While psychologists have never been able to pin down one specific model of personality, Paul Costa and Robert McCrae's Big Five theory has been adopted as the most widely accepted. The Big Five Model of Personality was formed by factor analyses of trait terms in literature and dictionaries. The Big Five are as follows:
-Openness to Experience: People who are open to new events and are curious
-Conscientiousness: People who are careful and responsible
-Extraversion: Interpersonal people who are lively and social
-Agreeableness: Social people who are able to get along with many others
-Neuroticism- Usually tense and moody individuals
An easy way to remember the Big Five is with the acronym OCEAN. The Big Five traits can be used to describe all humans, including those with psychological disorders. The Big Five traits have been used not only in psychological studies, but also websites and social networks like the dating website eHarmony.com. It has been hypothesized that there is also another trait, Dominance, when studying chimpanzees. However, chimpanzees and humans are quite different, so this trait may not be easy to bring over to homo-sapiens.
The Big Five are often good indicators of real-world behaviors, like job performance, grades in school, and health. While the Big Five is just a theory, it is still a widely used and respected test of personality around the globe.