Is there an analog to the five factor model for emotion?

Is there an analog to the five factor model for emotion?

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To the best of my understanding, the five factor model of personality comes from a factor analysis on a large list of adjectives that can be used to describe an individual's personality. It is validated, in some sense, by its usefulness in predicting behavior and life outcomes in a wide range of contexts.

It seems like something very similar could be done for emotion. I.e. list words describing a persons present state (angry, remorseful, sad, bitter, frustrated, etcetera) and do a factor analysis on those. Then, see if the resulting model (assuming that the analysis yields something useful) is predictive of shorter term / state dependent behavior.

Has any work like this been done?

The recently published Atlas of personality, emotion and behaviour is possibly what you are looking for(Mobbs, 2020). Over 3,000 emotions are included in the analysis, a summary of which is below. The article has a more comprehensive version. The five factor model was derived through factorisation whereas the atlas was developed using a lexical/network approach.


Mobbs AED (2020) An atlas of personality, emotion and behaviour. PLOS ONE 15(1): e0227877.

Declared Interest

I am the author of the atlas paper.

The five-factor model of personality, work stress and professional quality of life in neonatal intensive care unit nurses

Aims: The study aim was to determine the direct and indirect relations of the five-factor model of personality traits and work stress with professional quality of life in neonatal nurses.

Background: Neonatal intensive care nursing has positive and negative effects on neonatal nurses' psychological well-being. Although individual and situational factors interact to influence professional quality of life, there have been few studies of these relationships in neonatal nurses.

Design: A cross-sectional study conducted in 2016.

Methods: Self-report questionnaires were used to measure professional quality of life (burnout, secondary traumatic stress and compassion satisfaction), five-factor model of personality traits (neuroticism, agreeableness, extraversion, conscientiousness and openness) and work stress (role ambiguity, role conflict and role overload).

Results: One hundred and forty (34%) of 405 eligible neonatal nurses provided the data. After controlling for work stress, neuroticism and agreeableness were related to burnout, neuroticism was related to secondary traumatic stress, and extraversion was related to compassion satisfaction. Work stress controlled for personality traits was related to burnout and secondary traumatic stress, but not to compassion satisfaction. Neuroticism moderated the effect of work stress on secondary traumatic stress and agreeableness and openness moderated the effect of work stress on compassion satisfaction. Work stress mediated the effect of neuroticism and extraversion on burnout and the effects of extraversion and conscientiousness on compassion satisfaction.

Conclusion: Strategies to reduce work stress may not lessen burnout and secondary traumatic stress or increase compassion satisfaction in neonatal nurses who are prone to high neuroticism, low agreeableness and low extraversion.

Keywords: neonatal nurses nursing personality professional quality of life work stress.

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Is there an analog to the five factor model for emotion? - Psychology

Emotional Intelligence, as a psychological theory, was developed by Peter Salovey and John Mayer.

"Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth."

- Mayer & Salovey, 1997

The following steps describe the five components of emotional intelligence at work, as developed by Daniel Goleman. Goleman is a science journalist who brought "emotional intelligence" on the bestseller list and has authored a number of books on the subject, including "Emotional Intelligence," "Working With Emotional Intelligence," and, lately, of "Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships."

An article on the relation between Goleman and the psychological research communitiy appeared in Salon, on June 28, 1999.

The Five Components of Emotional Intelligence

Self-awareness . The ability to recognize and understand personal moods and emotions and drives, as well as their effect on others. Hallmarks* of self-awareness include self-confidence, realistic self-assessment, and a self-deprecating sense of humor. Self-awareness depend on one's ability to monitor one's own emotion state and to correctly identify and name one's emotions.

[*A hallmark is a sure sign: since self-awareness is necessary for, say, realistic self-assessment, that is, without self-awareness no realistic self-assessment, the presence of of realistic self-assessment is a sure sign (sufficient to conclude that there is) self-awareness.]

Self-regulation.The ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods, and the propensity to suspend judgment and to think before acting. Hallmarks include trustworthiness and integrity comfort with ambiguity and openness to change.

Internal motivation . A passion to work for internal reasons that go beyond money and status -which are external rewards, - such as an inner vision of what is important in life, a joy in doing something, curiosity in learning, a flow that comes with being immersed in an activity. A propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence. Hallmarks include a strong drive to achieve, optimism even in the face of failure, and organizational commitment.

Empathy. The ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people. A skill in treating people according to their emotional reactions. Hallmarks include expertise in building and retaining talent, cross-cultural sensitivity, and service to clients and customers. (In an educational context, empathy is often thought to include, or lead to, sympathy, which implies concern, or care or a wish to soften negative emotions or experiences in others.) See also Mirror Neurons.
It is important to note that empathy does not necessarily imply compassion. Empathy can be 'used' for compassionate or cruel behavior. Serial killers who marry and kill many partners in a row tend to have great emphatic skills!

Social skills . Proficiency in managing relationships and building networks, and an ability to find common ground and build rapport. Hallmarks of social skills include effectiveness in leading change, persuasiveness, and expertise building and leading teams.

Building one session on another

Cognitive–behavioural therapy views the clinical sessions with the patient as only a part of the overall treatment. The individual sessions provide a structure and focus to treatment, with the planned provision of information and the learning of self-management skills within the context of a collaborative therapeutic relationship with the clinician. A crucial part of CBT is a self-help approach that enables the patient to put into practice in everyday life what he or she has learned during treatment sessions. Equipping the patient with a set of skills to self-manage current problems is a central aim of CBT. For this reason a key component of each treatment session is to work with the patient in developing a specific action plan of how, between now and the next scheduled meeting, he or she is going to put into practice what was learned in the session. The term ‘putting into practice what you have learned’ is preferred to the traditional CBT term ‘homework’ as it avoids the potential negative associations of treatment being akin to school work that must be completed and is then marked by a teacher, or in this case the clinician. ‘Practice’ is negotiated collaboratively between patient and clinician and is seen as a time for active self-treatment. The inter-session practice encourages the patient to generalise skills learned in sessions to tackle problems encountered in everyday life. It is important that difficulty with this process is not viewed as a failure but simply as an opportunity for further learning. Success, on the other hand, can reinforce the patient's sense of self-efficacy and give encouragement that future difficulties or relapses may be tackled in a similar manner. As a result, treatment outcome is enhanced for patients who complete such ‘homework’ assignments.

In addition to setting clear practice goals, it is useful to build in a practice review time at the beginning of each scheduled treatment session. This allows patient and clinician to review how well the inter-session practice has gone, identify any problems encountered in its completion and use the results of the practice as a basis for future work, both in and out of sessions. Structuring the session in this way will also highlight to the patient the importance of inter-session practice, which in turn should increase the likelihood that the practice tasks will be carried out. This ongoing process of reflecting on individual learning derived from the inter-session task is a key component of the CBT approach. Ideally such tasks should present the patient with a no-lose situation. Thus, even if the task does not go as intended, or indeed if it is not completed at all, patient and clinician can still both learn more about the patient's problems. Even if the inter-session task yields an extremely beneficial result it is still vital to review the outcome of the task, identify the specific learning that has taken place and take every available opportunity to generalise this to other situations in the patient's life. This review process can be summarised by four simple questions:


In this study, four facilitators of positive emotions during exercise and recreational sport were identified: PC, PSI, NE, and PPE. These results could provide the starting point for the development of interventions aiming at the promotion of positive emotional states in sport in order to increase maintenance and adherence to sport and exercise. Future steps will be to design intervention studies according to the findings of this study and to test their effectiveness in experimental studies.


The goal of the current research was to examine whether the commonly accepted multidimensional structure of mindfulness as exemplified in the FFMQ can be conceptually replicated using measures originally included in the development of the FFMQ while also including additional theoretically similar (PHLMS) and dissimilar (LMS) measures.

