Psychology is a little bit like detective work. One way psychologists can find out about our personality is to explore our everyday activities and behaviors.
In other words, the things we enjoy doing can reveal our personality. For instance, someone who loves reading is more likely to be a loner than a person who loves clubbing. A lot of these everyday activities and behaviors seem like common-sense.
However, new studies reveal some interesting insights, ones that simply can’t be guessed. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the minor behaviors, we should familiarise ourselves with the five major personality types.
The Big Five Personality Traits
Psychologists categorise personality traits into five groups:
- Openness to experience
Each category tells us what sort of life that person is likely to lead, for example:
Those open to experience are likely to travel a lot. More agreeable people tend to have lots of friends. Highly neurotic people will typically face mental health problems. Extroverts are more likely to have tattoos and conscientious people are less likely to be late.
Of course, these are generalisations and there are further sub-categories within each of the Big Five. But we humans do like to group people together so it works as a handy tool if we want to learn about personalities.
Now, this new study has revealed the Big Five personality traits in even more detail. It includes some pretty surprising everyday activities you might not associate with certain traits.
Here are everyday activities and the personality type associated with it:
1. Openness to experience
According to research, strongly open-minded people eat spicy breakfasts and spend at least an hour a daydreaming. They swear frequently around others, tend to buy organic food and create art in some form. They are also more likely to lounge around the house naked, fix their own cars and not follow a sport’s team closely.
Open-minded people love to read poetry and have attended art exhibitions and the opera. They’ll speak a second language, smoke marijuana and play a musical instrument. You’ll also find them composting garden scraps and they’ll admit to having shot a gun.
There are some pretty typical everyday activities associated with the conscientious group, stuff you’d expect like returning library books on time, not letting work pile up, and not sleeping past noon.
There’s an interesting way you can spot a conscientious person, however, and that’s how they take a selfie. Conscientious people are more likely to include some private space in the background of their selfie. They are also more likely to wear a watch than any other group.
You should also watch how a person eats their food. Someone who eats one food type in its entirety is detail-orientated and conscientious.
One final trick is to see if a person has any unread and deleted emails. Those who don’t bother reading every single email understand their time is better spent on more useful tasks and are likely to be conscientious.
Surely, extroverts are one of the easiest groups to spot. Some of their more noticeable traits include telling dirty jokes, talking on the phone whilst driving and speeding. They are also more likely to ask questions in meetings and cheer the loudest at sports events.
Nonetheless, they also have some everyday activities you wouldn’t normally expect. For instance, they love relaxing in a hot tub and getting a tan. They are the most likely out of all the groups to volunteer for a club or charity. And their fridge is more likely to be overflowing with food.
Members of this group will tend to have a sweet tooth and love to eat sweet things. Kind people are usually called ‘sweet’. In fact, anything that is enjoyed can be described as sweet. In contrast, bitter tastes are associated with sociopathic traits.
Those with an agreeable nature will do the washing up and the ironing on a daily basis. People who take on these everyday activities, including other kinds of housework and domestic chores, tend to score highly on agreeability. Psychologists believe this is because agreeable people are more motivated to keep others happy. They want to create a caring and relaxed environment. People in this group are also more likely to sing in the shower or in the car.
As expected, neurotic people will suffer from mental health problems such as depression or personality disorders. Not surprisingly, they display more than average anti-social behaviours. Neurotic people will lose their temper more often and make fun of others more. It is possible that this is because they have a hard time controlling their own emotions.
What you might not know about neurotic people is that they’ll drink an average of 4 – 5 cans of soft drinks a day. They are also the most likely to try dieting as a way to lose weight.
If you really want an easy way of spotting a neurotic person, then watch how they take a selfie. If they make a typical duckface (pouting out lips), that’s a major tell-tale sign.
Do you agree with the everyday activities and which groups they have been assigned to? If so, why not congratulate a person on their open-mindedness the next time you catch them swearing? Or if you have your suspicions about the mental wellbeing of a friend, check out their selfies. And don’t be too hard on the child that eats their food one group at a time. They are simply being conscientious.