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Course: MCAT > Unit 4

Lesson 1: Foundations of behavior passages

Big five personality traits and health behaviors


The five-factor model of personality states that there are five basic facets of human personality (known as the big five), which include neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness (expressed by the acronym, OCEAN). These five facets are measured on a continuum, and individuals are typically placed on the spectrum for each trait based on scores from a questionnaire . Some differences between individuals who score high and low on measures of big five personality traits are outlined in Table 1.
TraitLow scorersHigh scorers
OpennessConsistent or cautiousInventive or curious
ConscientiousEasy-going or carelessEfficient or organized
ExtraversionSolitary or reservedOutgoing or energetic
AgreeablenessAnalytical or detachedFriendly or compassionate
NeuroticismSecure or confidentSensitive or nervous
A researcher is interested how personality relates to health behaviors, specifically regular exercise and healthy food consumption. She designs a study that examines the relationship between big-five factors and health behaviors in college students, and organizes her data to see if those relationships vary by gender.
200 college students from a private university are invited to participate in a study of personality and health behaviors. The sample includes equal numbers of men and women between the ages of 18 and 24 (mean age = 20, point, 53). Each participant completes questionnaires that assess personality traits, exercise, and diet. The exercise questionnaires record type, frequency, and duration rates of different types of exercises, while the diet questionnaire includes questions about dietary choices on a weekly basis (like frequency of fruit and vegetable consumption). Table 2 summarizes correlations between high scores of personality traits and high levels of positive health behaviors (indicated by higher scores on measures).
Table 2Males ExerciseMales DietFemales ExerciseFemales Diet
Extraversion0, point, 35minus, 0, point, 14*0, point, 37*0, point, 33*
Agreeableness0, point, 44*minus, 0, point, 43*0, point, 120, point, 23
Conscientiousness0, point, 33*0, point, 23 | 0, point, 210, point, 24*
Neuroticism0, point, 090, point, 18*0, point, 22*0, point, 43*
Opennessminus, 0, point, 24minus, 0, point, 120, point, 32*0, point, 34*
*Statistically significant at p<.05.
Which of the following statements is not supported by the data outlined in Table 2?
Choose 1 answer: