Personality is the term used to describe the sum total of those cognitive, emotional, and behavioural characteristics that a person habitually employs in relating to his or her social environment. Inevitably, an element of arbitrariness enters into the selection of which characteristics are considered to be important in establishing a person’s personality profile, but research in this area repeatedly draws attention to what are increasingly considered to be five core dimensions:

1 Surgency, which includes power, dominance, and extraversion (as opposed to weakness, submissiveness, and introversion);

2 Agreeableness, which includes co-operativeness and trustworthiness (as opposed to aggressiveness and suspiciousness);

3 Conscientiousness, which includes industriousness and responsibility (as opposed to laziness and irresponsibility);

4 Emotional stability, which includes security and stability (as opposed to insecurity and anxiousness); and

5 Intellect-openness, which includes intelligence, perspicacity, creativity (as opposed to stupidity, boorishness, and unimaginativeness).