The BIG 5 is one of the leading models to express the most important dimensions of personality, namely:

  • Openness,

  • Conscientiousness,

  • Extraversion,

  • Agreeableness,

  • Neuroticism (also known as emotional instability)

You can remember these easily as OCEAN (the first letter of each trait).

Typically, questionnaires measuring BIG 5 dimenionsions can take some time, but there are short ones that are reasonably reliable (depending on what you need it for, etc, check the references).

This test has compared in person and phone interviews in thousands of participants. The authors conclude their paper as follows (p.565):

We conclude that the short Big Five Inventory (BFI–S) delivers quick and rough, but robust and reliable estimations of the Big Five personality constructs. However, our findings also suggest that this brief assessment may not be well suited for phone surveys that include older adults.

Below are the averages for the self-administered condition (SELF).

Trait Young adults Middle Aged adults Older adults





















These averages have been calculated based on Table 2 of the Lang et al., 2011 paper.

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The BFI-S paper states the following.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

The reference is at the bottom of this page.


This is a simple scale question with some reverse coded items.

The survey code for PsyToolkit

Copy and paste this code to your PsyToolkit account if you want to use the scale in your own online research project
scale: agree
- strongly disagree
- disagree
- somewhat disagree
- neither agree nor disagree
- somewhat agree
- agree
- strongly agree

l: bfi
t: scale agree
o: width 20%
q: Below you see a number of statements, each of which<br>
starts with "I see myself as someone who".<br>
For each statement, indicate how much you agree with this.<br>
<b>I see myself as someone who ...</b>
- worries a lot
- gets nervous easily
- {reverse} remains calm in tense situations
- is talkative
- is outgoing, sociable
- {reverse} is reserved
- is original, comes up with new ideas
- values artistic, aesthetic experiences
- has an active imagination
- {reverse} is sometimes rude to others
- has a forgiving nature
- is considerate and kind to almost everyone
- does a thorough job
- {reverse} tends to be lazy
- does things efficiently

l: openness
t: set
- mean $bfi.7 $bfi.8 $bfi.9

l: conscientiousness
t: set
- mean $bfi.13 $bfi.14 $bfi.15

l: extroversion
t: set
- mean $bfi.4 $bfi.5 $bfi.6

l: agreeableness
t: set
- mean $bfi.10 $bfi.11 $bfi.12

l: neuroticism
t: set
- mean $bfi.1 $bfi.2 $bfi.3

l: feedback
t: radio
q: Your BFI-S scores are as follows (each score can be between 1 and 7):<br>
Write these numbers down for later use.<br>
<li><b>O</b>penness: {$openness}
<li><b>C</b>onscientiousness: {$conscientiousness}
<li><b>E</b>xtroversion: {$extroversion}
<li><b>A</b>greeableness: {$agreeableness}
<li><b>N</b>euroticism: {$neuroticism}
- Okay, I understand


  • Lang, F. R., John, D., Ludtke, O., Schupp, J., & Wagner, G. G. (2011). Short assessment of the Big Five: robust accros survey methods except telephone interviewing. Behavior Research Methods, 43, 548-567.