在2014年8月23日的托福阅读考试中有这样一道题：Personality traits 人格特征。针对这道托福考题，新东方富亦聪老师来为大家普及一下关于人格特征的背景知识，这样有助于考生在面对这类题目时方便作答。新东方富亦聪老师指出：本篇讲的人格特征便属此例。了解相应知识，还能快速切入主题，是同学们在提高阅读能力之余需要积累的。
Personality traits 人格特征
Big Five personality traits
In psychology, the Big Five personality traits are five broad domains or dimensions of personality that are used to describe human personality. The theory based on the Big Five factors is called the Five Factor Model (FFM). The Big Five factors are openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Acronyms commonly used to refer to the five traits collectively are OCEAN, NEOAC, or CANOE. Beneath each global factor, a cluster of correlated and more specific primary factors are found; for example, extraversion includes such related qualities as gregariousness, assertiveness, excitement seeking, warmth, activity, and positive emotions.
The Big Five model is able to account for different traits in personality without overlapping. Empirical research has shown that the Big Five personality traits show consistency in interviews, self-descriptions and observations. Moreover, this five-factor structure seems to be found across a wide range of participants of different ages and of different cultures.
A summary of the factors of the Big Five and their constituent traits, such that they form the acronym OCEAN:
Openness to experience: (inventive/curious vs. consistent/cautious). Appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, unusual ideas, curiosity, and variety of experience. Openness reflects the degree of intellectual curiosity, creativity and a preference for novelty and variety a person has. It is also described as the extent to which a person is imaginative or independent, and depicts a personal preference for a variety of activities over a strict routine. Some disagreement remains about how to interpret the openness factor, which is sometimes called "intellect" rather than openness to experience.
Conscientiousness: (efficient/organized vs. easy-going/careless). A tendency to be organized and dependable, show self-discipline, act dutifully, aim for achievement, and prefer planned rather than spontaneous behavior.
Extraversion: (outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved). Energy, positive emotions, surgency, assertiveness, sociability and the tendency to seek stimulation in the company of others, and talkativeness.
Agreeableness: (friendly/compassionate vs. analytical/detached). A tendency to be compassionate and cooperative rather than suspicious and antagonistic towards others. It is also a measure of one's trusting and helpful nature, and whether a person is generally well tempered or not.
Neuroticism: (sensitive/nervous vs. secure/confident). The tendency to experience unpleasant emotions easily, such as anger, anxiety, depression, and vulnerability. Neuroticism also refers to the degree of emotional stability and impulse control and is sometimes referred to by its low pole, "emotional stability".
The Big Five Model was defined by several independent sets of researchers. These researchers began by studying known personality traits and then factor-analyzing hundreds of measures of these traits (in self-report and questionnaire data, peer ratings, and objective measures from experimental settings) in order to find the underlying factors of personality. The Big five personality traits was the model to comprehend the relationship between personality and academic behaviors.
The initial model was advanced by Ernest Tupes and Raymond Christal in 1961 but failed to reach an academic audience until the 1980s. In 1990, J.M. Digman advanced his five factor model of personality, which Lewis Goldberg extended to the highest level of organization. These five overarching domains have been found to contain and subsume most known personality traits and are assumed to represent the basic structure behind all personality traits. These five factors provide a rich conceptual framework for integrating all the research findings and theory in personality psychology.
At least four sets of researchers have worked independently for decades on this problem and have identified generally the same Big Five factors: Tupes and Cristal were first, followed by Goldberg at the Oregon Research Institute, Cattell at the University of Illinois, and Costa and McCrae at the National Institutes of Health. These four sets of researchers used somewhat different methods in finding the five traits, and thus each set of five factors has somewhat different names and definitions. However, all have been found to be highly inter-correlated and factor-analytically aligned.
Because the Big Five traits are broad and comprehensive, they are not nearly as powerful in predicting and explaining actual behavior as are the more numerous lower-level traits. Many studies have confirmed that in predicting actual behavior the more numerous facet or primary level traits are far more effective (e.g., Mershon & Gorsuch, 1988; Paunonon & Ashton, 2001).
Each of the Big Five personality traits contains two separate, but correlated, aspects reflecting a level of personality below the broad domains but above the many facet scales that are also part of the Big Five. The aspects are labeled as follows: Volatility and Withdrawal for Neuroticism; Enthusiasm and Assertiveness for Extraversion; Intellect and Openness for Openness/Intellect; Industriousness and Orderliness for Conscientiousness; and Compassion and Politeness for Agreeableness.