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September 25, 2018 Tuesday 12:41:03 PM IST

New insights into the personality types

Teacher Insights

Basic personality traits of humans are: neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness. Based on these traits, researchers of Northwestern University have developed insights into four contemporary personality traits, challenging the paradigms in existing psychology.  The results are published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.

Northwestern University researchers have sifted through data from more than 1.5 million questionnaire respondents and found at least four distinct clusters of personality types exist: average, reserved, self-centered and role model.

The emerged personality clusters are:

•        Average: Average people are high in neuroticism and extraversion, while low in openness. Females are more likely than males to fall into it.


•        Reserved: The Reserved type is emotionally stable, but not open or neurotic. They are not particularly extraverted but are somewhat agreeable and conscientious.

•        Role Models: Role Models score low in neuroticism and high in all the other traits. The likelihood that someone is a role model increases dramatically with age.

•        Self-Centered: Self-Centered people score very high in extraversion and below average in openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness. There is a very dramatic decrease in the number of self-centered types as people age, both with women and men.

These results could be helpful for hiring managers looking to insure a potential candidate is a good fit or for people who are dating and looking for an appropriate partner.


And good news for parents of teenagers everywhere: As people mature, their personality types often shift. For instance, older people tend to be less neurotic yet more conscientious and agreeable than those under 20 years old. Change in personality types is a matter for future research.

DOI: 10.1038/s41562-018-0419-z


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