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Big Five Aspects (BFAS)


"Between Facets and Domains: 10 Aspects of the Big Five" is a 2007 paper by Dr. Colin DeYoung, Lena Quilty & Jordan Peterson. The paper begins with an explanation of the hierarchical structure of the Big 5. There are 5 major personality traits (OCEAN). Each trait can be broken up into facets (most famously exemplified by the NEO PI-R 6 facet approach). The goal of the DeYoung et al. paper is to identify a level between the Facets and the traits; to subdivide the 5 traits into their component parts but not to the same degree of detail as the 6 facet model. You can think of this as a way of grouping the 6 facets of each trait into 2 meta-facets but this would be something of an over simplification as the study also uses the highly complex AB5C model as the basis for its methodology. The study uses these two models of dividing the big 5 traits (NEO PI-R & AB5C) along with a study from 2002 that identified correlations between each of the 5 traits and 2 genetic factors (10 genetic factors in total). 

Essentially the study offers an updated and simplified version of the 6 facet model that makes use of findings that were not available during the inception of the 6 facet model. It appears to offer a legitimate and more user friendly presentation of the big 5, although it is not within the capacity of the author of this PDB wiki article to assess its status within the field.

The model is referred to as the Big Five Aspects Scales (BFAS). It should be noted that the 6 facet model is a far older and more widely used model and is still regarded as one of the most scientifically valid personality models available. The BFAS is a descendant of the 6 facet model. It is closer to being a new and distinct model of the big 5 than it is to being an addition to the 6 facet model. Both models should be regarded as legitimate and it is not obvious that one should be regarded as the better or more correct system. However, the BFAS is certainly more obscure and you are not likely to find as many resources for or references to this model as you are for the 6 facet model.

It is also worth noting that this is a subtly different set of metrics from the 6 facet model, different enough that one subject is likely to receive slightly different trait scores (and maybe different SLOAN types) when analysed with these two different models.

Trait Descriptions



High Scorers: Warm and friendly. Have fun and laugh a lot. Their happiness is conspicuous.
Low Scorers: Hard to get to know. Distant. Not excitable or enthusiastic.


High Scorers: Take charge. Charismatic and captivating. Happy to lead others. Persuasive. Pro-active.
Low Scorers: Not assertive. Not good at influencing others. Prefer to follow others. Hold their opinions.



High Scorers: Can easily become angry, upset or agitated. Highly changeable moods.
Low Scorers: Rarely irritated or annoyed. Composed and controlled.


High Scorers: Beset by feelings of doubt, fear and worry. Often feel threatened, overwhelmed or discouraged.
Low Scorers: Rarely feel depressed or embarrassed. Comfortable with themselves.



High Scorers: Accomplish their plans and do so in a timely fashion. Self-assured in their competence.
Low Scorers: Waste time. Procrastinate. Make mistakes. Don't concentrate. Become distracted.


High Scorers: Like order, tidiness and routines. Enforce rules. Precise.
Low Scorers: Leave things lying around. Not bothered by messiness and disorder. Dislike routines.



High Scorers: Ask about others' well-being. Sympathetic. Feel other's emotions. Interested in the lives of others. Do things for others.
Low Scorers: Disinterested in the feelings, lives and problems of others. Don't make time for others. Don't have a soft side.


High Scorers: Respect authority. Don't want to be pushy. Don't want to impose on or pressure others.
Low Scorers: Insulting. Think they are superior. Take advantage of others. Enjoy conflict and confrontation. Prioritise personal gain.



High Scorers: Perceive and enjoy the beauty of art, music, poetry and nature. Like to reflect and ruminate. Need a creative outlet.
Low Scorers: Tend not to enjoy or respond emotionally to poetry and art. Tend not to daydream or become lost in thought.


High Scorers: Quick thinkers. Adept with complexity and large amounts of information. Broad vocabulary.
Low Scorers: Slow learners. Struggle with abstraction, philosophy and challenging reading material.

BFAS Scoring Keys
15DeYoung.pdf (
Unique Associations Between Big Five Personality Aspects and Multiple Dimensions of Well‐Being (

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