same way before some transformative experience or pivotal event or the influence of a cult.

You are correct, people are not unchanging, monolithic robots.

37 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

Those categorizations have little in common.

I'm getting the impression you are not actually reading what I am writing. What those things have in common is that people tend to categorize things to help themselves better understand the world.

41 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

But - What is the purpose of determining their personality type? If you need to know what somebody's like, why can't you just have a conversation with them?

For the same reason you don't just look at a bunch of bones and say you now know the animal type. If you want a more scientific answer to a question you add some thought and structure to it, allowing it to be repeatable and generate consistent results.

There are many practical applications for determining personality type. At work you might determine personality types so that you can better understand how to communicate with your co-workers. In selecting astronauts for long space missions, or undercover operatives, or ambassadors, it helps to know what their personality type is before deciding they can do the job you are selecting for.

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32 minutes ago, Hans de Vries said:

It is mostly academic psychologists that use it for the purpose of research.

That, I do understand. I wonder, though: isn't that snake eating its own tail? Does a psychologist really learn anything new about how people think and feel by shoving them into boxes of his own construction?

34 minutes ago, Hans de Vries said:

If we can use science to describe properties of squares and triangles, why not human personality?

I'm not convinced that it's either wise or informative to reduce the most complex computing system in the universe to plane geometry. 

 

8 minutes ago, zapatos said:

Since you seem to have missed it let me quote the very first thing I said to you:
 

2 hours ago, zapatos said:

Without any test at all I can identify...

I didn't miss it; I echoed it and elaborated on it: 

56 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

If you need to know what somebody's like, why can't you just have a conversation with them? Body language, tone, facial expression, eye movement, word choice and inflection are infinitely more difficult to fake than a multiple choice standard form. 

It's the purpose of the test I'm curious about.

11 minutes ago, zapatos said:

 At work you might determine personality types so that you can better understand how to communicate with your co-workers.

At work, you see their work habits and you set their tasks. That's what you communicate about. The rest of their psyche is - or should be - off limits to the employer. If you're a a co-worker, you already which of your peer can't be approached before lunch; which chew their fingernails, which spill the sugar and don't wipe it up; which contribute to the retirement present. As a supervisor, you already know whether they're conscientious or haphazard, careful or reckless, fast or slow learners. If you want to communicate better, try talking differently - it's not going to be solved by sitting them down with a form to fill out. Besides, you can't change your own personality or communication style to suit every category of worker.   

 

24 minutes ago, zapatos said:

I'm getting the impression you are not actually reading what I am writing. What those things have in common is that people tend to categorize things to help themselves better understand the world.

I don't think so. I think they categorize for many reasons, one of which is organizing the data we have about the world for convenience of comparison and and fact-checking of fresh data. Categorizing people by type (or gender, or race or income) doesn't help understand the world; it only puts them "in their place" in some particular  hierarchy of value.  That's why I'm especially leery of the use of such tests by personnel officers.  I think i'd hire just the candidates who refuse to take the test.

 

34 minutes ago, zapatos said:

In selecting astronauts for long space missions, or undercover operatives, or ambassadors, it helps to know what their personality type is before deciding they can do the job you are selecting for.

None of those jobs are assigned on the basis of a personality test. The process is either far more rigorous (astronaut, spy) or far less (ambassador).

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10 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

None of those jobs are assigned on the basis of a personality test. The process is either far more rigorous (astronaut, spy) or far less (ambassador).

Quote

The process for becoming a CIA officer takes at least one year, and the jobs are myriad. Current openings include counterterrorism analyst, open-source officer, language officer and data scientist. To apply, candidates complete an online application and then, if selected, take an aptitude and personality test.

https://www.mic.com/articles/87703/what-kind-of-cia-officer-would-you-be-take-the-test

11 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

At work, you see their work habits and you set their tasks. That's what you communicate about.

Believe what you want. In the real world it is quite common to take personality tests.

https://blog.vantagecircle.com/employment-personality-test/

The test helps you determine HOW to communicate, not "what you communicate about". 

 

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1 hour ago, zapatos said:

The test helps you determine HOW to communicate,

No, it doesn't. Your own personality determines how you communicate - including whether you can adapt your communication style to different personalities.

The fact that a lot of executives buy into something doesn't prove that something is useful; it just means that executives tend to latch onto the latest fad, buzz-word and "cutting-edge tool" in order to avoid making actual independent decisions and make fewer attributable mistakes. 

1 hour ago, zapatos said:

In the real world it is quite common to take personality tests.

Of course it is. It's also quite common to to believe that the sun goes around the earth and the Corona virus vaccine contains nannomikes.

No, that's not a fair comparison. Executives are not wingnuts; they're just conformist and credulous. They'll buy whatever they can be convinced will improve their effectiveness. Since the psychologists are committed to this fad, the executives take that as proof that it works: after all, it's Scientific.

.... is it? 

Edited by Peterkin
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7 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Any test that's limited to only 5 aspects of an infinate range, is more likely to exclude than include; it's almost like it was designed that way.

Humans do not have 100s or 1000s of personality traits. You may create a test with 100 traits but all or most of them will be variations of those 5.

There is stuff that is not covered by the Big Five but could be added - Systemizing Quotient, Theory of Mind Quotient (i.e. cognitive empathy) and a few things

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The five are so vague and general, they're more like descriptions of a behaviour pattern than individual traits. For example, Extraversion means that someone prefers to be with other people, is talkative, assertive, energetic, seeks activity and bustle. It doesn't tell you why they chose those responses.  So, this can be someone who's afraid to be alone, or someone who wants to rule the world, or just a bluff, hearty fellow who likes a good time. Or, as in my case, someone who lied on the test. Neuroticism includes even more behaviours and attitudes that can stem even more varied sources and do not necessarily occur together, but will be rated as if they all meant the same thing in terms of one's job performance -

Quote

The neuroticism subscale includes six facets: anxiety, angry-hostility, depression, self-consciousness, impulsiveness, and vulnerability

all of which applicants would probably conceal.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Hans de Vries said:

Humans do not have 100s or 1000s of personality traits. You may create a test with 100 traits but all or most of them will be variations of those 5.

Or 4, or 3. Maybe 2 is best. Welcome to US politics!

Any system that doesn't address the spectrum of possibilities of human personalities AS a spectrum is faulty to start. As has been mentioned, the fewer the categories, the more people will be excluded, or forced into a label that's restrictive and possibly misapplied. It feels good to "classify" things we wish we understood better, and it's a process that's necessary to lay the groundwork for research, but forcing simplicity on your classifications can be a big mistake. That's almost never the way breakthroughs happen in science. It's the other way around; more particles and properties and elements are found, not fewer. We start with a simple, manageable amount of "explanation", and it grows as it's explained more thoroughly and becomes better understood.

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Oddly, I find points of agreement with both Zap and Pete.  (sorry,  I should tag all names.... @zapatosand @Peterkin).   Organizations can find useful metrics with such tests,  but there may be some who place unwarranted confidence in them as long-term portraits of a human personality.   As someone once said to me, in another context,  "sure it's a crutch.  But who doesn't limp sometimes? "   When I'm having a nice sit-down with someone,  I am not limping (unless they are so introverted as to be a black box mystery), but with only a set of very brief encounters,  some kind of rough map might be helpful.   

My feel is that such tests are snapshots, not portraits.   (I'm sure an old Meyers Briggs test aficionado would make something of the "feel" in that sentence...) 

That said,  any test that can give some hints as to introversion/extroversion and to receptivity to new ideas, to name a couple, can certainly save you from some social pitfalls and cliff edges.   Life experience has taught me how to recognize people who don't do casual humor or banter, a skill I wish I'd had earlier (the recognizing,  that is).   Or certain introverts who,  when working, find interruption quite distressing -- also nice to know a little earlier.   And some artistic temperaments deeply value quiet and verbal economy, and making a few words count for much.  (this post veers ever farther from that virtue) 

Edited by TheVat
nothing is ever finished
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1 hour ago, TheVat said:

That said,  any test that can give some hints as to introversion/extroversion and to receptivity to new ideas, to name a couple, can certainly save you from some social pitfalls and cliff edges. 

I remember taking the Meyers Briggs test for the first time about 30 years ago. It was a real eye opener for me. I had no idea that my co-workers viewed the world so differently than I did. Once we understood where each other was coming from and what was important to each of us, communications greatly improved as we now recognized what the other found offensive, or what kind of approach had the best chance of success. It was a real bonus for our team.

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You can't make a potential romantic interest or friend take a personality test. In social and intimate relations, we all fly by the seat of our pants most of the time. One exception: I got to know my SO through old-fashioned mail correspondence. Something to be said for pen and paper vs email: handwriting and unspellchecked style tell you much about a personality.

A personnel manager can simply ask: "How well do you work on a team?" "Can you function effectively in a noisy room with other people?" "Would you be happier with a male or female supervisor?" and like that, depending on the conditions of that particular work-place. An interview can focus on the specifics of the desired "fit", where an anonymous test can only classify in broad terms. For instance, someone who rates high on Neuroticism may be perfect for the position of archivist if they're anxious, shy and depression-prone - not if they're suspicious, hostile and angry.  These categories are not tailored suits; they're kaftans.   

PS If I were to choose one, I'd also prefer M-B over B5, even though it was panned as unscientific, while B5 gained credibility because it was made by academic professionals.  There are many, many other personality tests that don't get as much respect at the monet.... but just wait till Walmart starts marketing their own version and watch it become the industry standard overnight. If you've ever worked for, as or with executives, you'll know how quick they are to clamber onto any bandwagon labelled Better Management. My objection is not so much to the test itself, which seems harmless, but to the reliance being placed on it, rather than exercising judgment.

Sure, everybody limps sometimes  - and they should sit out that race. And personnel managers who can't assess potential employees by listening, probably should have some other assignment.

It would be interesting to see how many employees who had been hired on the basis of such a test are still happy in their placement five years later.

Edited by Peterkin
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36 minutes ago, zapatos said:

I remember taking the Meyers Briggs test for the first time about 30 years ago. It was a real eye opener for me. I had no idea that my co-workers viewed the world so differently than I did. Once we understood where each other was coming from and what was important to each of us, communications greatly improved as we now recognized what the other found offensive, or what kind of approach had the best chance of success. It was a real bonus for our team.

Yep.  Just removing offense can move the goalposts much closer,  in so many workplaces.   (kind of the reverse of some groups,  like men shooting hoops,  where offense can be actively promoted as a communication style)  I look back at 20-ish me and marvel at his cluelessness,  and remarks where clearly I wasn't "reading the room."  

Sometimes when an engineer walks in and asks for a hardness tester, you don't playfully fish around in a drawer and produce a hammer.   (got a laugh from a cute coworker,  though)  

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