Traits: Complete List of Primary Personality Traits & Dimensions

What are Personality Traits?

The Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI-R) measures the Big Five personality traits. Openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. The NEO PI-R additionally gives six facets of each Big Five personality trait.

Costa and McCrae released a personality inventory in 1978, starting the Revised NEO PI-R. In 1985, 1992, and 2005, the researchers issued three updated personality inventories. These were the NEO PI, NEO PI-R (or Revised NEO PI), and NEO PI-3. The new inventories use words that children and adults may understand.

The entire NEO PI-R has 240 items and comprehensive facet scores. The shorter NEO-FFI had 60 items (12 per attribute). The test was designed for adult men and women without psychopathology. It works for kids too.

What are the Primary Personality Dimensions?

NeuroticismExtraversionOpenness to experienceAgreeablenessConscientiousness
AnxietyWarmth/Kindness[1]Fantasy/Imagination[1]/Trust (in Others[1])/Competence/Self-efficacy[1]/
Hostility/Anger[1]/GregariousnessAesthetics/Artistic Interest[1]/Straightforwardness/Morality[1]/Order(liness)[1]/Organizing[1]
DepressionAssertivenessFeelings/Emotionality[1]AltruismDutifulness/Sense of Duty/Obligation[1]
Self-consciousnessActivity (Level[1])/Lively Temperament[2]Actions/Adventurousness[1]/Exploration[2]Compliance/Cooperation[1]Achievement Striving
Impulsiveness/Immoderation[1]Excitement SeekingIdeas/Intellectual Interest[1]/Curiosity[2]ModestySelf-Discipline/Willpower[1]
Vulnerability to Stress/Fear[1]/Learned helplessness[1]Positive Emotion/Cheerfulness[1]/Vivacity[2]Values/Psychological liberalism[1]/Tolerance to ambiguity[1]Tendermindedness/Sympathy[1]Deliberation/Cautiousness[1]

How Reliable are Trait Dimensions?

On 1,539 people, the NEO scales’ internal coherence was checked.[4] The NEO PI-R had a high level of internal stability, with N =.92, E =.89, O =.87, A =.86, and C =.90. The facet scales’ internal consistency ranges from .56 to .81. The internal consistency of the NEO PI-3 was the same as that of the NEO PI-R. For the five areas, ranged from .89 to .93. Since each facet scale had fewer items than each of the Big Five scales, the internal consistency coefficients for the facets had to be smaller. They ranged from .54 to. 83.

For the NEO FFI (version with only 60 items in one domain), the manual said that the internal consistency was N =.79, E =.79, O =.80, A =.75, and C =.83. In the research literature, the NEO FFI is used more often, and researchers who use the NEO PI-R usually only use the items from the areas they are interested in. Sherry et al. (2007) found that the FFI had the following internal consistencies: N =.85, E =.80, O =.68, A =.75, and C =.83.[5]

Many languages have versions of the NEO. A translation of the NEO that has been used in the Philippines has good internal consistency coefficients for the domain scores. The alphas for the domain scores are between.78 and.90, and the median alpha for the facets is .61. Observer-ratings A recent study used NEO PI-R data from 49 different cultures as criteria to see if people’s ideas about the “national character” of a culture correctly reflected the personalities of people from that culture (they didn’t).

The NEO PI-R has also been found to be reliable when tested again and again. An early form of the NEO had a test-retest reliability of N =.87, E =.91, and O =.86 after 3 months. According to the NEO PI-R manual, the test-retest repeatability for more than 6 years was as follows: N =.83, E =.82, O =.83, A =.63, and C =.79. Costa and McCrae pointed out that these results show that the topic scores are both reliable and stable (among people over the age of 30). Scores that were taken six years apart were not much different from scores that were taken a few months apart.

It has been found that the psychometric properties of NEO PI-R scales are the same across different groups, cultures, and ways of measuring.


