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What are personality characteristics?

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Quick Answer

Personality characteristics are the different traits that a person has that define who they are as an individual and can include traits, such as agreeable, deep, earnest, empathetic, energetic, enthusiastic, gracious, helpful, honest, honorable, idealistic, incisive, kind, leisurely, logical, lyrical, mature, neat, open, optimistic, passionate, patient, perceptive, self-defacing and stoic according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Personality characteristics, or traits, are often analyzed when a person applies for a new job or meets a new social contact.

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Full Answer

The "Big 5" is a personality trait model that was created in psychology as a way to look at people through a broad lens. The model tests individuals on a sliding scale when it comes to extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness, reports Psychology Today. The theory provides only a limited framework but is useful learning more about individuals in a comparative framework. Psychologists must look at an integrative vision for each person, however, if they want to truly understand an individual person.

Forbes completed a survey in 2013 that asked big companies about the personality characteristics that they were most looking for in employees and found that employers wanted to find people who fit into their company culture as well as people who were a good fit from a work perspective. The personality characteristics that they were most interested in included professionalism, high energy, confidence, self-monitoring and intellectual curiosity.

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