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Leadership: Leaders, Followers, Environments by Art Padilla

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The Big Five

The Big Five test, which is widely available for free on the Internet, focuses on five “big,” or broad, underlying personality factors that account for individual differences:21

  1. Originality or openness
  2. Conscientiousness or orderliness
  3. Extraversion or surgency
  4. Accommodation or agreeableness
  5. Neuroticism or emotional stability
  • Originality (openness to experience): Originality refers to the degree to which we are open to new experiences and ways of doing things. Highly original people tend to have a variety of interests and tend to be more creative and imaginative. They prefer to “paint with a broad brush” and tend to dislike dealing with details. They also are interested in novelty and innovation, more comfortable with change, and might often be perceived as liberal. They are not unprincipled, but they tend to be open to considering new approaches. Low scorers in originality tend to possess more detailed knowledge about a job, topic, or subject while possessing a down-to-earth, here-and-now view of the present. Low scorers tend to have narrower interests, are perceived as more conventional and more comfortable with the familiar than with the novel. They might also be perceived as more conservative, though not necessarily as more authoritarian. This trait is not about intelligence, as low and high scorers both tend to score similarly on traditional measures of intelligence; it is about creativity and imagination. They like to implement plans rather than to think of ...

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