List of Primary Personality Traits

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Positive Traits (234 = 37%)

  1. Accessible
  2. Active
  3. Adaptable
  4. Admirable
  5. Adventurous
  6. Agreeable
  7. Alert
  8. Allocentric
  9. Amiable
  10. Anticipative
  11. Appreciative
  12. Articulate
  13. Aspiring
  14. Athletic
  15. Attractive
  16. Balanced
  17. Benevolent
  18. Brilliant
  19. Calm
  20. Capable
  21. Captivating
  22. Caring
  23. Challenging
  24. Charismatic
  25. Charming
  26. Cheerful
  27. Clean
  28. Clear-headed
  29. Clever
  30. Colorful
  31. Companionly
  32. Compassionate
  33. Conciliatory
  34. Confident
  35. Conscientious
  36. Considerate
  37. Constant
  38. Contemplative
  39. Cooperative
  40. Courageous
  41. Courteous
  42. Creative
  43. Cultured
  44. Curious
  45. Daring
  46. Debonair
  47. Decent
  48. Decisive
  49. Dedicated
  50. Deep
  51. Dignified
  52. Directed
  53. Disciplined
  54. Discreet
  55. Dramatic
  56. Dutiful
  57. Dynamic
  58. Earnest
  59. Ebullient
  60. Educated
  61. Efficient
  62. Elegant
  63. Eloquent
  64. Empathetic
  65. Energetic
  66. Enthusiastic
  67. Esthetic
  68. Exciting
  69. Extraordinary
  70. Fair
  71. Faithful
  72. Farsighted
  73. Felicific
  74. Firm
  75. Flexible
  76. Focused
  77. Forecful
  78. Forgiving
  79. Forthright
  80. Freethinking
  81. Friendly
  82. Fun-loving
  83. Gallant
  84. Generous
  85. Gentle
  86. Genuine
  87. Good-natured
  88. Gracious
  89. Hardworking
  90. Healthy
  91. Hearty
  92. Helpful
  93. Heroic
  94. High-minded
  95. Honest
  96. Honorable
  97. Humble
  98. Humorous
  99. Idealistic
  100. Imaginative
  101. Impressive
  102. Incisive
  103. Incorruptible
  104. Independent
  105. Individualistic
  106. Innovative
  107. Inoffensive
  108. Insightful
  109. Insouciant
  110. Intelligent
  111. Intuitive
  112. Invulnerable
  113. Kind
  114. Knowledge
  115. Leaderly
  116. Leisurely
  117. Liberal
  118. Logical
  119. Lovable
  120. Loyal
  121. Lyrical
  122. Magnanimous
  123. Many-sided
  124. Masculine  (Manly)
  125. Mature
  126. Methodical
  127. Meticulous
  128. Moderate
  129. Modest
  130. Multi-leveled
  131. Neat
  132. Nonauthoritarian
  133. Objective
  134. Observant
  135. Open
  136. Optimistic
  137. Orderly
  138. Organized
  139. Original
  140. Painstaking
  141. Passionate
  142. Patient
  143. Patriotic
  144. Peaceful
  145. Perceptive
  146. Perfectionist
  147. Personable
  148. Persuasive
  149. Playful
  150. Polished
  151. Popular
  152. Practical
  153. Precise
  154. Principled
  155. Profound
  156. Protean
  157. Protective
  158. Providential
  159. Prudent
  160. Punctual
  161. Purposeful
  162. Rational
  163. Realistic
  164. Reflective
  165. Relaxed
  166. Reliable
  167. Resourceful
  168. Respectful
  169. Responsible
  170. Responsive
  171. Reverential
  172. Romantic
  173. Rustic
  174. Sage
  175. Sane
  176. Scholarly
  177. Scrupulous
  178. Secure
  179. Selfless
  180. Self-critical
  181. Self-defacing
  182. Self-denying
  183. Self-reliant
  184. Self-sufficient
  185. Sensitive
  186. Sentimental
  187. Seraphic
  188. Serious
  189. Sexy
  190. Sharing
  191. Shrewd
  192. Simple
  193. Skillful
  194. Sober
  195. Sociable
  196. Solid
  197. Sophisticated
  198. Spontaneous
  199. Sporting
  200. Stable
  201. Steadfast
  202. Steady
  203. Stoic
  204. Strong
  205. Studious
  206. Suave
  207. Subtle
  208. Sweet
  209. Sympathetic
  210. Systematic
  211. Tasteful
  212. Teacherly
  213. Thorough
  214. Tidy
  215. Tolerant
  216. Tractable
  217. Trusting
  218. Uncomplaining
  219. Understanding
  220. Undogmatic
  221. Unfoolable
  222. Upright
  223. Urbane
  224. Venturesome
  225. Vivacious
  226. Warm
  227. Well-bred
  228. Well-read
  229. Well-rounded
  230. Winning
  231. Wise
  232. Witty
  233. Youthful

