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OPAQ

The Big Five Personality Factors
Generally, psychologists agree that there are five robust 'Factors' of personality. Collectively they are known as the Big Five. 

These five, relatively independent Factors, provide a model that can be used to accurately study, describe and understand differences between individuals.

There are 6 'facets' of personality associated with each Factor.  

The OPAQ measures
the 30 different facets and categorises the interaction of these under the Big Five Personality Factors.  However, scores for the individual facets are not provided. The OPAQ only reports on The Big Five Factors.  If you would like to arrange a more in-depth assessment of this test-taker please ask for details either by email or by calling 0870 486 1943.

The Big Five Factors

The 30 Personality Facets that make up each Factor

Click on the Factor heading to go to an in-depth description.  Or scroll down - browse around and read descriptions of the Facets relating to the Factor.

Openness to Experience

Imagination
Artistic Interests
Depth of Emotions

Willingness to Experiment
Intellectual Curiosity
Tolerance for Diversity

Conscientiousness
'Work Ethic'

Sense of Competence
Orderliness
Sense of Responsibility

Achievement Striving
Self-Discipline
Deliberateness

Extraversion

Warmth
Gregariousness
Assertiveness

Activity Level
Excitement-Seeking
Positive Emotions

Agreeableness

Trust in others
Sincerity 
Altruism

Compliance
Modesty
Sympathy

Natural Reactions

Anxiety
Angry Hostility
Moodiness/Contentment

Self-Consciousness
Self-Indulgence
Sensitivity to Stress


Openness to Experience

Openness to Experience describes a dimension of cognitive style that distinguishes imaginative, creative people from down-to-earth, conventional people. Open people are intellectually curious, appreciative of art and sensitive to beauty. They tend to be, compared to closed people, more aware of their feelings. They tend to think and act in individualistic and nonconforming ways. 

'Intellectuals' typically score high on Openness to Experience; consequently, this factor has also been called Culture or Intellect. Nonetheless, Intellect is probably best regarded as one aspect of Openness to Experience. Scores on Openness to Experience are only modestly related to years of education and scores on standard intelligent tests.

Another characteristic of the open cognitive style is a facility for thinking in symbols and abstractions far removed from concrete experience. Depending on the individual's specific intellectual abilities, this symbolic cognition may take the form of: mathematical, logical or geometric thinking - artistic and metaphorical use of language - music composition or performance - one of the many visual or performing arts. 

People with low scores on Openness to Experience tend to have narrow, common interests. They prefer the plain, straightforward and obvious over the complex, ambiguous and subtle. They may regard the arts and sciences with suspicion, regarding these endeavours as obscure or of no practical use. Closed people prefer familiarity over novelty; they are conservative and resistant to change.

Openness is often perceived as healthier or more mature. However, both open and closed styles of thinking are useful in different environments. The intellectual style of the open person may serve a educator or strategist well.  However, research has shown that closed thinking is related to superior job performance in police work, sales and a number of service occupations.

Facets of Openness to Experience
Imagination
To imaginative individuals the real world is often too plain and ordinary. High scorers for this facet use fantasy, not as an escape, but as a way of creating for themselves, a more richer and  interesting inner-world. 
Artistic Interests 
High scorers in this area love beauty, both in art and in nature. They become easily involved and absorbed in artistic and natural events. 
Depth of Emotions
People who score high for this facet have good access to and awareness of their own feelings.
Willingness to Experiment 
High scorers for this area are eager to try new activities, and experience different things. They find familiarity and routine boring.
Intellectual Curiosity
Intellect and artistic interests are the two most important, central aspects of Openness to Experience.  
Tolerance for Diversity 
'
Psychological liberalism' refers to a readiness to challenge authority, convention and traditional values. 

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Conscientiousness

Conscientiousness concerns the way in which we control, regulate and direct our impulses. Impulses are not inherently bad; occasionally time constraints require a snap decision and acting on our first impulse can be an effective response. Also, in times of play rather than work, acting spontaneously and impulsively can be fun. Impulsive individuals can be seen by others as colourful, fun-to-be-with and zany.

