I was reading the January/February issue of Real Simple Magazine and came across an interesting article by Marta Zaraska: Type A Is A-OK.  I can’t find a link to the article, but it is about how conscientious people actually live longer.

Conscientious people tend to make smarter choices, like eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and following medical advice. They’re more likely to form stable friendships and wear seatbelts – not to mention abstain from fistfights!

Marta Zaraska

This article quickly brought to mind one of my very conscientious friends; actually, lucky for me, I would call a number of my family, friends and work colleagues conscientious.

I decided to explore this concept a bit further and came across The Big Five Personality Traits – 5 basic dimensions of personality. 

Note: I’ve been ‘into’ Myers Briggs Type Indicators (MBTI) since the 1980’s and my husband is a MBTI certified trainer. 

The Big 5 have been around since 1949, but they are new to me.

Here are the 5 traits:

  • Openness – creative and open to trying new things
  • Conscientious – spends time preparing and pays attention to detail
  • Extraversion – enjoys meeting new people and says things before thinking about them
  • Agreeableness – cares about others and assists others who need help
  • Neuroticism – gets upset easily and feels anxious

= O-C-E-A-N

So, I had to do the handy dandy personality trait test and, not surprising, my leading trait is EXTRAVERSION with a side of OPENNESS.  I scored on the low side on conscientious, which is a word I even have a tough time spelling 😊.  Like most of these types of tests, including MBTI, people have a combination of traits.  The test just shows which trait(s) are dominant. 

I can imagine that my extraversion tendencies and certain lack of conscientiousness can be/are very annoying to those who score (much) higher in that particular trait than I do!

The good news is that research suggests that a person can train themselves to be more conscientious.  Hmmmm.



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