The 'big five' are five statistical clustering functions, arising from answers to personality tests, which are orthogonal (that is, vary independently of one another, so you can not reduce one to another). Wikipedia overview here. Some overlap with MBTI.
The five factors are:
- Extroversion. Sometimes linked to sensitivity to positive emotions, and hence positive reinforcement of activities. I am slightly above average on this measure.
- Neuroticism. Sensitivity to negative emotions, including anger and gloom. I am also fairly high on this.
- Agreeableness. Compassion, co-operation, interest in others etc. Pretty high on this.
- Conscientiousness. This is like MBTI 'J' function. Planning, methodical, carefulness etc. I am low on this.
- Openness to experience. This is the liberal/intellectual/inquisitive/artisti
I'd be so interested to see European or UK regional distributions.