Nonetheless, acting on impulse can lead to trouble in a number of ways. Some impulses are antisocial. Uncontrolled antisocial acts not only harm other members of society but also can result in retribution toward the perpetrator of such impulsive acts. Another problem with impulsive acts is that they often produce immediate rewards but undesirable, long-term consequences. Examples include excessive socialising that leads to being fired from one's job, hurling an insult that causes the break-up of an important relationship, or using pleasure-inducing drugs that eventually destroy one's health.

Impulsive behaviour, even when not seriously destructive, diminishes a person's effectiveness in significant ways. Acting impulsively disallows contemplating alternative courses of action, some of which would have been wiser than the impulsive choice. Impulsivity also sidetracks people during projects that require organised sequences of steps or stages. Accomplishments of an impulsive person are therefore small, scattered and inconsistent.

A hallmark of intelligence is the ability to think about future consequences before acting on an impulse. Intelligent activity involves contemplation of long-range goals, organising and planning routes to these goals and persisting toward one's goals in the face of short-lived impulses to the contrary. The idea that intelligence involves impulse control is nicely captured by the term prudence, an alternative label for the Conscientiousness domain. Prudent means both wise and cautious. Persons who score high on the Conscientiousness scale are, in fact, perceived by others as intelligent.

The benefits of high conscientiousness are obvious. Conscientious individuals avoid trouble and achieve high levels of success through purposeful planning and persistence. They are also positively regarded by others as intelligent and reliable. On the negative side, they can be compulsive perfectionists and workaholics. Furthermore, extremely conscientious individuals might be regarded as stuffy and boring. People who are lacking in conscientiousness may be criticised for their unreliability, lack of ambition and failure to stay within the lines, but they will experience many short-lived pleasures and they will never be called stuffy.

Facets of Conscientiousness
Sense of Competence
Competency describes an individual's confidence in their ability to accomplish things. 
Orderliness 
People with high scores in this area are well-organised, tidy and neat. 
Sense of Responsibility 
This facet of personality reflects the strength of a person's sense of duty and obligation.  
Achievement-Striving
Individuals who score high in this area strive hard to achieve excellence.  Their drive to be recognised as successful keeps them on track as they work hard to achieve their goals. 
Self-Discipline 
Self-discipline, called 'will-power' by many people, refers to the ability to persist at difficult or unpleasant tasks until they are completed.  
Deliberateness
Cautiousness describes the disposition to think carefully through possibilities before acting. 

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Extraversion

Extraversion is marked by pronounced engagement with the external world. Extraverts enjoy being with people, are full of energy and often experience positive emotions. 
They tend to be enthusiastic and action-oriented individuals who are likely to say "Yes!" or "Let's go!" to opportunities for excitement. In groups they like to talk, assert themselves and draw attention to themselves.

Introverts lack the exuberance, energy and activity levels of extraverts. They tend to be quiet, low-key, deliberate and disengaged from the social world. 
However. their lack of social involvement should not be interpreted as shyness or depression; the introvert simply needs less stimulation than an extravert and prefers to be alone. The independence and reserve of the introvert is sometimes mistaken as unfriendliness or arrogance.

Facets of Extraversion
Warmth
Friendly people genuinely like other people and openly demonstrate positive feelings toward others.
Gregariousness
Gregarious people find the company of others pleasantly stimulating and rewarding. They enjoy the excitement of crowds. 
Excitement-Seeking 
High scorers for this area of personality are easily bored without high levels of stimulation. 
Positive Emotions
This facet measures a person's ability to experience a range of positive feelings, including happiness, enthusiasm, optimism and joy. 
Assertiveness 
High scorers for Assertiveness like to charge and direct the activities of others. They tend to be leaders in groups. 
Activity Level 
Active individuals lead fast-paced and busy lives. They do things and move about quickly, energetically, vigorously and they are involved in many activities. 

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Agreeableness

Agreeableness reflects individual differences in concern about co-operation and social harmony. Agreeable individuals value getting along with others. They are therefore considerate, friendly, generous, helpful and willing to compromise their interests with others'. Agreeable people also have an optimistic view of human nature. They believe people are basically honest, decent and trustworthy.

