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Measuring the Big Five Personality Domains by Oliver P. John and Sanjay Srivastava

Uncovering the Big Five: An Insight into Our Core Personality Traits

In the world of psychology, personality traits serve as the building blocks of our character. They guide our actions, shape our perspectives, and influence our choices. Among the various personality models, the Big Five traits model stands out for its comprehensiveness and universal application. It’s based on five core personality traits: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism, often remembered by the acronym OCEAN.

Diving into the Big Five with John and Srivastava

Oliver P. John and Sanjay Srivastava’s “Measuring the Big Five Personality Domains” is a fascinating exploration of these traits. The book offers a comprehensive understanding of the OCEAN model, delving into the nuances of each trait and their influence on our behaviours and life choices.

Beyond theory, the book also provides practical tools for assessing these traits, helping individuals navigate their self-development journey.

Understanding, Not Boxing

What’s unique about “Measuring the Big Five Personality Domains” is its emphasis on understanding rather than categorising. The authors remind us that knowing our traits isn’t about boxing ourselves into rigid categories. It’s about acknowledging our tendencies, strengths, and areas that need growth.

The book illustrates how having this awareness can guide us in making informed decisions – from choosing the right career path to improving our relationships. It’s about gaining a clearer understanding of why we act and react the way we do.

Here’s a reflective quiz to help you understand where you may wish to explore change for each of the Big Five personality traits:

Please rate each statement from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 5 (Strongly Agree):


I have a vivid imagination and enjoy daydreaming.
I love trying new foods, activities, and experiences.
I enjoy discussing abstract concepts and ideas.
I appreciate different forms of art, such as music, visual arts, or theatre.
I am often curious and eager to learn new things.


I am highly organized and like to keep things in order.
I always fulfill my obligations and responsibilities.
I am detail-oriented and rarely overlook things.
I work methodically towards my goals.
I find it easy to maintain self-discipline and stay focused.


I love being around people and thrive in social situations.
I enjoy being the centre of attention.
I am energetic and assertive.
I prefer being in a group rather than spending time alone.
I am comfortable meeting and interacting with new people.


I am empathetic and often consider others’ feelings.
I find it easy to trust people.
I enjoy helping others and doing things for them.
I generally get along well with others.
I am open to compromise and often seek harmony in relationships.


I often worry about small things.
I easily get upset or feel anxious.
I have frequent mood swings.
I get stressed out easily.
I often feel insecure or uncomfortable.

Scoring for each trait (add up your scores for each trait):

5-10: Low
11-15: Mild
16-20: Moderate
21-25: High

Remember, this is a simple reflection tool and not a diagnostic instrument. It’s designed to help you identify your tendencies across the Big Five personality traits. If you need a more comprehensive understanding of your personality, consider seeking a professional evaluation.

Daily Change Summary

This book underscores the importance of self-awareness in our daily change journey. Understanding our personality traits is not merely an intellectual exercise; it’s a powerful tool for positive transformation. By recognising our tendencies, we can better respond to life’s challenges and opportunities. This understanding empowers us to take control of our actions, aligning them more closely with our goals and values.

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