Sunday, 6 June 2004 | Interviewing with the NSA

But one day I browsed through the sizable stack of Psychology texts. And then I saw it:

N E O A C N1 N2 n.. E1 E2 e.. O1 O2 o.. A1 A2 a.. C1 C2 c..

Very High
High x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
Very Low

It looked a lot like the type of picture I saw in the office. But what does it mean?

It was a graphical representation of something called the Five Factor Model of Personality. Whoa!! I stood there dumbfounded, as if I had suddenly acquired the power to converse with whales like Aquaman or read Sanskrit like... well, someone that reads Sanskrit. It was an “Ah-Ha!” moment, but not in the style of the similarly-named 80’s Euro-band with Fabulous Hair, this was actual understanding.


Each of the computerized test questions maps to one of the “Five Factors”: Neuroticism (N), Extraversion (E), Openness to Experience (O), Agreeableness (A), and Conscientiousness (C). Those are the bold N, E, O, A, C letters in the upper left-hand corner, and below each of these letters is the overall quasi-numerical ranking for that Factor. The rest of the letters across the top are the facets for each factor, called respectively N1, N2, E1, E2, etc. Below each facet is a data-point as well. It’s possible a percentage of the test questions are “chaff” and are not scored, however, the principle still remains the same. Specifically, the each test question maps to a facet within a Factor, and the overall Factor rating is based – I assume – on the average of the Factor’s facets.
more - specif. a useful grid.

the stainless steel rat says what?

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