One school of thought in contemporary psychology regarding human personality typing is the “Big Five” personality traits which are represented by the acronym O.C.E.A.N. and stand for the following:
O: Openness to Experience
N: Neuroticism or Negative Emotionality
A number of tests and services are available for assessing one’s personality according to the Big Five framework. I did so using Understand Myself, the online test developed and managed by Dr. Jordan Peterson and his research team. The Big Five can also be broken down into five pairs of subtraits. Understand Myself provides that analysis. Below I will share the results of my Big Five assessment.
One notable observation about the Big Five traits is that many of them occur as bimodal distributions and are indicative of the tendencies that characterize a group with varying degrees in the individual. Many Big Five traits correlate with political affiliation and sex. The presence of several strong bimodal distributions demonstrates that gender (which is a personality construct) aligns in a meaningful bimodal fashion with biological sex just like several morphological traits (e.g. height). I’ve included gendered averages alongside my personal results below.
Trait: Openness to Experience
My Score: 94% (very high)
Minimal difference between male and female
i.e. interest in abstract concepts and ideas
My Score: 86% (high)
Male Average: 55%
Female Average: 45%
i.e. creativity and aesthetic sensitivity
My Score: 93% (very high)
Male Average: 44.5%
Female Average: 65.5%
My Score: 66% (moderately high)
Male Average: 49.5%
Female Average: 51.5%
i.e. ability to engage in sustained, goal-directed effort
My Score: 50% (typical or average)
Male Average: 51.5%
Female Average: 49.5%
i.e. tendency to schedule, organize, and systematize
My Score: 76% (moderately high)
Male Average: 45.5%
Female Average: 54.5%
My Score: 80% (high)
Male Average: 48%
Female Average: 52%
*Based on the component subtraits, this sense of extroversion indicates the tendency and extent to which an individual will express himself or herself to others or in a group.
i.e. spontaneous joy and engagement
My Score: 64% (moderately high)
Male Average: 45%
Female Average 55%
i.e. social dominance, often verbal in nature
My Score: 85% (high)
Male Average: 52%
Female Average 48%
My Score: 90% (very high)
Male Average: 38.5%
Female Average 61.5%
i.e. tendency to empathetically experience the emotions of others
My Score: 95% (very high)
Male Average: 39%
Female Average: 61%
i.e. proclivity to abide by interpersonal norms
My Score: 71% (moderately high)
Male Average: 41%
Female Average: 59%
Trait: Neuroticism or Negative Emotionality
My Score: 88% (high)
Higher average for female than male
i.e. tendency to aversion in the face of uncertainty
My Score: 89% (high)
Male Average: 40%
Female Average: 60%
i.e. tendency to become irritable and upset when things go wrong
My Score: 84% (high)
Male Average: 42.5%
Female Average: 57.%%
I wasn’t at all surprised by my Big Five results. These are things that I’ve long known and observed about myself. I think it’s fascinating (and existentially chaotic) to find that most of my subtraits are highly expressed to the male or female extremes. This results in a very strange admixture of experience and social navigation, especially as a man participating in male competence-dominance hierarchies.
For the seven subtraits of Openness, Orderliness, Enthusiasm, Compassion, Politeness, Withdrawal, and Volatility, I have moderately high to very high scores. These are all traits that females tend to express more than males do. And I express them more so than even a large majority of females do!
For the two subtraits of Intellect and Assertiveness, I have high scores. These are traits that males tend to express more than females do. And I express them more than a large majority of males do.
The subtraits of Compassion and Withdrawal show a slight correlation with individuals identifying as politically progressive or liberal, whereas the subtraits of Politeness and Assertiveness show a slight correlation with identifying as politically conservative. And I score high in all four subtraits.
High scores for the subtrait of Orderliness is a better predictor of political conservatism, and I score high in that subtrait. However, the subtraits of Intellect and Openness are the best predictors of political allegiance. People with high scores for those two subtraits tend to be politically progressive. I score high in both of those subtraits, but evidently my high score in the subtrait of Orderliness must win the conflict and orient me as a sociopolitical natural conservative. This may also be why I often score as a sociopolitical and economic centrist as I express a particular mixture of subtraits.