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Aggression And Big Five Personality Traits

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The topic of research moves around the detail analysis of correlation between Irrational belief, Aggression and Big five personality traits. Whenever irrational believes comes in spotlight of discussion, attention draws toward the consequences after thinking irrationally thus aggression comes as one of its consequences whereas irrational thinking is found to be a dominant trait of personality thus it is also an interesting thing to find out if any personality trait is correlated with either irrational belief or aggression. This research has vast horizon of findings which can correlate many subscale together, helping understand better way the relationship of these variables.

Basically Irrational beliefs are those messages about life we send to ourselves that keep us from growing emotionally. Unfounded approaches, feelings, and standards we hold to that are out of synchrony with the way the world really is. Mostly people with low self-esteem or poor self are seen to contain it more frequently. It could be defined by example; if I get to know my enemy got selected for the post I applied I might think like he/she might had any family relationship with the selector. This though is based on irrationality and energizes me to be immature towards the real ground thus is an irrational belief. Albert Ellis had worked on explaining irrational believes in detailed and had explained 12 types of irrational believes. Along with it he developed rational emotive behavioral therapy to encounter it.

To study the personality traits in detailed , Big Five personality theory is selected which has a broader way for understanding different traits, its initial model was advanced by Ernest Tupes and Raymond Christal, based on work done at the U.S. Air Force Personnel Laboratory in the late 1950s. J.M. Digman proposed his five factor model of personality in 1990, and Goldman extended it to the highest level of organizations in 1993. In a personality test, the Five Factor Model or FFM and the Global Factors of personality may also be used to reference the Big Five traits. The Big Five traits are Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism or OCEAN, a. Openness – People who like to learn new things and enjoy new experiences usually score high in openness. b. Conscientiousness – People that have a high degree of conscientiousness are reliable and prompt. c. Extraversion – Extraverts get their energy from interacting with others, while introverts get their energy from within themselves d. Agreeableness – These individuals are friendly, cooperative, and compassionate. People with low agreeableness may be more distant. e. Neuroticism – It is also sometimes called Emotional Stability. This dimension relates to one’s emotional stability and degree of negative emotions.

Moving on to another variable of the research Aggression, the term Aggression mentions a range of behaviors that can effect in both physical and psychological damage to oneself, other or objects in the environment. This type of social interaction centers on harming another person, either physically or mentally. The expression of aggression can occur in a number of ways including verbally, mentally and physically. Psychologists discriminate between different forms of aggression, different purposes of aggression and different types of aggression. Aggression can take a variety of forms including physical, verbal, mental and emotional. Aggression also serve a number of different purposes, to express anger or hostility, to assert dominance, to threaten or intimidate, to attain a goal, to prompt possession, a reply to fear, a reaction to pain, to compete with others

A number of different factors can influence the expression of aggression. Biological factors can play a role. Men are more likely than women to engage in physical aggression. While researchers have found that women are less likely to engage in physical aggression, they also suggest that women do use non-physical forms such as verbal aggression, relational aggression and social rejection.

A research in International Journal of Psychology by Tahira Jibeen published in March 2015 in Volume 50, Issue 2, pages 93–100, presents the first examination of the relation between the Big Five personality traits, irrational beliefs and emotional problems in Pakistan, which is an understudied country in the psychological distress literature. A total of 195 participants (aged 25–60 years), employees at COMSATS University, completed a demographic information sheet, the Big Five Personality Questionnaire, the Irrational Belief Inventory and two subscales of the Brief Symptom Inventory including depression and anxiety. Direct effects of neuroticism, openness and conscientiousness were also observed for depression and anxiety. The results highlight the importance of cognitive beliefs in functionally linking personality traits and emotional problems

International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences published research of Zahra Karami Baghteyfouni in Vol. 31, pp 1-8 The aim the research was to compare the aggression and irrational beliefs of the students who use computer games and those who do not use such computer games. The universe under research included all the high schools students of the city of Saghez studied in the educational year of 2012-2013. A sample size of 100 people at the high school levels was selected through the multi stage cluster sampling and then via simple random method. To collect the data, a 29 question aggression questionnaire by Buss and Perry and a Jones 100 question irrational beliefs questionnaire were used. To analyze the data, the t test was used. Findings revealed that there is a difference between the normal students and the students that use gaming with respect to aggression and irrational beliefs.

