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Agreeableness Personality Trait – Everything you Need to Know!

Compassion, trust, and honesty are a major part of our lives; we define them as – Good Qualities. Turns out, psychology has a name for all such characteristics that come under the umbrella of Agreeableness personality trait. Agreeableness is part of the Big Five Personality Model. The Model comprises five traits, namely Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism.

In the next few minutes, you’ll understand how agreeableness factors your personality and decision-making.

What does Agreeableness Personality Trait mean?

Psychology defines Agreeableness as a personality trait that influences our ability to build and maintain relationships around us and plays a major part in determining our Social Harmony Index.

It isn’t just socially acceptable to be compassionate, honest, and sympathetic; rather, these traits impact how you decide and give an insight into your approach towards life. Ask yourself, are you a person who decides by heart or you use your brain to analyze each aspect before concluding?

The answer to this question lies in your agreeableness score. Someone with a higher score will be more trusting and conscientious. A lower score shows an analytical thinker who gives preference to facts.

Agreeableness Personality Qualities

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The History of Agreeableness Personality Trait

An agreeableness personality trait is a part of the big five personality model, which includes factors such as Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. Each factor is unique and screams volumes about the personality of an individual.

The Big Five model, also known as the OCEAN Model, was born out of some groundbreaking work by renowned American psychologist Lewis Goldberg in the 1960s. It is undoubtedly the most popular model used across the globe because of one major reason: that it killed the dichotomy that prevailed in pre-existent models.

The model accepts that human nature can’t be categorized into just good and bad, black or white. Humans, unlike computers, do not operate on binaries. For most of our life, we work in the bleak grey areas between the realms of black and white. That’s why most people have a moderate agreeableness score.

To understand the topic better, we’ll look at the extremes: High and low agreeableness score.

The analysis of sub-traits calculates the score.

Sub-traits are used to understand the subtle complexities of the human mind. Let’s look at them!

Sub-traits of Agreeableness | Six Dimensions

Agreeableness Personality Sub Traits

The six sub-traits are the pillars on which the agreeableness personality score is measured. A person with all six traits would naturally have a higher agreeableness score. The Agreeableness personality traits are Trust, Altruism, Modesty, Morality, Cooperation, and Sympathy.

Trust- Do you Trust People Easily?

It is a question we often ask ourselves. How does it matter? A person who trusts easily has some level of optimism. They choose to believe that there is inherent good in people, generally, give people the benefit of the doubt. The qualities above boost their score and such people lie on the higher end of the spectrum.

Trusting people easily means that you have faith. However, being a little cautious isn’t a bad thing.

Altruism – Do you like helping others?

Altruism means helping others without thinking about ourselves. If you find yourself trying to help other people in your community or just random strangers in problems, you may be at a higher level of this facet.

This attribute generally stems from self-fulfillment rather than self-sacrifice. You do it because it makes you feel good. As Phoebe Buffay from friends correctly pointed out,” there is no selfless good deed”.

Modesty – Do you think highly of yourself?

Ancient texts convey the importance of being humble and not immersing yourself in the pool of self-glory. If you have a high opinion of yourself, chances are people won’t like to approach you. If you already think you are the best, you will never grow. Not only this, but it may also mean that you have low self-esteem. Qualities like being humble and aware of your fallacies suggest a higher score on the spectrum.

Morality – Will you cheat on a test?

We all studied the basic moral values as a subject in our schools. However, we never really gave it much thought, right?

Turns out, Morality is a big contributing factor on this scale because it shows how you distinguish right from wrong. Take a simple example of cheating on a regular test. A person who has strong morals would refrain as much as possible from cheating. This person will have a higher agreeableness score.

Surely, they will be discriminated against by their peers. This shows we have normalized cheating because no one thinks it would be morally wrong to copy an answer. Usually, people with a tendency to bend their morals may be less agreeable.

Cooperation – Are you willing to work and adjust with others?

There is always a person around you who is very complacent, doesn’t voice a lot of concerns, and tries to accommodate everyone. Maybe you are that person.

A highly agreeable individual would be very cooperative for the sheer reason that they empathize better with their surroundings. They want what is best for everybody and not just themselves. A person who is not that agreeable might find trouble synchronizing and synergizing with teams and is often considered more individualistic.

Sympathy – Do you put yourselves in others’ shoes?

One of the most valued traits is sympathy. It is the foundation to build a deep relationship with people around you. Your ability to understand another’s suffering makes you accommodate their needs more and make them feel comfortable. A person who finds it difficult to understand other people’s problems might come off as cold and, honestly, is not well-liked.

What Decides the Extent of Agreeableness?

Traits can be present from birth, inherited, or gained. The ones you gain over your lifetime are volatile and change depending on circumstances. Agreeableness is one such trait that you can change if you want to.

factors affecting agreeableness levels - Agreeableness personality trait

Experiences

They form a key component of how we approach certain things. For example, a person who was lied to will be sceptical of trusting others. This affects his/her agreeableness score.

Gender

Gender, to some extent, plays a role in your agreeableness score. Generally, Women are more agreeable than men.

Age

This is the most obvious one. You might have experienced it firsthand when dealing with an elderly and a kid. Usually, kids are more stubborn and fussy, unwilling to learn if they are unaccustomed to not having their ways. Older people, generally, are adjusting and complacent. Experience teaches people how to accept and change when things get tough.

Notice how grandparents always give in to their grandchildren’s demands more than the parents?

All of this suggests that with time and experience, we can change our level of agreeableness because it is not an inherited trait, but it gradually develops as we grow old.

Think of it this way; you are on your way to work/college. A random stranger passes a smile to you. On reaching college, you get appreciated by your seniors and are successful with a project.

How does that make you feel?

Happy, right?

Your outlook on life changes just a tiny bit, enough to make you better. If we feel good, we do good. Incidences like these can make huge positive impacts, increasing an individual’s agreeableness score.

High vs Low Agreeableness Score

High vs. Low Agreeableness Score - Agreeableness personality trait

The comparison may seem cut and dry, but an important takeaway here is that most people are in the middle of the spectrum. They have some pleasant qualities with some bad attributes. 

The high or low score has its positives and negatives. Generally, a person with a balanced score is much better off than anyone on either end. As they say, Excess of everything is bad.

High vs low score

Can Agreeableness Score Help You Find Your Career?

A test helps you measure your aptitude, knowledge, or skill. We’ve all attempted tests, and they use a series of questions to analyse our understanding, thinking style, and ideas.

When you take a personality test you, more or less, want to know about yourself. Get answers to some lingering questions in mind. They can help you decide between options with the use of scientific or statistical data.

A test that tells you about your agreeableness can be very useful. It may help you answer a question that many people have trouble answering for themselves: What career suits them best?

You are best suited to work in a social setting if you have a high agreeableness score. Professions such as teaching, counselling, etc. are ideal as they involve teamwork and interacting with others. A philanthropic profession is also a great choice. A desire to make the world better can be a great motivation to work hard and bring change.

A person with a low agreeableness score is best suited to a more analytical, individualistic profession (not to mean there will not be any teamwork or peer interactions) such as financial advisors, accountants, scientists, doctors, programmers, and other similar roles.

Want to Know Your Agreeableness Score?

After having read so much about the various aspects and importance of agreeableness, there must be a spark of curiosity in your mind to know what your score is. A good way would be to take The Big Five Personality test. The test gives a score on the five factors – Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism! It also gives you a detailed insight into who you are as a person.

These personality tests are avidly used by recruiters to see whether you would be a good fit for a job. Apart from this, they are fun to take. So take one now and make your friends take one too. Maybe it would turn into a fun game where you try to predict each other’s scores.

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