While we recovered three facets that expressed the same content as observing, describing, and acting with awareness in the FFMQ, we did not find separate non-judging and non-reacting components. This indicates that the distinction between those two components of mindfulness requiring distinct cognitive and behavioral reactions, while theoretically important, might not be sufficiently clear and distinct for participants in our sample. Both components require adaptation of cognitive and behavioral responses after noticing internal or external sensations, emotions, and thoughts. These distinctions appear to be too subtle, as these two factors merged to a generic non-reactivity factor in our sample. Similar factors combining non-judgment and non-reaction have been reported in other instruments (for example the CAMS-R, PHLMS). At the same time, when including an additional measure of mindfulness with a distinct philosophical background, we identified an additional factor. Overall, this indicates that while some individual components can be recovered and are broadly in line with previous conceptualizations of mindfulness, we did not recover the complete structure of the FFMQ with all its nuances and it may miss additional components of interest to mindfulness researchers.

We also found that openness/Western conceptualization of mindfulness emerged as a clearly defined separate component. This supports the theoretical separation of these measures because openness as a core component of a Western mindfulness definition can be empirically separated from items supposed to measure Eastern-philosophical perspectives on mindfulness (Pirson et al., 2018). Interestingly, the LMS is supposed to show a three-dimensional structure, but in our sample the overall fit for the three factors was poor, and in the item level analysis, a single distinct factor emerged. At the same time, our examination of the unfolding component structure provides important insight into the components that the Eastern and Western conceptualizations of mindfulness share, which helps to explain positive relationships between the LMS and the FFMQ reported in previous research (Siegling & Petrides, 2016, 2014). The positive relationship of the LMS noted in previous research might be due to the describing facet of the FFMQ (the describing facet showed the strongest positive correlations with the LMS during validation studies, see Pirson et al., 2018). In the current study the LMS/openness components were most clearly associated with describing during the unfolding of the facture structure, and the LMS/openness only splits from this factor and emerged as a separate factor when six components were extracted. This suggests that the ability to describe one’s feelings and experiences is an important correlate of being open for new experience as well as enjoying those experiences. Therefore, our analysis suggests that even though Western conceptualizations of mindfulness draw upon different philosophical traditions, the relevant social and cognitive components might still be shared with Eastern-based conceptualizations of mindfulness.

We found a component that expressed judging/reacting and was mostly defined by negatively worded items. This further highlights possible method artifacts in the measurement of mindfulness (Aguado et al., 2015). Studies using a person-centered approach to the FFMQ found a profile that was defined by judging, rather than non-judging (e.g., Bravo, Boothe, & Pearson, 2016 Pearson, Lawless, Brown, & Bravo, 2015). These patterns raise the possibility that a number of reversely worded items, possibly from the non-judging or non-reacting facets, do not measure the polar opposites of the positively worded items, but rather tap into a separate construct masked as a response style component. This is a finding consistent with previous studies that found that the fit of the FFMQ can be improved through a bi-factor model, indicating the potential presence of a g-factor of mindfulness explaining variance beyond the individual facets (Aguado et al., 2015 Van Dam, Hobkirk, Danoff-Burg, & Earleywine, 2012). The interpretation of bi-factor models has been controversial (Bonifay et al., 2017) and further research is needed to understand the meaning of such a factor in the context of mindfulness


Our current study brings together theoretically similar and distinct measures of mindfulness, highlighting the general robustness of the FFMM and appropriateness of the FFMQ to measure mindfulness. It also shows that it is possible to discriminate Western-based conceptualizations of mindfulness from Eastern mindfulness measures. At the same time, it appears that Western-based measures of mindfulness may tap into similar social and cognitive processes that are also fundamental to the traits and abilities captured by Eastern-based mindfulness measures. We used a shortened version of the FMI therefore, our current study did not employ the exact measures of the study conducted by Baer et al. (2006). Nevertheless, we only recovered three facets (observing, describing, acting with awareness), and one facet that expressed a combination of non-reacting/non-judging. Together with our finding that some items form a negative wording factor, this indicates that the current dimensional conceptualization of mindfulness might need revision.


