Personality Clusters Exercise

Select three of the five clusters. In 200 to 300 words, explain where you think you fall within the spectrum of each. Of the five clusters, where do you think your personality fits overall?

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As I read the description of the Big Five Traits (McAdams, 2006) I was struck how I have attempted to moderate many of these traits which happen to fall too far in the wrong direction. For instance, in the area of extroversion (E) I have always exhibited traits of the introvert; quiet, withdraw, etc… In the past few years though, I have struggled to become more extroverted. I guess I am an ambivalent, somewhere between extrovert and introvert.

As far as neuroticism (N) goes with me it really depends on who I am around as far as what level of this trait that I exhibit. I have noticed that when I am around my spouse I sometimes show elevated levels of neuroticism. I am at times oversensitive to her comments or complaints and worry at times about what she thinks. However, when I am around my friends I am rather emotionless, in a healthy, secure manner.

I would probably score high in openness to experience (O). I would, however, have to disagree with the assertion that conservatives are less open to progressive ideas than liberals. There is a traditional wing of the conservative movement that is committed to change, a change that is more progressive than liberal. I am conservative in the sense that I think that the founder’s wisdom should be applied to today’s problems, although I fear in today’s politics that would be a progressive statement. I am open to new ideas and new perspectives, but I am also rooted in my understanding of the world.

As I took a look at the graph on page 192 I realized anew how rooted in the anxious upbringing I am. The secure attachment style advocates such a lower level of neuroticism. As far as the other traits go, the secure attachment style only brings with it elevated levels of the several traits versus the anxious attachment style. I see myself as falling close to the levels for the anxious attachment style. I might be a little lower on neuroticism, but not much.

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McAdams, D.P. (2006). The person: A new introduction to personality psychology. Danvers, MA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


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