Skip to main content

Big 5 Types By Clustering (Not SLOAN)


[Important note: This article discusses big 5 types that have been derived via clustering techniques; it is not the same as SLOAN types]

Typological theories tend to be subjective in nature. They are usually derived from the author's own subjective observations and are thus constrained by the author's life and unique perspective. Because of this, almost all typology systems are deemed as pseudo-science.

Systems of category, in general, rely on arbitrary dichotomies (e.g. Introvert vs Extravert). However the number of degrees is arbitrary. We could just as easily construct a system with 3 degrees (e.g. Introvert vs Ambivert vs Extravert).

Clustering techniques offer a different approach to typology. It reduces subjectivity to a high degree, since the categories that determine the types are no longer arbitrary. The test results of a population of test takers appear to cluster in a limited array of formations and these clusters indicate our personality types. Due to this approach, "cluster types" are based on real formations or clusters of traits that predominate in populations. These "cluster types" are not defined arbitrarily, as is the case with standard typology. Type X will be defined by traits that tend to co-occur in a given formation, not by one man's arbitrary notion of how data ought to be divided.


These types originate from an older theory [BLOCK & BLOCK 1980], which identified two primary dimensions of personality: Ego-control and ego-resiliency.

Ego Control:
Low scorer (Undercontroller): Expressive. Spontaneous. Readily demonstrates needs and impulses. Prefers immediate gratification. Shows feelings/emotions. Wide array of underdeveloped interests. Distractible. Exploratory. Non-Conformist. Unconventional or original.
High scorer (Overcontroller): Constrained. Inhibited. Doesn't readily demonstrate needs and impulses. Delays gratification. Minimal emotional expression. Categorical. Persevering. Good concentration. Not Exploratory. Conformist. Narrow and fixed interests. Organised and regimented.

Ego Resilience:
Low scorer (Brittle): Set in their way. Not adaptive. Paralysed by stress. Anxious under pressure. Recovers slowly. Unsettled by change. 
High scorer (Resilient): Resourceful. Lateral thinkers. Good under stress. 

The Types

There are several studies exploring this theory. Here are a few descriptions of the major cluster types, derived from a summary of all these studies. [The names in parentheses are the creation of the author, to make the types more memorable]. The types will be listed in order of the number of studies in which they have appeared. The first types on this list "replicate" frequently and so can be regarded as a legitimate and credible cluster type. The later types do not "replicate" so well and should be regarded with more scepticism. First, a quick note on two of the meta-types:

Undercontrollers vs Overcontrollers (Meta-Types)

Undercontrollers (general) (XXUEX) – Impulsive. Pleasure-driven and sensation-seeking. Avoids boredom. High tolerance for risk (fearless and lacking caution). Unrestrained.

Overcontrollers (general) (RXOXN) – Self control. Control over impulses. Low risk tolerance. Cautious.

Specific Types

[The Diplomat] Socially Desirable type (SCOAI) – Replication 10/10 - Those who self-report in the most positive way possible. Admired and popular. Optimistic. Good at conforming to societal expectations.
Outcome and environment: Good job performance. Well educated. Few health problems. Physically active. Politically engaged. Lenient upbringing. Plenty of social support. Good family environment.
Typical Scores: O 65, C 65, E 65, A 65, N 30.
Real life examples: Martin Luther King jr., Barack Obama, Jesus Christ, Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, Neil deGrasse Tyson.

[The Dropout] Socially Undesirable type (RLUEN) – Replication 8/10 - Those who self-report in the most negative way possible. Social Outcasts. Pessimistic. Bad at fitting in.
Outcome and environment: Poor job performance and educational attainment. Poor family environment. Limited social support.
Typical scores: O 25, C 35, E 15, A 30, N 75
Real life examples: Notorious BIG, Eminem, Noel Gallagher, Morrissey.

[The Bouncer] Undercontrollers - Networker variant (SXUEX) – Replication: 7/10 - Focused on social stimulation. Talkative. Good networkers.
Outcome and environment: Good job performance. Change jobs often. Likely to be smokers.
Typical Scores: O 50, C 30, E 70, A 40, N 50
Real life examples: Quentin Tarantino, Jack Nicholson, Kanye West, Ricky Gervais, Donald Trump.

