Trait Theorists

Critical Thinking Questions

How stable are the Big Five traits over one’s lifespan?


The Big Five traits are relatively stable over our lifespan with a tendency for the traits to increase or decrease slightly. Researchers have found that conscientiousness increases through young adulthood into middle age, as we become better able to manage our personal relationships and careers. Agreeableness also increases with age, peaking between 50 to 70 years. However, neuroticism and extroversion tend to decline slightly with age.

Compare the personality of someone who scores high on agreeableness to someone who scores low on agreeableness.


A person with a high score on agreeableness is typically pleasant, cooperative, trustworthy and good-natured. People who score low on agreeableness tend to be described as rude and uncooperative. They may be difficult with which to work.