How does the ESTP personality fit into the Big Five personality traits?
Reading time: 5 minutes
In personality studies, scientific researchers often use a trait-based approach to describing the differences between people instead of using personality types. The most well-established method is the Big Five, which describes differences along five broad dimensions:
Your combined positions across all Big Five dimensions describe your personality.
How does this relate to the ESTP? People with the same type tend to have similar (but not identical) Big Five dimensions.
The graph below shows how ESTPs score on the Big Five dimensions. Each blue dot is an ESTP, and darker blue areas mean more ESTPs are in that area.
For example, on the Extraversion dimension, ESTPs tend to score higher than average, so the High and Very High areas are very dark blue. But, you might notice that there are a few blue dots in the Low area of Extraversion.
So, while most ESTPs tend to be on the higher end of Extraversion, there are a few exceptions.
Below, you can see more detail on how ESTPs score on each Big Five dimension.
ESTPs tend to score lower on Openness to Experience, meaning they are often more conventional or traditional. Almost all ESTPs score below average on this dimension.
Openness to Experience describes your need for new information, feelings, and experiences.
Less open people prefer the familiar ways of doing things. They are less interested in trying new things or seeking out new experiences. They also tend to be less eccentric and have more conventional tastes in hobbies, music, and reading material.
Highly open people have diverse interests, and they may feel a constant need to learn and try new things.
ESTPs typically score lower on Conscientiousness, with about 95% of ESTPs scoring below the average.
Conscientiousness describes your tendency to plan, organize, and persistently focus on long-term goals.
Less conscientious people, like many ESTPs, tend to be more spontaneous or impulsive. They are more interested in the present or short-term future, and more likely to change their mind, or change direction when obstacles arise.
Highly conscientious people are more likely to set goals far in the future, then come up with detailed plans on how to achieve these goals. They are also more likely to stick to the goals they set and more persistent in working through difficulty to reach them.
ESTPs almost always score on the high end of Extraversion, with about 95% of ESTPs scoring above average on this dimension.
Extraversion describes your assertiveness, enthusiasm, and experiences of positive emotions.
Like many ESTPs, highly extraverted people tend to be more socially outgoing and talkative, and they often seek out more stimulating environments (think loud, crowded, or risky and exciting situations). High extraverts also feel and express positive emotions (e.g., joy, laughter, excitement) more intensely and more frequently.
Highly introverted people are more socially reserved and quiet. They have a lower tolerance for highly stimulating environments and often retreat to calm and quiet situations in solitude. They also experience positive emotions less intensely and less frequently. For example, others may notice that introverts tend to smile and laugh less often than most.
ESTPs are usually more demanding, with about 85% of ESTPs scoring below average on Agreeableness.
Agreeableness describes your interpersonal warmth, politeness, and empathy.
Like many ESTPs, less agreeable (or more demanding) people are often less concerned with others when pursuing their own goals. They are more willing to create conflict or express disagreement across most situations and feel less discomfort during interpersonal disputes.
Highly agreeable people feel a deep need to maintain warm, friendly relationships and are naturally more hesitant to impose their will on others. They will be more considerate of how their actions impact others and try to reduce or resolve interpersonal conflicts when they arise.
ESTPs vary widely in Neuroticism, but most fall on the low end of this dimension. About 70% of ESTPs score below average on Neuroticism.
Neuroticism describes how frequently and how intensely you experience negative emotions, like anxiety, anger, and sadness.
Like most ESTPs, less neurotic people are more easy-going, have more predictable moods, and are more resilient under stress. They also experience less of the harmful types of self-consciousness, like rumination and self-doubt, reported by more neurotic people.
Highly neurotic people tend to worry more, have more frequent mood swings, withdraw when feeling distressed, and feel more self-conscious.