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The Big Five Traits And Self-Awareness: Analytical Essay

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Personality development is the development of the organized pattern of behavior and attitudes that makes a person distinctive. Personality development occurs by the ongoing interaction of temperament, character and environment. One of the most important measures of personality created is the Big Five Inventory. The big five was originally derived in the 1970s by two independent research teams – Paul Costa and Robert McCrae. These five dimensions were derived by asking thousands of people questions and then analyzing the data with a statistical procedure known as fact analysis. This paper aims to explore the Big Five Personality Traits, discussing and defining each factor and explaining how personality is assessed followed by examples. It also outlines how a teacher’s personality can affect students development and performance, a brief autobiography about myself stating my life events and how they contributed to my personality development, strategies I will put in place to remain self-aware and strategies I will use to remain grounded, and reflect on my personality as I teach.

Review of Literature

In the 1940s, Raymond Cattell developed a sixteen-item inventory of personality traits and created the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF) instrument to measure these traits. Robert McCrae and Paul Costa Later developed the Five-Factor Model, which describes personality in terms of five broad factors which are:

  1. Extraversion is an indication of how outgoing and social a person is, they enjoy being with people, participating in social gatherings and are full of energy (traits). People with low levels of extraversion are less outgoing and work more comfortably on their own. People who are high in extraversion need social stimulation to feel energized. Extraverted people gain inspiration and excitement from taking and discussing ideas with other people
  2. Agreeableness is one of the five personality traits of the Big Five personality theory. A person with a high level of agreeableness in a personality test is usually warm, friendly, and tactful. They generally have an optimistic view of human nature and get along well with others (traits). Persons high in agreeableness tend to be trustworthy and polite, they are very kind people.
  3. Conscientiousness is the personality trait of being careful or diligent. Conscientious implies a desire to do a task well and take obligation to others seriously (traits). They are efficient and organized as opposed to easy-going.
  4. Neuroticism or emotional stability is one of the five personality traits of the big five personality theory emotional stability refers to a person’s ability to remain stable and balanced. At the other end of the scale, a person who is high in neuroticism has the tendency to easily experience negative emotions (traits). Neurotic people tend to have depressed moods and suffer from feelings of anger and anxiety.
  5. Openness to Experience is trait where a person with a high level of openness to experience in a personality test enjoys trying new thing. They are imaginative, curious and open-minded. Individuals who are low in this trait would rather not try new things (traits). It is a trait where a person is adventurous and open to try new things.

How is personality assessed?

Psychologists seek to measure personality through a number of methods, the most common of which are objective tests and projective measures. An objective test is a test that has right or wrong answers and so can be marked objectively. A projective test is a psychological test designed to let a person respond to ambiguous stimuli, presumably revealing hidden emotions and internal conflicts projected by the person into the test.

Two examples of objective personality assessments.

  1. Rorschach Test
  2. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)

Two examples of projective personality assessments.

  1. Word Association Test
  2. Thematic Apperception Test

Do you think a teacher’s personality can affect a student’s development and performance?

Yes, I think a teacher’s personality can affect a student’s development and performance. Personality influencers learn indirectly through attitudes and motivation which create particular conceptions of learning. Teachers with positive attitudes have positive effects on students’ academic performance and personality development. Whereas, teachers with negative attitudes have a negative effect on both the academic performance and personality development of students.

Self-awareness is often defined as the ability to engage in some kind of reflective awareness. As you develop an awareness of the self, you begin to connect with your own unique identity. As you focus on yourself and start evaluating your current behavior in comparison to your internal standards and values, you become self-conscious and you become an objective evaluator yourself. These are five strategies I will put in place to engage in reflective exercises and remain self-aware (‘Positivepsychology.Com – Helping You Help Others’).

Question Discussions

Before acting on a decision we should come up with three good reasons as to why we should pursue it. Stopping to ask yourself ‘why’ improves our self–awareness as it allows us to better understand the motive behind our decisions and explore them further, meaning that we can be confident that the decisions we make are good ones (‘6 Ways To Improve Self-Awareness’).

