The Five-Factor Model

The science behind our assessment tools is universally recognized, adheres to the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection and Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, and is based on the most broadly accepted and validated model of personality—the Five-Factor Model, also known as the Big Five. Studies show the Big Five constructs that define one’s personality are a reliable and valid predictor of job performance and risk of turnover.

The Big Five refers to a widely accepted theory that personality is made up of five core factors. Each of the five domains corresponds to a spectrum of traits that are representative across different cultures and populations. The five domains are:

  • Five-Factor #1: Openness
  • Five-Factor #2: Conscientiousness
  • Five-Factor #3: Extraversion
  • Five-Factor #4: Agreeableness
  • Five-Factor #5: Neuroticism

Importance of the Five-Factor Model and its relationship to job performance

The theory can be traced back to 1936, when Gordon Allport and H. S. Odbert initially focused on finding words that described people’s personalities with the idea that the most important trait differences would be encoded in language. In the 1940s, Raymond Cattell analyzed the words from the 1936 study and narrowed them down to 16 distinct factors. Since that time, various groups of researchers have worked independently with this personality theory, narrowing down to the same five factors. Donald W. Fiske, Warren T. Norman, Gene M. Smith, Lewis R. Goldberg, and Robert R. McCrae and Paul T. Costa, among others, have studied the Big Five and its relationship to job performance. Drs. McCrae and Costa are the authors of the NEO, the gold-standard Big Five personality assessment, which is published by InVista’s parent company, PAR.

Incorporating the Five-Factor Model is essential in your hiring process

InVista’s products are developed using the Big Five theory as the foundation of our personality-based assessment, which helps you make hiring decisions by weighing candidates’ traits against the qualities needed for success in a given position. Learn more about how InVista’s assessment tools can help you hire the right person for your organization.

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