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How do we measure personality?

Updated Thursday, 23rd November 2017

 An agreed framework is vital for measuring personality, says Brendan Burchell.

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One of the ongoing controversies for a lot of the early part of the 20th Century was how we measured personality, and different theorists came up with radically different numbers of scales of personalities; some with as little as two, others with, say, sixteen.

But just in the last ten or fifteen years there’s been a lot more consensus, we seemed to have converged around five as a number that works well.

Again, there’s nothing magic about that number. Some people are arguing we could add one in, but now there is this idea that we do seem to capture the core essence of people’s personality using those five dimensions.

Brendan Burchell on personality

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