Personality and gender
For the first time, we are able to see that men tend to score higher for the trait of Openness that women. Intriguingly, this suggests that men tend to have a higher sensitivity for art and beauty than women, whereas women tend to be more practical
Other findings confirmed previous research. Women scored higher on average than men in Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Neuroticism. In other words, women tend to be more caring, dependable and emotional, while men tend to be more competitive, distracted and even-tempered.
Of course these results do not mean that all women and all men behave in exactly these ways, they simply describe the average patterns across the very large Big Personality Test sample.
Personality and occupation
Another first the study reveals is that those scoring high in Extroversion tend to be very satisfied in jobs involving lots of social contact, like sales, finance, law, and teaching. This may be because those scoring high in Extroversion have a greater need for stimulation, which includes social stimulation.
As with gender, the Big Personality Test also confirmed previous findings about personality and occupation.
Those high in Openness were found to be happiest in jobs that involve creativity and abstract thinking, for example advertising, journalism, art, science, research, and engineering. Those high in Agreeableness were shown to be most content in jobs that involve helping and educating other people, for example healthcare and education.
The study also confirmed that those who score high in Extroversion and Conscientiousness tend to like their job, irrespective of what it is. One explanation for this is that most jobs provide structure, which appeals to people high in Conscientiousness, and places for people to socialise, which appeals to people high in Extroversion.
Older people score lower on Neuroticism than younger people
Personality and health
The study shows that people high in Agreeableness tend to report a better level of health than average.
This may be because Agreeableness is associated with having close social relationships and emotional support. People with stable social support networks have more support to turn to when things get difficult, thereby potentially lessening the negative perceptions associated with poor health.
It is well-established that people high in Conscientiousness, high in Extroversion and low in Neuroticism tend to report the fewest symptoms of ill-health, as well as being more likely to engage in health-promoting behaviours. The Big Personality Test confirmed these findings by replicating them in a very large sample.
Personality and age
The Big Personality Test supports previous findings that the proportion of people scoring higher in Agreeableness and Conscientiousness and lower in Openness and Neuroticism increases with age.
It is possible that these that slight changes in personality develop in response to the various relationships and obligations people form during their lifetimes.
In early adulthood for example, the majority of people begin to develop long-lasting relationships with partners, start a family, and begin taking on additional responsibilities at work. With greater professional and familial demands on their time, people may be required to plan ahead to a greater extent, and this would explain a higher score on Conscientiousness.