75 Personality Examples

personality examples and definition, explained below

Personality refers to all the traits that make a person uniquely themself. It encompasses features of their distinctive character such as temperament, disposition, interests, reactions, emotional state, motivations, and other internal psycho-social factors.

Personality is generally believed to be part nature (genetic factors) and part nurture (formed through environmental exposure and socialization).

It is also considered to be mostly stable over time, although can change in bursts, such as during puberty, a mid-life crisis, or following a major life-shifting event.

According to the APA dictionary of psychology, personality is defined as:

“the enduring configuration of characteristics and behavior that comprises an individual’s unique adjustment to life, including major traits, interests, drives, values, self-concept, abilities, and emotional patterns.”

Below are some common personality traits we could ascribe to individuals.

chrisAbout the Author: Chris Drew holds a PhD in education and writes on developmental psychology and sociology of education, among other topics.

Scroll to the end for the full list of 75 personality traits.

Personality Examples

There are many ways in which we might classify personality in psychology. Perhaps the most mainstream is the Big 5 Personality Traits, a taxonomy of 5 categories of personality. These are: extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism. I’ll explain each below.

1. Extraverted and Introvert

One of the primary ways in which we describe a person’s personality is by saying that they are an extravert – someone who’s outgoing – or an introvert – someone who is more of a recluse.

Extraversion is a characteristic trait that manifests as:

  • Outgoingness
  • Generating energy from social interaction
  • A need for very regular socialization with large amounts of people

Extraverts are usually comfortable in expressing themselves, can quickly form new relationships, and are often perceived as friendly and approachable.

For example, an extraverted person may actively seek out and engage in social events or group activities regularly, is comfortable with attention, and typically enjoys being surrounded by people.

Introversion, on the other hand, represents a personality trait characterized by a person who needs to be alone to reflect and think in order to regenerate. External stimuli and excess social interaction is draining to introverts.

As a result, introverts often prefer solitary activities or interactions with a small, close-knit group of people, as opposed to large social gatherings.

chrisDo you know more Extraverts or Introverts?
Generally, it’s believed there are more extraverts than introverts, with introverts making up around 1/3 of the population, depending upon the study you look at.

While introverts may enjoy social interactions, they prefer meaningful and deep conversations over small talk. An example of an introverted person might be someone who prefers reading a book or pursuing a hobby alone rather than attending a large social gathering, often keeps personal thoughts or ideas to themselves, and values a few close relationships over many casual ones.

2. Agreeable and Disagreeable

Agreeableness is a personality trait associated with kindness, warmth, cooperation, and a strong sense of consideration and concern for others.

People who score high in this trait typically value harmony, are easy to get along with, are often willing to compromise, and tend to avoid conflict.

They are often perceived as:

  • Friendly
  • Empathetic
  • Approachable
  • Protective and caring

On the other end of the spectrum, we have disagreeableness, which is typified by:

  • Lack of concern for others
  • Skepticism about others’ intentions
  • Willingness to make self-serving decisions.

Disagreeable people can be harsh, unfriendly, and detached in their interactions with others. They tend not to shy away from conflict, often standing their ground and prioritizing self-interest over maintaining harmony.

However, interestingly, being disagreeable has its benefits. For example, disagreeable people are found to often earn more money than agreeable people because they’re willing to negotiate hard for their salary, while agreeable people may back down in the interest of harmony.

chrisFun Fact: Women tend to be More Agreeable than Men
Women tend to score higher on agreeableness than men, on average. This is considered one of the multivariate reasons for the persistent gender pay gap in just about every society around the world.

3. Open and Cautious

A person who is considered to be ‘open’ tends to be receptive to new experiences, ideas, foods, and so forth, that might be initially discomforting or strange.

Someone scoring high on ‘openness’ typically displays:

  • Curiosity
  • Creativity
  • Appreciation for art and beauty
  • Inclusiveness

These sorts of people are more likely to question norms and are open to change. They are drawn to diverse experiences, tend to think deeply and abstractly, and are intellectually bold.

On the other end of the spectrum, we might have someone who is cautious and uncomfortable with new experiences and sudden change.

The person on the cautious end of the personality spectrum may display the following traits:

  • They’re more conventional
  • They stick to routines
  • They prefer familiarity over unpredictability.

