The Correlation Of Personality And Self-esteem

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There is a wide range of studies on personality and self-esteem with the use of the Big Five traits in many aspects of psychology. The big five factor-model was developed by McCrae and Costa (1999) which consists of personality traits on Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness to develop the understanding of differences in individual’s personalities.

Personality can be interpreted as a combination of an individual's characteristics that makes them distinctive from others (Weinberg & Gould, 1999). These traits are associated with every individual’s different characteristics but differ in the level of percentage and range each trait is influenced. These traits can signify a spectrum of two extremes (Weinberg & Gould, 1999) which can be seen in individuals who tend to be extremely extraversion and extremely introversion.

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Self-esteem can also be explained as to how an individual considers their self-worth, how well they accept and value themselves and as a type of an individual’s characteristics (Demo, 1985; McLeod, 2008).

University is a period of time where students can experience vast opportunities and are challenged with responsibilities and independence related to their lifestyle but this can also be very hectic. These factors can greatly influence their self-esteem levels both positively and negatively. Past literature on self-esteem among university students focused on the extent to which personality traits correlated to self-esteem. In positive personality traits, Jensen-Campbell et al., (2002) described extraverted students as talkative and structured individuals. They found that extraverted students showed a positive correlation with a high level of agreeableness, which also found that individuals with this trait are structured and well organised. Likewise, Zeigler-Hill et al., (2014) found that extraverted student’s curiosity and impulsive characteristic are associated with individuals who enjoy new experiences. However, in negative personality trait, neuroticism has been associated with depression due to the negative emotions linking to a feeling of anxiety, hostility anger, and vulnerability stress reactors (Klein, Kotov & Bufferd, 2011; Ormal et al., 2013). Individuals with a high level of neuroticism are more likely to have an increased level of stressful experiences which can lead to depression (Hankin, Stone & Wright, 2010). These infer the importance of the effect neuroticism has in the development of low self-esteem and depressive symptoms.

Existing literature on personality and self-esteem using the Big Five traits and the Rosenberg self-esteem scale among university students, by gender differences, have not been studied before. This study will therefore further the understanding of the relationship between personality traits and self-esteem in university students by gender differences and will also see if it will find any similar or different results to previous literature.

The current study will examine the relationship between the IPIP domain Big Five traits and the Rosenberg scale among university students by gender differences to determine how these personality traits influence self-esteem.


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