A limitation of our current study, while still closely resembling the sample used by Baer et al. (2006) during the development of the FFMQ, is the use of a sample of young adults in a Western educational context with a low percentage of active meditators. Previous research found that the observing facet is more strongly related to the general factor of mindfulness in samples with meditation experience (Lilja, Lundh, Josefsson, & Falkenström, 2013). However, our New Zealand-based sample is conceptually interesting because New Zealand has an official bi-cultural status, in which the national culture is actively co-constructed from both Western influences and traditional Maori culture (for a concise review of New Zealand history see: Mein Smith, 2011). This bi-cultural model undergirds the social and educational context which has led to more nuanced perceptions of the mind-body duality in a general population compared to North American or Western European settings. This interweaving of cultural practices is increasingly recognized, and more explicit connections between specific Maori cultural practices and Eastern-based mindfulness practices are explored (Higgins & Eden, 2018). Therefore, the insights from this sample are informative even in the absence of a larger number of meditators or mindfulness practitioners.

15.11 Personality Disorders

The term personality refers loosely to one’s stable, consistent, and distinctive way of thinking about, feeling, acting, and relating to the world. People with personality disorders exhibit a personality style that differs markedly from the expectations of their culture, is pervasive and inflexible, begins in adolescence or early adulthood, and causes distress or impairment (APA, 2013). Generally, individuals with these disorders exhibit enduring personality styles that are extremely troubling and often create problems for them and those with whom they come into contact. Their maladaptive personality styles frequently bring them into conflict with others, disrupt their ability to develop and maintain social relationships, and prevent them from accomplishing realistic life goals.

The DSM-5 recognizes 10 personality disorders, organized into 3 different clusters. Cluster A disorders include paranoid personality disorder , schizoid personality disorder , and schizotypal personality disorder . People with these disorders display a personality style that is odd or eccentric. Cluster B disorders include antisocial personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder , narcissistic personality disorder , and borderline personality disorder. People with these disorders usually are impulsive, overly dramatic, highly emotional, and erratic. Cluster C disorders include avoidant personality disorder , dependent personality disorder , and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (which is not the same thing as obsessive-compulsive disorder). People with these disorders often appear to be nervous and fearful. Table 15.2 provides a description of each of the DSM-5 personality disorders:

DSM-5 Personality Disorder Description Cluster
Paranoid harbors a pervasive and unjustifiable suspiciousness and mistrust of others reluctant to confide in or become close to others reads hidden demeaning or threatening meaning into benign remarks or events takes offense easily and bears grudges not due to schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders A
Schizoid lacks interest and desire to form relationships with others aloof and shows emotional coldness and detachment indifferent to approval or criticism of others lacks close friends or confidants not due to schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders, not an autism spectrum disorder A
Schizotypal exhibits eccentricities in thought, perception, emotion, speech, and behavior shows suspiciousness or paranoia has unusual perceptual experiences speech is often idiosyncratic displays inappropriate emotions lacks friends or confidants not due to schizophrenia or other psychotic disorder, or to autism spectrum disorder A
Antisocial continuously violates the rights of others history of antisocial tendencies prior to age 15 often lies, fights, and has problems with the law impulsive and fails to think ahead can be deceitful and manipulative in order to gain profit or pleasure irresponsible and often fails to hold down a job or pay financial debts lacks feelings for others and remorse over misdeeds B
Histrionic excessively overdramatic, emotional, and theatrical feels uncomfortable when not the center of others’ attention behavior is often inappropriately seductive or provocative speech is highly emotional but often vague and diffuse emotions are shallow and often shift rapidly may alienate friends with demands for constant attention B
Narcissistic overinflated and unjustified sense of self-importance and preoccupied with fantasies of success believes he is entitled to special treatment from others shows arrogant attitudes and behaviors takes advantage of others lacks empathy B
Borderline unstable in self-image, mood, and behavior cannot tolerate being alone and experiences chronic feelings of emptiness unstable and intense relationships with others behavior is impulsive, unpredictable, and sometimes self-damaging shows inappropriate and intense anger makes suicidal gestures B
Avoidant socially inhibited and oversensitive to negative evaluation avoids occupations that involve interpersonal contact because of fears of criticism or rejection avoids relationships with others unless guaranteed to be accepted unconditionally feels inadequate and views self as socially inept and unappealing unwilling to take risks or engage in new activities if they may prove embarrassing C
Dependent allows others to take over and run her life is submissive, clingy, and fears separation cannot make decisions without advice and reassurance from others lacks self-confidence cannot do things on her own feels uncomfortable or helpless when alone C
Obsessive-Compulsive pervasive need for perfectionism that interferes with the ability to complete tasks preoccupied with details, rules, order, and schedules excessively devoted to work at the expense of leisure and friendships rigid, inflexible, and stubborn insists things be done his way miserly with money C

Slightly over 9% of the U.S. population suffers from a personality disorder, with avoidant and schizoid personality disorders the most frequent (Lezenweger, Lane, Loranger, & Kessler, 2007). Two of these personality disorders, borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder, are regarded by many as especially problematic.