This person might deliberate thoroughly before making decisions. They are typically also strict about adhering to rules and established methods.

An example of a cautious person might be someone who prefers eating the same foods and visiting the same vacation spots, sticks to a regular routine, feels uncomfortable when routines are disrupted, and takes their time in making decisions to avoid risks.

4. Conscientious and Neglectful

Another way we can classify people’s personalities using the Big 5 taxonomy is by determining if a person is conscientious or neglectful.

A person considered conscientious would display the following traits:

  • They’re organized
  • They’re responsibile and dependable
  • They are persistent
  • They have strong work ethic.
  • They are careful in their actions.

An example of a highly conscientiousness person might be someone who keeps their workspace clean and organized at all times, has clear and well-maintained to-do lists, and makes it a point to meet all the deadlines they have set for their work. They tend to be efficient, thorough, and detail-oriented in their work

So, what’s the opposite of a conscientious person?

We might describe the opposite as someone who is:

  • Unorganized
  • Erratic
  • Irresponsible
  • Neglectful or forgetful of their duties.

The person on this end of the spectrum might struggle to fulfill tasks on time because they don’t have sufficient planning skills. They might overlook crucial details and fail to set goals.

For instance, a careless person might frequently lose their personal belongings (I’m guilty here!). They might also miss appointments because they forgot, or submit work that hasn’t been carefully reviewed and may contain errors.

This general lack of regard for detail can lead to subpar performance and may create challenges in both personal and professional life.

5. Neurotic and Resilient

Our last Big 5 personality trait is neuroticism.

This trait is characterized by:

  • Emotional instability
  • Anxiety
  • Moodiness
  • Irritability
  • Sadness

People with high levels of neuroticism often experience mood swings and tend to respond to stressors more negatively. They frequently experience negative emotions and may see ordinary situations as threatening or minor frustrations as hopelessly difficult.

On the other hand, resilience or emotional stability is exhibited by people who have the capacity to maintain a consistent mood, manage stress effectively, and rarely experience feelings of anxiety or depression.

Resilient individuals are usually calm, even-tempered, and less likely to feel stressed in response to challenging situations.

They also happen to be good at ‘bouncing back’ from negative experiences and can adapt well to change and adversity.

Full List of 75 Personality Traits

  • Adventurous
  • Affectionate
  • Ambitious
  • Analytical
  • Artistic
  • Assertive
  • Attentive
  • Caring
  • Charismatic
  • Charming
  • Cheerful
  • Clever
  • Compassionate
  • Confident
  • Conscientious
  • Considerate
  • Cooperative
  • Courageous
  • Creative
  • Curious
  • Decisive
  • Dedicated
  • Dependable
  • Determined
  • Diplomatic
  • Disciplined
  • Easygoing
  • Empathetic
  • Energetic
  • Enthusiastic
  • Ethical
  • Extroverted
  • Fair
  • Flexible
  • Focused
  • Friendly
  • Funny
  • Generous
  • Gentle
  • Genuine
  • Gracious
  • Hardworking
  • Honest
  • Humble
  • Imaginative
  • Independent
  • Industrious
  • Innovative
  • Insightful
  • Inspirational
  • Intelligent
  • Intuitive
  • Kind
  • Logical
  • Loyal
  • Mature
  • Methodical
  • Meticulous
  • Modest
  • Motivated
  • Optimistic
  • Organized
  • Passionate
  • Patient
  • Perceptive
  • Persistent
  • Persuasive
  • Practical
  • Proactive
  • Professional
  • Punctual
  • Rational
  • Realistic
  • Reflective
  • Respectful
chrisA Note on Personalities in Childhood: In early childhood, personality is often seen build on the foundation of temperament. For example, the famous the 1956 New York Longitudinal Study found three temperaments in children: easy, cautious, and difficult.” – Chris Drew, PhD

References

APA Dictionary of Psychology (n.d.) Personality. Retrieved from https://dictionary.apa.org/personality

Chapman, B. P., Duberstein, P. R., Sörensen, S., & Lyness, J. M. (2007). Gender differences in Five Factor Model personality traits in an elderly cohort. Personality and individual differences43(6), 1594-1603.

Oshio, A., Taku, K., Hirano, M., & Saeed, G. (2018). Resilience and Big Five personality traits: A meta-analysis. Personality and individual differences127, 54-60.

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Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

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