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Analysis: Big 5 Personality Test (openpsychometrics)

On openpsychometrics you can take the famous Big Five personality test. This test will assess how a person scores on five different personality traits. These traits are: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. To see what these traits entail, check out this post.

People score differently on these traits. For instance, some people score high on extraversion and actively seek out a lot of social interaction. Those who score high on conscientiousness prefer to keep things organized. Scoring low on neuroticism means experiencing less stress and anxiety. If you would like to see how you score on these traits, go to openpsychometrics. You can also download the dataset on their website.

1. using this questionnaire for analysis

I have looked at the questionnaire itself, it is comprised of 50 statements, with 10 statements per trait. I am a bit unsure of the questions for the trait “openness”. These questions mainly focus on imagination and abstract thinking. However, I would argue that openness is also about general curiosity and the willingness to try new things.

Furthermore, this test is online and free for anyone to take. If you are looking for a representative sample, this might not be the perfect sample for you. People taking this test have access to a computer and internet, are aware of personality testing, and are interested in assessing their personality. I am sure that this is a mere subset of the whole human population.

Therefore, I am not fully convinced of the reliability (“what does the test measure?”) of the test and the representativeness. Though, I will still like to look at the data and figure out the trends within this sample.

2. what does the questionnaire look like?

As you can see in the screenshot above, participants have to rate whether statements are applicable to them. To do so, they can pick on a scale that ranges from “disagree” to “agree”, in the data set this translates to scoring a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. With 1 being “disagree” and 5 being “agree”. As aforementioned, the questionnaire consists of 50 statements, with 10 statements per trait.

3. prepping the data for analysis

As can be seen in the screenshot above, the statements are either positive or negative. For instance, “I am the life of the party” is a positive statement that would indicate a high score on extraversion. But “I don’t talk a lot” is a negative statement, which would indicate a low score on extraversion. To deal with these inconsistencies I have to reverse score some of the statements. See my full Jupyter Notebook.

To reverse score the whole dataframe, I wrote the following code:

#this piece of code uses pandas
import pandas as pd
#dictionary to reverse score 'negative' statements
rev = {1:5, 2:4, 4:2, 5:1}
#iterate over dataframe columns that need remapping
ext_n = ["EXT2", "EXT4", "EXT6", "EXT8", "EXT10"]
for i in ext_n:
    EXT.replace({i: rev}, inplace = True)

First, I created a dictionary to reverse score the numbers. Second, I created a list of columns that needed to be adjusted. Third, I created a loop that would iterate over the columns that needed to be remapped, using the dictionary.

Analysis

All Big Five personality traits

These 5 graphs are histograms of all five personality traits. A histogram shows how many people score what on average per trait. For example, for the trait openness we see that most participants score a ‘4’, which is towards the higher end of the spectrum. So each bar represents the frequency of participants and their average score.

Openness

How all participants on average score on openness
Example of a question to show how participants score on one of the openness questions

Conscientiousness

How all participants on average score on conscientiousness

Example of a question to show how participants score on one of the conscientiousness questions

Extraversion

How all participants on average score on extraversion
Example of a question to show how participants score on one of the extraversion questions

Agreeableness

How all participants on average score on agreeableness
Example of a question to show how participants score on one of the agreeableness questions

Neuroticism

How all participants on average score on neuroticism
Example of a question to show how participants score on one of the neuroticism questions

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