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or "Who am I and if so, how many?"

At least we all know the title of this book.

Its author Richard David Precht has served up a philosophical introduction

to this question!

He has no answer.

Like the researchers who want to decode our brain.

They too do not have an answer (yet).

Scientists confirm that we can continue to develop our personality as long as we live, because the brain constantly creates new networks for this purpose.

It also helps us to tell our own story over and over again by constructing a meaningful context from the flood of events into which we have fallen. And leaving out what doesn't seem to fit.


Who is this "I" that keeps creating itself anew in our head?

We have to answer this question ourselves ...

What does the term "personality" mean?

There are several definitions, modern and ancient.

Today, the protagonists of personality research speak of


as personality traits.

This shows a dynamic approach and classification.

None of us can be pinned down to "just" one salient personality trait!

Researchers like to work with plausible models, so also in this research area.

The best known and most productive one at the moment is the

"BIG Five" or


It is to him that we devote ourselves today.

We find this model has an interesting approach:

It was created on the basis of our vocabulary and its analysis.

How did the scientists go about it?

They searched our vocabulary for words,



  • friendly

  • sensitive

  • inert

  • cooperative

  • objective.

From this, FIVE stable personality factors could then be identified using a statistical procedure. Interrelated characteristics were reduced to the underlying factors. These factors are also called personality dimensions or

Personality traits.

They are:

  • Openness to experience (Engl. Openess)

  • Conscientiousness (Engl. Conscientiousness)

  • Extraversion

  • Agreeableness (engl. Agreeableness)

  • Neuroticism (engl. Neuroticism)

(In English-speaking countries, the Big5 model is also called the "OCEAN model" after the first letters of the five personality dimensions).

Each of these personality dimensions represents a continuum, a continuous measurement with two poles.

Each person has a certain expression on each of these
basic dimensions.

These characteristics can be measured with a complex questionnaire.

can be measured.

The short form has 60 questions,

the most detailed version has 240 questions.

This results in a very individual personality profile for each person.

Both in self-description and in description of a person by others (family members), the measurement of the basic dimensions works.

The outstanding thing about it is also

that this applies to people from the most diverse cultural backgrounds

around the globe.

In recent decades, the Big5 model has been used in research on political attitudes, stress research, education and schooling,

also in human resource management.

It also plays an important role in identifying risk factors for mental illness.

for mental illness.

The five personality dimensions include:


This factor denotes interest in new experiences, experiences and impressions.

People with high values are inquisitive, imaginative and artistically interested.

They question existing values and tend to act unconventionally.

People with low openness values tend to have conservative views and conventional behavior.

Subcategories called facets include imagination, aesthetics, feelings, actions, ideas, and values.


Here the degree of purposefulness, accuracy, and self-control is described.

High values indicate reliable, organized, and deliberate individuals.

Low values locate spontaneous, careless, and carefree actions.

Facets include competence, orderliness and sense of duty, achievement striving, self-discipline, and prudence.


This factor describes activity and interpersonal behavior. Extroverts are active, sociable, cheerful and optimistic.

Introverts tend to be reserved in social interactions, they like to be alone and independent.

The personality dimension of extraversion includes cordiality, sociability, assertiveness, activity, hunger for experience, and cheerfulness.


Again, this primarily describes interpersonal, interpersonal behavior.

Individuals with high scores are eager to help others and treat them with benevolence and compassion.

Low scores, on the other hand, indicate argumentative and distrustful individuals. They behave more competitively than cooperatively.

Trust, frankness, altruism, obligingness, modesty, good-heartedness are the facets of agreeableness.


Neuroticism describes a person's emotional stability.

People with high scores tend to be more unstable, experiencing tension, anxiety, sadness and insecurity more often.

Low scores are associated with high emotional stability. These people are less likely to experience negative emotions.

The facets that fall into this personality dimension are: Anxiousness, Irritability, Depression, Self-consciousness, Impulsivity, and Vulnerability.

If you feel like it, you can use the free Bigfive test to search for your facets!

"Who am I, if so how many?"

Is a one-and-only answer to this question even necessary?

What do you think?

We have facets that change, we are diverse, we are colorful!

We can look at our facets as if we were looking into a kaleidoscope.

Knowing our personality dimensions enables us to understand not only ourselves, but also those around us!

The BIG FIVE are life-enhancing, community-strengthening, if that's what we want! Great!

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