Borderline Personality Disorder

The “borderline” in borderline personality disorder was originally coined in the late 1930s in an effort to describe patients who appeared anxious, but were prone to brief psychotic experiences—that is, patients who were thought to be literally on the borderline between anxiety and psychosis (Freeman, Stone, Martin, & Reinecke, 2005). Today, borderline personality disorder has a completely different meaning. Borderline personality disorder is characterized chiefly by instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, and mood, as well as marked impulsivity (APA, 2013). People with borderline personality disorder cannot tolerate the thought of being alone and will make frantic efforts (including making suicidal gestures and engaging in self-mutilation) to avoid abandonment or separation (whether real or imagined). Their relationships are intense and unstable for example, a lover may be idealized early in a relationship, but then later vilified at the slightest sign she appears to no longer show interest. These individuals have an unstable view of self and, thus, might suddenly display a shift in personal attitudes, interests, career plans, and choice of friends. For example, a law school student may, despite having invested tens of thousands of dollars toward earning a law degree and despite having performed well in the program, consider dropping out and pursuing a career in another field. People with borderline personality disorder may be highly impulsive and may engage in reckless and self-destructive behaviors such as excessive gambling, spending money irresponsibly, substance abuse, engaging in unsafe sex, and reckless driving. They sometimes show intense and inappropriate anger that they have difficulty controlling, and they can be moody, sarcastic, bitter, and verbally abusive.

The prevalence of borderline personality disorder in the U.S. population is estimated to be around 1.4% (Lezenweger et al., 2007), but the rates are higher among those who use mental health services approximately 10% of mental health outpatients and 20% of psychiatric inpatients meet the criteria for diagnosis (APA, 2013). Additionally, borderline personality disorder is comorbid with anxiety, mood, and substance use disorders (Lezenweger et al., 2007).

Biological Basis for Borderline Personality Disorder

Genetic factors appear to be important in the development of borderline personality disorder. For example, core personality traits that characterize this disorder, such as impulsivity and emotional instability, show a high degree of heritability (Livesley, 2008). Also, the rates of borderline personality disorder among relatives of people with this disorder have been found to be as high as 24.9% (White, Gunderson, Zanarani, & Hudson, 2003). Individuals with borderline personality disorder report experiencing childhood physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse at rates far greater than those observed in the general population (Afifi et al., 2010), indicating that environmental factors are also crucial. These findings would suggest that borderline personality disorder may be determined by an interaction between genetic factors and adverse environmental experiences. Consistent with this hypothesis, one study found that the highest rates of borderline personality disorder were among individuals with a borderline temperament (characterized by high novelty seeking and high harm-avoidance) and those who experienced childhood abuse and/or neglect (Joyce et al., 2003).

Antisocial Personality Disorder

Most human beings live in accordance with a moral compass, a sense of right and wrong. Most individuals learn at a very young age that there are certain things that should not be done. We learn that we should not lie or cheat. We are taught that it is wrong to take things that do not belong to us, and that it is wrong to exploit others for personal gain. We also learn the importance of living up to our responsibilities, of doing what we say we will do. People with antisocial personality disorder, however, do not seem to have a moral compass. These individuals act as though they neither have a sense of nor care about right or wrong. Not surprisingly, these people represent a serious problem for others and for society in general.

According to the DSM-5, the individual with antisocial personality disorder shows no regard at all for other people’s rights or feelings. This lack of regard is exhibited a number of ways and can include repeatedly performing illegal acts, lying to or conning others, impulsivity and recklessness, irritability and aggressiveness toward others, and failure to act in a responsible way (e.g., leaving debts unpaid) (APA, 2013). The worst part about antisocial personality disorder, however, is that people with this disorder have no remorse over their misdeeds these people will hurt, manipulate, exploit, and abuse others and not feel any guilt. Signs of this disorder can emerge early in life however, a person must be at least 18 years old to be diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder.

