About the Big 5 (OCEAN) test
The big 5 personality test is based on the five-factor model (FFM) theory that posits five broad trait dimensions or domains as the basis of different personalities. The model has been shaped by the work of various researchers over three decades (from the 1960s to the 1990s) who analyzed verbal descriptors of human behavior. Eventually, the long lists of traits proposed in the complicated models of early research were organized at the highest level into five overarching factors that affect a person’s personality.
Each factor is measured as a spectrum: openness to experience ranges from inventive and curious to consistent and cautious, conscientiousness ranges from efficient and organized to extravagant and careless, extraversion ranges from outgoing and energetic to solitary and reserved, agreeableness ranges from friendly and compassionate to challenging and callous, and neuroticism ranges from sensitive and nervous to resilient and confident.
The big 5 test leads test-takers on a self-evaluation of their behavior by asking them to score various statements on a scale from 1 (very inaccurate) to 5 (very accurate). The score candidates provide for each statement places them on one of five possible positions on the spectrum of each factor. The nature of the test structure is best suited to evaluating the compositions and dynamics of existing teams for learning and development and growth purposes, rather than for candidates applying to join teams.
The results provide insights into the test-taker's position on each factor and describe the personality traits that characterize their behavior. They also provide insight into their strengths and opportunities for improvement, and how they relate to others.