What Are Common Character Traits?

In psychology, core character traits are considered to be extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience, according to the five-factor theory. The "Big Five" encompass a spectrum of more specific traits that are determined according to whether a person possesses high or low levels of each trait.

Extraversion encompasses a range of traits from shyness, to talkativeness, to somewhere in the middle. People who rank high in the extraversion trait are considered to be outgoing, whereas those who rank low are considered to be introverts. Agreeableness includes specific traits such as kindness, trust and affection; on the other side of the spectrum, it includes more anti-social behaviors, such as mistrust.

People high in conscientiousness tend to be thoughtful and organized, whereas people low in this trait are often tardy and disorganized. People ranking high in neuroticism may be emotionally unstable, nervous or anxious, while those ranking low are stable, confident and collected.

The final trait, openness to experience, includes attributes such as creativity, intellectual curiosity and a desire to explore new things, while those on the opposite end of the spectrum are likely to avoid change and travel or mingle less often.