People who score low in this area place self-interest above getting along with others. They are generally unconcerned with others' well-being and therefore are unlikely to extend themselves for other people. Sometimes their scepticism about others' motives causes them to be suspicious, unfriendly and uncooperative.

Agreeableness is obviously advantageous for attaining and maintaining popularity. Agreeable people are better liked than disagreeable people. On the other hand, agreeableness is not useful in situations that require tough or absolute objective decisions. Low scorers can make excellent scientists, critics, or soldiers.

Facets of Agreeableness
Trust in others 
People who score high in this area fundamentally assume that most people are fair, honest and have good intentions.  They take people at face value and they are willing to forgive and forget.
Sincerity 
High scorers for this facet see no need for pretence or manipulation when dealing with others and are therefore candid, frank and genuine. 
Altruism
Altruistic people find helping other people genuinely rewarding.  Altruistic people find that doing things for others is a form of self-fulfilment rather than self-sacrifice. 
Compliance
Individuals who score high for Compliance dislike confrontations. They are perfectly willing to compromise or to deny their own needs in order to get along with others. 
Modesty
High scorers are unassuming, rather self-effacing and humble.  However it is important to understand that they are not necessarily lacking in self-confidence or self-esteem.
Sympathy
People who score high for this area are tender-hearted and compassionate. 

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Natural Reactions

People high in Natural Reactions are emotionally reactive. They respond emotionally to events that do not affect a lot of people and their reactions tend to be more intense. They are more likely to interpret ordinary situations as threatening and minor frustrations as hopelessly difficult. Their negative emotional reactions tend to persist for unusually long periods of time.  These problems can diminish a person's ability to think clearly, make decisions and cope effectively with stress.

At the other end of the scale, individuals who score low in Natural Reactions are less easily upset and are less emotionally reactive. They tend to be calm, relaxed and rarely experience negative feelings. Freedom from negative feelings does not necessarily mean that low scorers experience a lot of positive feelings, (frequency of positive emotions is measured by a facet of the Extraversion factor).

People high in Natural Reactions are emotionally reactive. They respond emotionally to events that do not affect a lot of people and their reactions tend to be more intense. They are more likely to interpret ordinary situations as threatening and minor frustrations as hopelessly difficult. Their negative emotional reactions tend to persist for unusually long periods of time.  These problems can diminish a person's ability to think clearly, make decisions and cope effectively with stress.

At the other end of the scale, individuals who score low in Natural Reactions are less easily upset and are less emotionally reactive. They tend to be calm, relaxed and rarely experience negative feelings. Freedom from negative feelings does not necessarily mean that low scorers experience a lot of positive feelings, (frequency of positive emotions is measured by a facet of the Extraversion factor).

Anxiety 
The 'fight-or-flight' system of the brain of anxious individuals is too easily and too often engaged. Therefore, people who score high in this area often feel like something unpleasant, threatening or dangerous is about to happen. 
Angry Hostility 
This facet measures the tendency to feel angry.  Whether or not a person expresses annoyance and hostility depends on his or her level of Agreeableness. 
Moodiness/Contentment
This facet measures normal differences in the way that people react to life's ups and downs.  We are not using the word 'depression' in a medical or clinical sense.
Self-Consciousness 
Self-conscious individuals are sensitive about what others think of them. Their concern about rejection and ridicule cause them to feel shy and uncomfortable around others. They are easily embarrassed.
Self-indulgence
People who score in the high range for Immoderation feel strong cravings and urges that they have difficulty resisting - even though they know that they are likely to regret it later.   They tend to be oriented toward short-term pleasures and rewards rather than long-term consequences. 
Sensitivity to Stress
High scorers on Sensitivity to Stress have difficulty in coping with stress.  They experience panic, confusion and helplessness when under pressure or when facing emergency situations.

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tions measure the personality traits associated with successful job performance - more objectively and precisely than they have ever done before!  This leads to increased individual productivity that in turn will lead to increased organisational effectiveness.

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