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Mindful Meditation

Meditation helps quiet the mind, reduces voices in your head and helps one be present and open for anything that may come to mind.


Journaling is one of the most valuable self–awareness and personal growth tools. When I journal it can help me stay focused on my goals, help me make better choices and see myself as an individual. Journaling also clarifies thoughts, feelings and behavior.

Learning to appreciate criticism

In order to appreciate criticism I can put my feelings aside and attempt to learn from the criticism.

Reflect on my own emotions

If we don’t know how to manage our moods through self – awareness then how can we expect to influence others?

My Autobiography

Have you ever sat back one day and wondered how your personality was developed? Or how your life events contributed to who you are today? Well I have and I am pretty proud of myself. My name is Raquel Claudette Alexander, the middle name I know is funny but let’s not focus on that. I was born on the 15th December 2000 at Mt.Hope General Hospital in Trinidad and Tobago. I am nineteen years of age. My parents are Alicia Munroe and Roger Alexander, and I have two siblings Mya and Warren. I was born and raised in Mt. D’or Champ Fleur for four years where I attended Kiddies Kindergarten at the age of three years. I don’t know if people think about their kindergarten lives, but I reminisce on mines because it was a special and unforgettable one. I still remember my best-friend Tracey Cyrus. My preschool always had us expressing ourselves through art and craft so from an early age I was able to do so. My four years wasn’t as exciting as it seems, my father always had a drinking problem and it was never a good site seeing him drunk. I believe having to experience this and seeing the stress my mother was under formatted my mindset to push harder towards my goals and make her happy.

After Kindergarten I attended Mt. Lambert R.C. School at the age of six years to twelve years. While there I participated in almost all the sporting activities it had in the school, tennis, football, running and netball. I didn’t make the girls football team but I was the second-fastest girl in the school and the most valuable player for my schools netball team. When it was time for graduation I graduated with a diploma in sports. My mom and I moved to movant with her new boyfriend and his family. I started playing for my first netball team, Fire Service Youth Club at the age of eight. I believe my personality started developing more when I joined the team because the officers really pushed us to be great and from early I learnt how to be respectful, a leader and a good friend.

Lastly, after sitting common entrance I passed for Aranguez North Secondary School. Here my personality grew tremendously, I started seeing the world differently. Secondary school was exciting but not so much as we only had school for about three years, due to water issues. I graduated with Five CXC passes and was awarded class valedictorian. Today I recently accepted the lord, back living at Champ Fleur and currently enrolled in UWI-Roytec pursuing studies in Early Childhood Care & Education.


Self-awareness is having conscious knowledge of our thoughts and feelings. Those who are self-confident tend to act actively and not unconsciously, meaning they make better decisions, have higher levels of psychological health and have a more positive outlook on life (‘6 Ways To Improve Self-Awareness’). As an aspiring Early Childhood Educator these are five strategies I will use to remain grounded, self-aware and reflect on my personality as I teach. First, I will prepare and plan ahead. Not knowing how you’re going to get through the week as a teacher can be a bit overwhelming, so I will plan in advance. The second tool is Journaling, when I journal it would help me stay focused on my future objectives. Thirdly, mindful mediation. Mediation will strengthen my mind, decrease negative thoughts and allow me to be present. The fourth strategy is Exercise. During break I will do a few yoga poses and stretches to keep my blood flowing. The last strategy is taking deep breaths. I will take minute to pay attention to my breathing to center myself.

Works Cited

  1. Armstrong, Thomas, and Thomas Armstrong. ‘5 Ways To Promote Self-Awareness In The Middle And High School Classroom | Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D.’. Institute4learning.Com, 2020.
  2. Traits, Big. ‘What Are The Big Five Personality Test Traits? – Learn All About The Theory | 123Test.’ N.p., 2020. Web. 10 Feb. 2020.
  3. ‘What Is Extraversion? – Learn All About The Big Five Personality Traits | 123Test.’
  4. ‘What Is Agreeableness? – Learn All About The Big Five Personality Traits | 123Test.’ N.P., 2020.Web.
  5. ‘Projective Test: Definition & Example – Video & Lesson Transcript | Study.Com.’ N.p., 2020.Web.

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