A personality trait is a characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, or behaving that tends to be consistent over time and across relevant situations. The Big Five—extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience—are a set of five broad, bipolar trait dimensions that constitute the most widely used model of personality structure. A considerable body of research has examined personality stability and change across the lifespan, as well as the influence of personality traits on important life outcomes, in terms of the Big Five. This entry defines each of the Big Five, discusses their development over the lifespan, and offers predictions of life outcomes for each trait.

Definitions and Evidence

Each of the Big Five represents a broad set of related behavioral characteristics. For example, extraversion represents individual ...

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