Another research by Rebecca p.ang that has an online publication in PsycINFO Database Record 2012 APA, This study investigated the relationship between aggression and the Big Five personality traits (Extroversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and Openness to Experience) in Australia and Singapore. Two hundred and forty-three undergraduate respondents from Singapore and 189 undergraduate respondents from Australia participated in the study. All participants completed a self-report questionnaire consisting of the 34-item Aggression Questionnaire (AQ) and the 40-adjective Mini- Markers. As predicted, the hypothesized relationship between Big Five traits and aggression were similar across both samples: Aggression had significant negative correlations with the Big Five traits of agreeableness and conscientiousness, and aggression had a significant positive correlation with neuroticism. In line with the hypotheses, the Big Five traits of extroversion and openness to experience were not associated with aggression. These findings, suggest at a preliminary level that the relationship between Big Five traits and aggression may be universal for individuals from at least two cultures.

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A research was conducted by Raymond diguiseepi got published in journal of cognitive and therapy research in 2011 vol 35, This study examined whether a combination of anger, hostility, and irrational beliefs, i.e, intolerance of rules frustration, intolerance of work frustration, demands for fairness, and self-downing would predict physical, verbal, and indirect aggression and peer ratings of aggression. Follow-up analysis tested gender as a moderator of the relations between irrational beliefs and aggression, and anger and aggression. One hundred thirty-five high school-aged adolescents completed measures of irrational beliefs, anger, hostility, and aggression. Results demonstrated that gender, anger, and an irrational belief of intolerance of rules frustration predicted physical aggression, while anger and irrational belief of intolerance of rules frustration uniquely predicted indirect aggression. Anger alone predicted verbal aggression. Males were more likely to report higher rate of physical aggression and were voted to be more aggressive by their peers. However, gender did not moderate the relations between cognition and aggression, and anger and aggression.

Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment published a research of Dr. Juan J. Barthelemy and John W. Lounsbury in Volume 19, Issue 2, 2009 (pg:159-170) , focus of the study was to determine whether aggression adds incremental validity above and beyond the Big Five personality factors in predicting grades. An archival data analysis was used in this study. The data consisted of a sample of eighth grade students. The students completed the Personal Style Inventory Adolescent, which is a 120-item survey instrument designed to measure the Big Five personality factors and aggression. Results indicated that aggression does add incremental validity above and beyond the Big Five. The results also indicated that the Big Five were significantly correlated with academic performance. When aggression was added into the statistical model, conscientiousness, openness and aggression were significantly correlated with grades.


For carrying out the test three scales were administered on each participant including

  • Big five Inventory (BFI) by John & Srivastava, 1999,
  • Irrational Belief Inventory (IBI) by Koopermans et al., 1994
  • Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire (BPAQ) by Buss and Perry, 1992.

All of these were administered after one another containing additional part of Identifying information that has:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Family system
  • Last passes exam
  • Occupation


The main concept of conducting this research was to study the corrletions between variables in this study which were rational and irrational belief, traits, aggression, gender, age, last passed examination, institution, occupation, family system, worrying, rigidity, problem avoidance, need of approval, emotional irresponsibility, extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, openness, physical aggression, verbal aggression, anger and hostility. For carrying out the research seven hypotheses were formulated from which some got proved with a weak correlation that are relationship found between irrational belief and aggression , aggression and big five personality traits and rigidity and neuroticism. Whereas irrational belief and big five personality traits along with irrational belief and neuroticism founded to have a positive moderate correlation. Extroversion and physical and emotional irresponsibility and verbal aggression had a weak negative correlation according to the analysis.

If discussed about the reasons behind the weak correlations can be the selection of participants was from youth of university which is present in a healthy and open environment with an average of positive and happy mood so the scores on inventory could have been affected by the mood of participants. Another reason could be the uncontrolled environment the data was collected by approaching participants conveniently thus the environment was uncontrolled and weather, noise and working in a group can be reasons for manipulation of mental states.


Limitations of this research was the resources, the participants were not gathered at a controlled place but were approached one by one, if the participants were gathered structurally and with a system at a place and all these test would have been applied, chances of error and manipulation with have been less thus it would be recommended to have a structured and planned way of administration in this research.


The research founds to have weak and moderate positively correlation between all three variables proving most of the formulated hypotheses. The aim of conducting this research is to study the correlation between Irrational belief, Aggression and Big five personality traits. There were 266 participants which were approached through convenient sampling from different departments of University of Karachi. Three scales including Koopersman irrational belief inventory, Buss and Perry aggression scale and John Srivastana Big five personality inventory were administered on each participant. Result were statistically analyzed by applying Pearson product moment correlation. Weak correlations were found between irrational belief and aggression, big five inventory and aggression and rigidity and neuroticism. Moderate correlations were found between irrational belief and big five inventory also in neuroticism and irrational belief.



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Aggression And Big Five Personality Traits. (2021, September 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 31, 2023, from
“Aggression And Big Five Personality Traits.” Edubirdie, 29 Sept. 2021,
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