[The Accountant] Overcontroller – Sensitive variant (RLOEN) – Replication: 7/10 - Shy. Fearful. Anxious. Avoidant of everyday risks, e.g. rejection. "Play it safe". Routine-oriented.
Outcome and environment: Poor job performance. Rarely change jobs. Poor educational attainment. Prone to health problems. Not likely to smoke. Not politically engaged.
Typical Scores: O 30, C 60, E 30, A 45, N 55
Real life examples: Richard Nixon, Isaac Newton, Tom Cruise, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Vladimir Putin, Stanley Kubrick, Joseph Stalin.

Average type (XXXXX) Replication: 6/10 – Good at understanding others.
Typical scores: OCEAN = 50

[The Trad-Wife] Overcontroller – Reserved variant (RCOAN) – Replication: 6/10 - Follow routines and tradition. Rejects the novel and the unknown. Danger avoidant. Politically conservative. Perfectionists. Careful planners.
Typical Scores: O 25, C 60, E 45, A 60, N 25
Real life examples: Queen Elizabeth II, George Washington, Lionel Messi, Ed Sheeran, Beyonce.

[The Non-Conformist] Undercontrollers – Rebel variant (RLUEX) – Replication: 4/10 - Dislikes rules and regulations. Values personal freedom. May break rules and disdain conventions.
Outcome and environment: Poor educational attainment.
Typical Scores: O 50, C 20, E 40, A 25, N 65
Real life examples: HP Lovecraft, Woody Allen, Robert Pattinson, David Lynch, Albert Einstein, David Bowie.

[The Pop Star] Vulnerable Resilient (SLOXI) – Replication: 3/10 - Complex and changeable.
Outcome and environment: High educational attainment.
Typical Scores: O 70, C 55, E 60, A 50, N 75
Real life examples: John Wayne Gacy Jr., Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana.

[The Executive] Strain (SLOEI) – Replication: 2/10 - Achievement and status oriented. Competitive. Assertive. Controlling. Short-tempered.
Outcome and environment: Rarely change jobs. Likely to have health problems. Had a strict upbringing.
Typical Scores: O 70, C 90, E 65, A 20, N 80

[The Florist] Congenial (RCUAN) – Replication: 2/10 - Not prone to stress. Tolerant. Patient. Receptive. Friendly. Adaptable. Passive. Not controlling.
Outcome and environment: Good job performance. Rarely switch jobs. Few health problems. Not likely to be a smoker. Votes in elections. Lenient upbringing.
Typical Scores: O 40, C 35, E 30, A 70, N 25

A note regarding test-retest rate

A measure to compare different systems is the test-retest rate – also known as test-retest reliability. This rating indicates the probability that a person will continue to be the same type over time.
High repeatability: Type change is rare (indicates an accurate personality theory).
Low repeatability: Type change is common (indicates an inaccurate personality theory).

Retest rates for different typology systems:
Big 5 clusters: 93% (
Enneagram: 70% (
Official MBTI test: 50% (

For teenagers, the test-retest rate (big 5 clusters) is much lower: 50-65% over 1 year, 38% over 2 years. (

High test-retest rate, falsifiability and higher objectivity is what sets big 5 clusters apart from other personality type systems and makes the theory more scientific.

Sources for the studies and replication rates:
1 -
2 -
3 -
4 (AU) & 5 (GER) – 6 TYPES
6 -
7 -
8 -
1 - “Personality types during transition to young adulthood: How are they related to life
situation and well-being?” - 2014 – Leikas, Samela
2 – “8 common personality types” – 2020 – Hogan Corporation
4 & 5 – “On the Consistency of Personality Types Across Adulthood: Latent Profile Analyses
in Two Large-Scale Panel Studies” – 2014 – Spetch, Luhmann, Geiser
6 - “Beyond resilients, undercontrollers, and overcontrollers? an extension of personality
prototype research” – 2006 – Hezberg, Roth
7 - “A robust data-driven approach identifies four personality types across four large data
sets” – 2018 – Gerlach, Farb, Revelle, Amaral
8 - “Personality types revisited–a literature-informed and data-driven approach to an
integration of prototypical and dimensional constructs of personality description” – 2021 –
Kerber, Roth, Hesberg
9 - “Establishing the structure and replicability of personality profiles using the HEXACO-PI-R”
– 2020 – Meyer, Espinosa, Daljeet
10 - “Number and content of personality types across methods and samples:
Empirically filling the theoretically developed map of RUNO typology” – 2021 - Włodzimierz
Strus * Natalia Cybis* Jan Cieciuch* Tomasz Rowiński*
Written and maintained by PDB users for PDB users.