People with antisocial personality disorder seem to view the world as self-serving and unkind. They seem to think that they should use whatever means necessary to get by in life. They tend to view others not as living, thinking, feeling beings, but rather as pawns to be used or abused for a specific purpose. They often have an over-inflated sense of themselves and can appear extremely arrogant. They frequently display superficial charm for example, without really meaning it they might say exactly what they think another person wants to hear. They lack empathy: they are incapable of understanding the emotional point-of-view of others. People with this disorder may become involved in illegal enterprises, show cruelty toward others, leave their jobs with no plans to obtain another job, have multiple sexual partners, repeatedly get into fights with others, and show reckless disregard for themselves and others (e.g., repeated arrests for driving while intoxicated) (APA, 2013).

The DSM-5 has included an alternative model for conceptualizing personality disorders based on the traits identified in the Five Factor Model of personality. This model addresses the level of personality functioning such as impairments in self (identity or self-direction) and interpersonal (empathy or intimacy) functioning. In the case of antisocial personality disorder, the DSM-5 identifies the predominant traits of antagonism (such as disregard for others’ needs, manipulative or deceitful behavior) and disinhibition (characterized by impulsivity, irresponsibility, and risk-taking) (Harwood, Schade, Krueger, Wright, & Markon, 2012). A psychopathology specifier is also included that emphasizes traits such as attention seeking and low anxiousness (lack of concern about negative consequences for risky or harmful behavior) (Crego & Widiger, 2014).

Risk Factors for Antisocial Personality Disorder

Antisocial personality disorder is observed in about 3.6% of the population the disorder is much more common among males, with a 3 to 1 ratio of men to women, and it is more likely to occur in men who are younger, widowed, separated, divorced, of lower socioeconomic status, who live in urban areas, and who live in the western United States (Compton, Conway, Stinson, Colliver, & Grant, 2005). Compared to men with antisocial personality disorder, women with the disorder are more likely to have experienced emotional neglect and sexual abuse during childhood, and they are more likely to have had parents who abused substances and who engaged in antisocial behaviors themselves (Alegria et al., 2013).

Table 15.3 shows some of the differences in the specific types of antisocial behaviors that men and women with antisocial personality disorder exhibit (Alegria et al., 2013).

  • do things that could easily hurt themselves or others
  • receive three or more traffic tickets for reckless driving
  • have their driver’s license suspended
  • destroy others’ property
  • start a fire on purpose
  • make money illegally
  • do anything that could lead to arrest
  • hit someone hard enough to injure them
  • hurt an animal on purpose
  • run away from home overnight
  • frequently miss school or work
  • lie frequently
  • forge someone’s signature
  • get into a fight that comes to blows with an intimate partner
  • live with others besides the family for at least one month
  • harass, threaten, or blackmail someone

Family, twin, and adoption studies suggest that both genetic and environmental factors influence the development of antisocial personality disorder, as well as general antisocial behavior (criminality, violence, aggressiveness) (Baker, Bezdjian, & Raine, 2006). Personality and temperament dimensions that are related to this disorder, including fearlessness, impulsive antisociality, and callousness, have a substantial genetic influence (Livesley & Jang, 2008). Adoption studies clearly demonstrate that the development of antisocial behavior is determined by the interaction of genetic factors and adverse environmental circumstances (Rhee & Waldman, 2002). For example, one investigation found that adoptees of biological parents with antisocial personality disorder were more likely to exhibit adolescent and adult antisocial behaviors if they were raised in adverse adoptive family environments (e.g., adoptive parents had marital problems, were divorced, used drugs, and had legal problems) than if they were raised in a more normal adoptive environment (Cadoret, Yates, Ed, Woodworth, & Stewart, 1995).