Neutral Traits (292 = 18%)

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  1. Absentminded
  2. Aggressive
  3. Ambitious
  4. Amusing
  5. Artful
  6. Ascetic
  7. Authoritarian
  8. Big-thinking
  9. Boyish
  10. Breezy
  11. Businesslike
  12. Busy
  13. Casual
  14. Crebral
  15. Chummy
  16. Circumspect
  17. Competitive
  18. Complex
  19. Confidential
  20. Conservative
  21. Contradictory
  22. Crisp
  23. Cute
  24. Deceptive
  25. Determined
  26. Dominating
  27. Dreamy
  28. Driving
  29. Droll
  30. Dry
  31. Earthy
  32. Effeminate
  33. Emotional
  34. Enigmatic
  35. Experimental
  36. Familial
  37. Folksy
  38. Formal
  39. Freewheeling
  40. Frugal
  41. Glamorous
  42. Guileless
  43. High-spirited
  44. Huried
  45. Hypnotic
  46. Iconoclastic
  47. Idiosyncratic
  48. Impassive
  49. Impersonal
  50. Impressionable
  51. Intense
  52. Invisible
  53. Irreligious
  54. Irreverent
  55. Maternal
  56. Mellow
  57. Modern
  58. Moralistic
  59. Mystical
  60. Neutral
  61. Noncommittal
  62. Noncompetitive
  63. Obedient
  64. Old-fashioned
  65. Ordinary
  66. Outspoken
  67. Paternalistic
  68. Physical
  69. Placid
  70. Political
  71. Predictable
  72. Preoccupied
  73. Private
  74. Progressive
  75. Proud
  76. Pure
  77. Questioning
  78. Quiet
  79. Religious
  80. Reserved
  81. Restrained
  82. Retiring
  83. Sarcastic
  84. Self-conscious
  85. Sensual
  86. Skeptical
  87. Smooth
  88. Soft
  89. Solemn
  90. Solitary
  91. Stern
  92. Stoiid
  93. Strict
  94. Stubborn
  95. Stylish
  96. Subjective
  97. Surprising
  98. Soft
  99. Tough
  100. Unaggressive
  101. Unambitious
  102. Unceremonious
  103. Unchanging
  104. Undemanding
  105. Unfathomable
  106. Unhurried
  107. Uninhibited
  108. Unpatriotic
  109. Unpredictable
  110. Unreligious
  111. Unsentimental
  112. Whimsical

Negative Traits (292 = 46%)

