Big Five Personality Traits (OCEAN) – MCAT Psychology | MedSchoolCoach

Big Five Personality Traits (OCEAN)

MCAT Psychology - Chapter 7- Section 1 - Personality & Identity - Personality Formation
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Sample MCAT Question - Big Five Personality Traits (OCEAN)

Big Five traits are correlated to various:

a) career, health, academic, and social outcomes.

b) health, but not social, outcomes.

c) career, but not academic, outcomes.

d) health, but not career, outcomes.

A is correct, The Big Five personality traits (OCEAN) are associated with various life outcomes including those associated wtih one’s career, academic performance, health, and social life.

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Big Five Personality Traits (OCEAN) for the MCAT

The study of personality has long intrigued researchers and psychologists alike, seeking to unravel the complexities of human behavior and individual differences. Among the various models and theories that have emerged, one framework that has gained considerable prominence is the Big Five Personality Traits, also known as the OCEAN model. The Big Five Personality Traits provide a comprehensive framework for understanding and assessing human personality, encompassing five fundamental dimensions:


  • Openness to experience
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness
  • Neuroticism


Each of these traits represents a distinct aspect of an individual’s personality, and together they offer valuable insights into how people perceive, interact with, and navigate the world around them. In this exploration of the Big Five Personality Traits, we delve into each dimension, examining their characteristics, influences, and implications for our understanding of human behavior.


Openness to experience is the tendency to be open to new or unusual ideas, experiences, or adventure. Individuals who score high in openness to experience are described as having intellectual curiosity and active imaginations, as well as having many ideas.


Conscientiousness is the tendency to be diligent, organized, punctual, and dependable. Individuals who score high in conscientiousness are always prepared to follow schedules and are likely good at paying attention to details.


Extroversion is the tendency to be outgoing, sociable, friendly, and assertive. Individuals who score high in extroversion are called “extroverts,” and these individuals like to start conversations, talk a lot at parties, and enjoy social interactions. That also means that individuals who score low in extroversion are called “introverts.”


Agreeableness is the tendency to be sympathetic, trusting, cooperative, and unselfish. Individuals who score high in agreeableness are kind, trusting, trustworthy, generous, and considerate.


Finally, we have Neuroticism. This is the one trait where a high score can be considered negative. Neuroticism is the tendency to be anxious, hostile, self-conscious, insecure. Individuals who score high in neuroticism are also often more prone to experiencing negative emotions. Individuals who score high in neuroticism are easily irritated, stressed, are often in a bad mood, and worry a lot.

These are the big five personality traits. It’s important to realize that the OCEAN traits are not just a model. There’s actually a lot of correlations between these individual traits and life outcomes. For example, higher conscientiousness is correlated with higher grades in school and higher neuroticism is correlated with higher unemployment.

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