Researchers who are interested in the importance of environment in the development of antisocial personality disorder have directed their attention to such factors as the community, the structure and functioning of the family, and peer groups. Each of these factors influences the likelihood of antisocial behavior. One longitudinal investigation of more than 800 Seattle-area youth measured risk factors for violence at 10, 14, 16, and 18 years of age (Herrenkohl et al., 2000). The risk factors examined included those involving the family, peers, and community. A portion of the findings from this study are provided in Figure 15.20.

Those with antisocial tendencies do not seem to experience emotions the way most other people do. These individuals fail to show fear in response to environment cues that signal punishment, pain, or noxious stimulation. For instance, they show less skin conductance (sweatiness on hands) in anticipation of electric shock than do people without antisocial tendencies (Hare, 1965). Skin conductance is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system and is used to assess autonomic nervous system functioning. When the sympathetic nervous system is active, people become aroused and anxious, and sweat gland activity increases. Thus, increased sweat gland activity, as assessed through skin conductance, is taken as a sign of arousal or anxiety. For those with antisocial personality disorder, a lack of skin conductance may indicate the presence of characteristics such as emotional deficits and impulsivity that underlie the propensity for antisocial behavior and negative social relationships (Fung et al., 2005).

Another example showing that those with antisocial personality disorder fail to respond to environmental cues comes from a recent study by Stuppy-Sullivan and Baskin-Sommers (2019). The researchers studied cognitive and reward factors associated with antisocial personality disorder dysfunction in 119 incarcerated males. Each subject was administered three tasks targeting different aspects of cognition and reward. High-magnitude rewards tended to impair perception in those with antisocial personality disorder, worsened executive function when they were consciously aware of the high rewards, and worsened inhibition when the tasks placed high demand on working memory.

The Importance of Personality Trait Screening for Today’s Organizations – Application of the Five Factor Model (FFM)

The quest for talent for today’s organizations can be both competitive and costly. It has become advantageous for corporations to include personality trait testing in addition to the typical review of skills and past work experiences to select the best candidate. The trend for such testing has increased since 9-11 and the elevated awareness of workplace violence (The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2010) has placed organizations on guard for behavioral indications that could result in a lack of performance, increased employee turnaround and in some cases lawsuits in regards to liability. Corporations understand the importance of leadership and that the leader’s personality traits as well as their performance are paramount and a reflection of the operations and functionality of their workforce which is the backbone responsible for positive outcomes related to the bottom line.

Anyone who has held a job for any extended period of time most likely has witnessed personality issues with leadership. Although there are laws that protect workers from discrimination and hostile work environments, poor leadership traits that cause duress to a lesser degree in the workplace are more difficult to remedy as individual state laws tend to address only cases that can be defined as intentional, extreme and outrageous conduct (Workplace Fairness, n.d.). Therefore, responsibility for safeguarding employees against all levels of unacceptable leadership behavior lies exclusively with the organization and most likely accounts for the increase of such testing. This is evidenced and supported by the fact that 13% of all corporations and 89 of the Fortune 100 companies administer personality assessments to prospective employees (Taube, 2015).

Since the start of the 20 th century, researchers have attempted to define leadership by sets of behavioral traits and within the last 25 years the “Big Five”, also known as the Five Factor Model (FFM) has emerged as the most widely accepted collection of personality factors (Northhouse, 2016, pp. 19, 26). The major advantage of this concept is that it is global and unaffected by the change of culture and thus can consistently predict behavioral tendencies over time (PSU WC L2, 2017, p. 4). Although this is an important advantage, like all trait approaches this method is criticized as restrictive and subsequently it may not include a complete compilation of the desired traits and studies involving leadership traits result in vague results (Northhouse, 2016, pp. 30, 31).

The Five Factor Model of personality traits is made up of five behaviors Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Neuroticism, Openness and Extraversion which are often arranged as the acronym CANOE or OCEAN as shown in figure 1 below. It is important to note that high scores are desirable for each of the traits with the exception of Neuroticism as a lower score for this trait reflects a higher degree of emotional stability. One additional criticism that should be mentioned for organizations is the consensus that trait perspectives are not easily taught or developed as these are personal traits and therefore difficult to change (Northhouse, 2016, p. 32). Understanding this limitation should have grave implications toward the selection of future leaders as organizations must realize that applicants failing to meet minimum requirements should not be considered for positions of leadership. One very interesting and surprising fact to note in regards to Agreeableness is that this trait has also been defined by geographical locations in the United States with Western states displaying the highest level of this characteristic (Boundless. “The Five-Factor Model.”, 2016).