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  1. Abrasive
  2. Abrupt
  3. Agonizing
  4. Aimless
  5. Airy
  6. Aloof
  7. Amoral
  8. Angry
  9. Anxious
  10. Apathetic
  11. Arbitrary
  12. Argumentative
  13. Arrogant
  14. Artificial
  15. Asocial
  16. Assertive
  17. Astigmatic
  18. Barbaric
  19. Bewildered
  20. Bizarre
  21. Bland
  22. Blunt
  23. Boisterous
  24. Brittle
  25. Brutal
  26. Calculating
  27. Callous
  28. Cantankerous
  29. Careless
  30. Cautious
  31. Charmless
  32. Childish
  33. Clumsy
  34. Coarse
  35. Cold
  36. Colorless
  37. Complacent
  38. Complaintive
  39. Compulsive
  40. Conceited
  41. Condemnatory
  42. Conformist
  43. Confused
  44. Contemptible
  45. Conventional
  46. Cowardly
  47. Crafty
  48. Crass
  49. Crazy
  50. Criminal
  51. Critical
  52. Crude
  53. Cruel
  54. Cynical
  55. Decadent
  56. Deceitful
  57. Delicate
  58. Demanding
  59. Dependent
  60. Desperate
  61. Destructive
  62. Devious
  63. Difficult
  64. Dirty
  65. Disconcerting
  66. Discontented
  67. Discouraging
  68. Discourteous
  69. Dishonest
  70. Disloyal
  71. Disobedient
  72. Disorderly
  73. Disorganized
  74. Disputatious
  75. Disrespectful
  76. Disruptive
  77. Dissolute
  78. Dissonant
  79. Distractible
  80. Disturbing
  81. Dogmatic
  82. Domineering
  83. Dull
  84. Easily Discouraged
  85. Egocentric
  86. Enervated
  87. Envious
  88. Erratic
  89. Escapist
  90. Excitable
  91. Expedient
  92. Extravagant
  93. Extreme
  94. Faithless
  95. False
  96. Fanatical
  97. Fanciful
  98. Fatalistic
  99. Fawning
  100. Fearful
  101. Fickle
  102. Fiery
  103. Fixed
  104. Flamboyant
  105. Foolish
  106. Forgetful
  107. Fraudulent
  108. Frightening
  109. Frivolous
  110. Gloomy
  111. Graceless
  112. Grand
  113. Greedy
  114. Grim
  115. Gullible
  116. Hateful
  117. Haughty
  118. Hedonistic
  119. Hesitant
  120. Hidebound
  121. High-handed
  122. Hostile
  123. Ignorant
  124. Imitative
  125. Impatient
  126. Impractical
  127. Imprudent
  128. Impulsive
  129. Inconsiderate
  130. Incurious
  131. Indecisive
  132. Indulgent
  133. Inert
  134. Inhibited
  135. Insecure
  136. Insensitive
  137. Insincere
  138. Insulting
  139. Intolerant
  140. Irascible
  141. Irrational
  142. Irresponsible
  143. Irritable
  144. Lazy
  145. Libidinous
  146. Loquacious
  147. Malicious
  148. Mannered
  149. Mannerless
  150. Mawkish
  151. Mealymouthed
  152. Mechanical
  153. Meddlesome
  154. Melancholic
  155. Meretricious
  156. Messy
  157. Miserable
  158. Miserly
  159. Misguided
  160. Mistaken
  161. Money-minded
  162. Monstrous
  163. Moody
  164. Morbid
  165. Muddle-headed
  166. Naive
  167. Narcissistic
  168. Narrow
  169. Narrow-minded
  170. Natty
  171. Negativistic
  172. Neglectful
  173. Neurotic
  174. Nihilistic
  175. Obnoxious
  176. Obsessive
  177. Obvious
  178. Odd
  179. Offhand
  180. One-dimensional
  181. One-sided
  182. Opinionated
  183. Opportunistic
  184. Oppressed
  185. Outrageous
  186. Overimaginative
  187. Paranoid
  188. Passive
  189. Pedantic
  190. Perverse
  191. Petty
  192. Pharisaical
  193. Phlegmatic
  194. Plodding
  195. Pompous
  196. Possessive
  197. Power-hungry
  198. Predatory
  199. Prejudiced
  200. Presumptuous
  201. Pretentious
  202. Prim
  203. Procrastinating
  204. Profligate
  205. Provocative
  206. Pugnacious
  207. Puritanical
  208. Quirky
  209. Reactionary
  210. Reactive
  211. Regimental
  212. Regretful
  213. Repentant
  214. Repressed
  215. Resentful
  216. Ridiculous
  217. Rigid
  218. Ritualistic
  219. Rowdy
  220. Ruined
  221. Sadistic
  222. Sanctimonious
  223. Scheming
  224. Scornful
  225. Secretive
  226. Sedentary
  227. Selfish
  228. Self-indulgent
  229. Shallow
  230. Shortsighted
  231. Shy
  232. Silly
  233. Single-minded
  234. Sloppy
  235. Slow
  236. Sly
  237. Small-thinking
  238. Softheaded
  239. Sordid
  240. Steely
  241. Stiff
  242. Strong-willed
  243. Stupid
  244. Submissive
  245. Superficial
  246. Superstitious
  247. Suspicious
  248. Tactless
  249. Tasteless
  250. Tense
  251. Thievish
  252. Thoughtless
  253. Timid
  254. Transparent
  255. Treacherous
  256. Trendy
  257. Troublesome
  258. Unappreciative
  259. Uncaring
  260. Uncharitable
  261. Unconvincing
  262. Uncooperative
  263. Uncreative
  264. Uncritical
  265. Unctuous
  266. Undisciplined
  267. Unfriendly
  268. Ungrateful
  269. Unhealthy
  270. Unimaginative
  271. Unimpressive
  272. Unlovable
  273. Unpolished
  274. Unprincipled
  275. Unrealistic
  276. Unreflective
  277. Unreliable
  278. Unrestrained
  279. Unself-critical
  280. Unstable
  281. Vacuous
  282. Vague
  283. Venal
  284. Venomous
  285. Vindictive
  286. Vulnerable
  287. Weak
  288. Weak-willed
  289. Well-meaning
  290. Willful
  291. Wishful
  292. Zany