After learning about the Big Five during Psychology, I decided I wanted to further investigate the factors and how they affect personality.
The Big Five factors are openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Openness to experience measures whether one is curious or cautious. Conscientiousness measures whether one is organized or careless. Extroversion measures whether one is outgoing or reserved. Agreeableness measures whether one is friendly or unkind. Finally, neuroticism measures whether a person is nervous or confident. The Big Five traits measure a wide variety of personality and produce comprehensive results.
The study goes on to show that the Big Five factors are influenced by both hereditary and environmental impacts. Studies which use longitudinal data and correlate people's test scores over time show a high stability with their Big Five percentages. On average levels of extroversion, neuroticism, and openness tend to decrease with time, whereas agreeableness and conscientiousness typically increase. In addition to these group effects, there are individual differences: different people demonstrate unique patterns of change at all stages of life.
Currently testing is being done on non-human beings in order to see if we can use the Big Five factors to separate others by personality. The prime animal they are testing is the chimpanzee.
The biggest concern with the Big Five personality test is that it does not gauge several other categories that describe personality. Will we ever be able to create a test that accurately examines all personality traits and produces labels for the test-takers?