Figure 1: The Big Five Personality Traits. Adapted from – Trait Perspective on Personality. Retrieved from:

Judge, Bono, Ilies and Gerhardt conducted a meta-analysis study which confirmed a strong relationship between McCrae and Costa’s Five Factor Personality Model and leadership. In this study they found extraversion most strongly related followed by conscientiousness, openness, low neuroticism and lastly agreeableness. (Northhouse, 2016, p. 27). Although the strength of these relationships is supported by the analysis of the data I would caution organizations to prioritize these factors based on the situational influence dependent upon their overall needs as an organization and influenced by the audience of followers. As an example one could expect an organization related to the creation of new technology as considering openness more important than extraversion as they would value creativity over assertiveness. Furthermore, a business looking to improve productivity might value conscientiousness as the most influential factor since this trait is related to dependability and organization which would be associated to goal attainment.

The concern of business should be based on their need without bias in establishing a baseline utilized to exemplify the trait characteristics of the Five Factor Model. In addition, supplemental testing will provide a more detailed and complete assessment of candidate’s ability to perform at the expected levels with the desired traits and protect themselves from counterproductive leadership qualities known as dark-side personality traits (PSU WC L2, 2017, p. 5). Northhouse (2016) mentions the practicality of trait testing for assessing placement as well as personal awareness (Northhouse, 2016, p. 40), but fails to emphasize the importance of this type of testing for organizations and the liabilities associated to poor leadership in this realm. For these reasons more organizations should apply the Five Factor method or some other personality assessment mechanism in their recruitment processes.

Northhouse (2016) references the use of the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) which measures personality traits and mental abilities along with one’s performance as related to the scenarios of comprehension and management (MSCEIT, n.d.). This test is available for any organization, but there are many others that exist as public domain and therefore assessments of this type would be available to businesses of any size and at no cost. Examples of such test include the International Personality Item Pool (IPIP) and the Big Five Aspect Scales (BFAS) which are public domain and therefore available for use free of charge (The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2010). One major concern for organizations that was omitted from the text related to disparate treatment as related to such testing. In 1978 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission developed Uniform Guidelines on Employment Selection Process (UGESP) to help organizations protect themselves and justify the personality test material is strictly job related (The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2010). In other words, organizations should use caution and seek legal compliance before developing or administering any type of personality test.

Factor Structure and Criterion Validity of the Five Cs Model of Positive Youth Development in a Multi-University Sample of College Students

There is growing recognition that clinical and developmental outcomes will be optimized by interventions that harness strengths in addition to ameliorating deficits. Although empirically-supported methods for identifying strengths are available for children and adolescents, this framework has yet to be applied to emerging adulthood. This study evaluates the nature of the Five Cs model of Positive Youth Development (PYD) - character, confidence, competence, connection, and caring - in a sample of emerging adults from six universities (N = 4654 70% female 81% White). Historically, PYD has been modeled as either separate correlated factors or a second-order factor structure. More recently, the bifactor model has been recommended to determine the degree to which PYD is unidimensional versus multidimensional. The present study examined the multidimensionality of PYD by comparing the model fit of a one-factor, five-correlated factor model, and second-order factor structure with a bifactor model and found support for the bifactor model with evidence of invariance across sex. Criterion validity was also assessed using three criterion measures particularly relevant for adjustment during emerging adulthood: anxiety, depressive symptoms, and emotion regulation difficulties. PYD and the residual Cs tended to correlate negatively with indicators of maladaptive development. Future directions including applications of the PYD framework as a measure of thriving across emerging adulthood are discussed.

Keywords: Factor structure Five Cs Internalizing Positive youth development Psychometrics Resilience.

Watch the video: The Big Five Personality Traits (June 2022).


  1. Laidly

    Agree, this very good idea is just about

  2. Meliodas

    Great message))

  3. Bernardo

    Very informative. Thanks.

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