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I found this unit to be pretty crazy with the big 5 personality traits, the concept that all of everyone's personalities can be more or less summarized with only five traits. Since I learned about this idea, it's been fun to try and pin numbers onto people. For example, at my work, there are a few people who are routinely late to work--they probably are low in conscientiousness. However, one of them gets yelled at regularly for it and doesn't really protest; whereas the other gets away with it just fine. This could be a fault of my employer, or it could represent the relative agreeableness of the two co-workers. Perhaps the reason one of them doesn't get regularly yelled at is because he has a higher agreeableness than the other (something I would not at all be surprised to see confirmed).

Since these factors are concrete, and have been shown to be relatively consistent across the span of one's life, this idea has also helped me to be more accepting of others, even if they might have some irritating traits. After all, if somebody is pretty much pre-programmed to be low in agreeableness and neuroticism, well, I might not be their best friend, obviously. However, this unit has shown me that there's more to that person than those traits, and what goes on in their heads is completely different than what is going on in mine, so I may as well just accept it and try to get to know that person on a deeper level.

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I also really enjoyed this unit. The fact that all personalities can be narrowed down into just five categories is pretty impressive. I found out recently at a job shadow that in almost anything you do, working with different personalities can be a huge challenge, and sometimes more of a challenge than the job itself. Personalities are something that come up at all times in everyday life. If understanding personalties is not someones strong suit, I would suggest that they work on it, and soon.

I need to try that with my coworkers. I knew the Big 5 were handy, but I never thought of actually trying to attribute their values to the behaviors of people. I can't help but wonder how accurate that is though. It could get intertwined with the fundamental attribution error and we would be attributing the wrong personality traits based on one observance of a person.

I've absolutely found myself doing this as well, especially at work. Work is just the perfect place to assess people because I generally work with the same people so I get to see if they act consistently or not. I work at Panera so I definitely get the chance to see people's extraversion with customers, agreeableness with managers and coworkers, and also their conscientiousness when it comes to how they actually do their job.

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This page contains a single entry by lacox004 published on May 7, 2012 2:28 PM.

Inattentional Blindness was the previous entry in this blog.

The Importance of Understanding Personality is the next entry in this blog.

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