Consensus on the Big Five
In a 1981 symposium in Honolulu, four prominent researchers, Lewis Goldberg, Naomi Takemoto-Chock, Andrew Comrey, and John M. Digman, reviewed the available personality tests of the day. They concluded that the tests which held the most promise measured a subset of five common factors, just as Norman had discovered in 1963. This event was followed by widespread acceptance of the five factor model among personality researchers during the 1980s, as well as the publication of the NEO PI-R five-factor personality inventory by Costa and McCrae in 1985. The Big Five are now viewed as the first and only scientific consensus in personality psychology.
One of the most significant advances of the five-factor model was the establishment of a common taxonomy that demonstrates order in a previously scattered and disorganized field. What separates the five-factor model of personality from all others is that it is not based on the theory of any one particular psychologist, but rather on language, the natural system that people use to communicate their understanding of one another.
A number of meta-analyses have confirmed the predictive value of the Big Five across a wide range of behaviors. Saulsman and Page examined the relationships between the Big Five personality dimensions and each of the 10 personality disorder categories in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). Across 15 independent samples, the researchers found that each disorder displayed a unique and predictable five-factor profile. The most prominent and consistent personality predictors underlying the disorders were positive associations with Neuroticism and negative associations with Agreeableness.
In the area of job performance, Barrick and Mount reviewed 117 studies utilizing 162 samples with 23,994 participants. They found that conscientiousness showed consistent relations with all performance criteria for all occupational groups. Extraversion was a valid predictor for occupations involving social interaction (e.g. management and sales). Furthermore, extraversion and openness to experience were valid predictors of training proficiency criteria.