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Big 5 Results & SLOAN Codes

There are only one or two sites that will give you big 5 test results in the form of SLOAN codes. The vast majority of big 5 tests will give your result in a numerical form, either a percentage or some other number and the scale on which these scores are presented varies from site to site. For example, at time of writing, the most popular big 5 test site among PDB users is This site scores each trait on a scale of 24 - 120 with 72 being the middle or neutral score. If you want to convert your trait scores from this test into a percentage you need to subtract 24 then divide by 0.96. With any test you take you will need to be certain of how the scoring system works on that site in order to know exactly what your score is in percentage terms. If you are uncertain about any results and what they mean you can post a comment on PDB's big 5 forum. Fortunately most sites (including usually include the word "high" or "low" or sometimes "moderate" next to each score so there shouldn't be too much ambiguity here.

SLOAN codes divide people into high scorers and low scorers. The basic SLOAN system that the PDB voting engine uses does not accommodate moderate scores or high/low scores of varying degree. In order to vote for a SLOAN type you simply need to decide whether your subject is a high or low scorer for each of the 5 traits. Because there are only 2 options for each trait (high or low) high is usually taken to mean "anything above 50%" and low to mean "anything below 50%". In the case of working out your own result from a big 5 test, it should be noted that most tests have a neutral score. If you wish to know what SLOAN code represents your big 5 test results but you have received a 50% or equivalent score for one of your traits then this is an inconclusive result as far as PDB's SLOAN engine is concerned. You are neither high or low for that trait. In this event you should represent that trait with an X. If you want to receive a conclusive result that tells you whether you score high or low for a trait (this is not how the big 5 system actually works) then you can take a second test and use that result or a combination of both results.

How to convert big five scores into SLOAN codes:

Extraversion: S (Social) = high, R (Reserved) = low.

Neuroticism: L (Limbic) = high, C (Calm) = low.

Conscientiousness: O (Organized) = high, U (Unstructured) = low.

Agreeableness: A (Agreeable) = high, E (Egocentric) = low.

Openness: I (Inquisitive) = high, N (Non-curious) = low.

Example: Richard Tyrrell (the example big 5 subject from the previous chapter) had these scores: Openness: 67%, Conscientiousness: 38%, Extraversion: 29%, Agreeableness: 58%, Neuroticism: 42%. In SLOAN this would be represented as RCUAI. It is worth noting however that his scores for openness and agreeableness are only 8% away from the mid point of 50%. Because some fluctuation of scores between tests is to be expected it is not hard to imagine someone who received these scores on one test, receiving a result of RLUAI or RCUEI on another test. It should also be noted that the letters R and C tell us that the subject scored "low" for Extraversion and Neuroticism but gives no indication of the fact that the score for Extraversion was a lot lower than the score for Neuroticism. These issues and more will be discussed in the following page.

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