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Science

What Are the Big 5?

The Big 5 refers to the five main personality traits, and if you’ve taken our Financial Personality Quiz, you’ll be at least a little familiar with them.

These five personality traits are used as a measuring system for understanding how and why people make decisions. They’re also the foundation for Payoff’s 10 different financial personalities. But more on those in a minute.

So, what are the Big 5 traits exactly?

The five are: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism — also commonly referred to collectively as OCEAN. They are the main dimensions widely used to describe the bulk of human personality.

The Big 5 and the Financial Personality Quiz

Payoff’s Chief Science Officer Dr. Galen Buckwalter — the same scientist behind eHarmony’s successful relationship matches — designed the Financial Personality Quiz around the Big 5. When you take the quiz, it measures to what degree your personality contains each of the OCEAN personality traits. The results can lead to insights into how you spend, save and manage your money.

Distribution of the Big 5 is different for everyone, but knowing generally how you measure up can help you celebrate your strengths and improve your weaknesses in many areas of life, not just in your personal finances.

Introducing … The Big 5

For the best assessment of how the Big 5 traits apply to you, consider taking the Financial Personality Quiz. But here’s also a brief overview of all five with their corresponding financial personality. Do any of these sound like you?

Openness

  • If you’re high in openness, you’re usually imaginative, creative and curious. You love art and nature. You enjoy learning and having new experiences. People say you’re nonconforming and intellectual. (The Adventurer)
  • Low in openness? You’re usually more conventional, down-to-earth and focused? You love routine and avoid uncertainty. You’re not a daydreamer. You prefer to deal in absolutes. (The Guardian)

Conscientiousness

  • Being highly conscientious typically means you’re goal oriented and exhibit strong self-control. You’re methodical, organized and prompt. People love working with you because you’re reliable, detail-oriented and thorough. (The Architect)
  • By being lower in conscientiousness, you’re usually carefree, spontaneous and unpredictable. You like things to happen now and have more of a “get-it-done” attitude, than a “get-it-perfect,” when it comes to work. (The Free Spirit)

Extraversion

  • If you’re high in extraversion, then you’re usually assertive, energetic and sociable. You thrive in leadership and motivational positions. You don’t mind when the spotlight is on you and sometimes even seek it out. (The Storyteller)
  • Lower in extraversion? Then you thrive more in intimate settings surrounded by those you know, and you appreciate your alone time. You don’t speak just to fill silence because your actions and words are always deliberate. (The Oasis)

Agreeableness

  • If you’re high in agreeableness, then you’re usually friendly, kind and affectionate. Your compassion for others draws people to you, and luckily, you’re easy to get along with because of your faith in people to be honest and trustworthy. (The Ambassador)
  • Being low in agreeableness means you’re typically blunt, independent, and you speak your mind. You buck the status quo. You have a quick wit and are skeptical of people’s intentions. You tend not to leap before you look. (The Contrarian)

Neuroticism

  • Being high in neuroticism means you’re no stranger to worry and anxiousness, but you’re also quite passionate. You avoid taking unnecessary risks because you’ve diligently thought through every possible outcome. (The Spark)
  • If you’re low in neuroticism, you’re usually calm, stable and poker-faced. You don’t wear your emotions, or anything else for that matter, on your sleeves. You can easily cope with change because you’ve always have contingency plans. (The Rock)

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