Taking a Dip in the OCEAN

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How I score on the Big Five.

In her book Leap Year, Helen Russell takes the OCEAN test, which measures the Big Five personality traits: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. Russell used this test to see what factors she was up against when making changes.

I decided to follow suit and give the test a whirl. Considering that I have a degree in psychology, I have taken the OCEAN test before, but I was curious to see how things have changed over the last five years.

Here is my OCEAN score in 2018:

Openness – Your score in Openness is high, which indicates that you enjoy novelty, variety, and change. You are curious, imaginative and creative.

Conscientiousness – Your score in Conscientiousness is high, this means you set clear goals and pursue them with determination. People perceive you as hardworking and diligent.

Extraversion – Your score in Extraversion is high, indicating that you are sociable, outgoing, energetic, and lively. You prefer to be around people much of the time.

Agreeableness – Your high level of Agreeableness indicates a strong empathy with others. You are sympathetic and cooperative.

Neuroticism – Your score in Neuroticism is low, indicating that you are exceptionally calm, composed and level-headed. You keep your cool in the most stressful of situations.

OK, so fair disclaimer: this test does allow for us to portray ourselves as we want to be seen. Here are some of my thoughts on my results:

  • I have always been pretty open to new experiences. I have loved travel from an early age, even taking science and Spanish classes in Costa Rica and Spain respectively before turning 18. But since starting FromBrownEyes I have become extremely open. Variety is my spice of life and moving back home with my parents at 23 stripped me of the “right” to judge anyone, making me a much more accepting person. In sum, I agree with this result.
  • I definitely identify as diligent and hard-working. I started this blog over two years ago and haven’t missed a weekly post yet. I put my New Years resolutions on the record here so I can be better held accountable to them.  But it wasn’t until my friend Khalid called me conscientious that I realized that I was. Now it is something that I hope he and others continuously see in me. My self-perceived levels of conscientious have definitely increase since last time I took the test.
  • While I definitely love to be around people, I do not see myself as a high extrovert. I identify strongly as an ambivert, meaning that I swing between extro- and introvert, often daily. I enjoy being another others, but I very much treasure my solitary time, such as reading and writing. I would say that my extroversion should be considered average.
  • I do agree that I am pretty agreeable. (I mean, just look at that sentence!) Growing up with a sibling creates a baseline of cooperation that has only been built up after years of team-focused work at Target, in my MBA program, and through my three-year relationship. My empathy likely originated from my father’s diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease when I was 14 and was enhanced by my studies in psychology. But I also have low levels of sympathy. While I can understand someone’s pain, frustration, or predicament, I don’t pity them. I think this again comes back to my dad’s Parkinson’s. He treats his disease as something very factual – something to work around, but not to continuously bemoan over. For better or worse, I have developed the same mentality.
  • With neuroticism, I do think I come out lower than average, but this description makes it sound like I am Malala. I, in fact, am not Malala, but I can keep a pretty cool head. I very much attribute this to my years heading up loss prevention at Target. Arresting people is an extremely stressful situation as you can guarantee the person is going to react adversely. I have known people in my position to be stabbed, bitten, and punched – and I kept that in mind as I executed every apprehension. After you have handcuffed a grown man on the ground in the parking lot with spectators and moving cars on all sides, most other things in life feel manageable. This has held steady in the years since.

So, now we both know a little more about me, and the results would suggest that I am pretty equipped to handle change. Which is great, because I’ll be graduating from my MBA program in June and hopefully moving to Scandinavia. I think Russell would be proud.

-TM

I also have my results posted from the Myers-Brigg’s Type Indicator if that interests you!

What are you OCEAN results? Let us know below.

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