The The Discovery and Evolution of the Big Five of Personality Traits: A Historical Review


  • Florencio Jr Kabigting Claremont Graduate University


Big Five, personality traits, personality psychology, trait theory, five-factor model, human behavior


The Big Five construct of personality traits is a taxonomy of five higher-order personality traits that are believed to be responsible for people's differences and is considered the world's most researched and used personality construct to date. The paper proposes that the construct's robustness and universal appeal were gained not by accident but by design. The Big Five does not only have a long historical foundation behind it, but more importantly, the construct's robustness is a product of the use of various research methods and advanced quantitative techniques and analyses (e.g., statistical tools, factor analysis, etc.) by generations of researchers across history, as well as by numerous cross-cultural research streams that add to its perceived universality. The construct's openness to incorporate findings from allied sciences such as neuroscience and genetics also contribute to its robustness and continuing evolution as a construct that may help advance our understanding of human personality and behavior.

Author Biography

Florencio Jr Kabigting, Claremont Graduate University

Strengths-first talent management professional. Positive organizational psychology practitioner. Agile, ethical, and inclusive educator. Jun is a credentialed Human Resources (HR) professional with more than 25 years of business-academic experience across the entire HR value chain of recruit, retain, and release. Jun wants to help transform the world of work to enable people and organizations to achieve breakthroughs in performance, profitability, efficiency, and well-being.

My primary research interest lies in the paradoxical nature of human traits—arguably the basic building blocks of one’s strengths and talents—and how such seemingly contradictory relationships can be used to enhance the human potential to achieve breakthroughs in organizational performance and create a “strengths-first" (Kabigting, 2021) workplace. As such, I am genuinely interested in topics or areas such as:

• Strengths-based Talent Management and Leadership Development

• Paradox Theory and Enjoyment-Performance Theory

• Positive Organizational Behavior or Scholarship (POB/S)

• The Science of the Individual (SoI)

• Positive Organizational Psychology


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How to Cite

Kabigting, F. J. (2021). The The Discovery and Evolution of the Big Five of Personality Traits: A Historical Review. GNOSI: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Human Theory and Praxis, 4(3), 83-100. Retrieved from