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Conscientiousness Aspect of Personality Development

The Conscientiousness aspect of personality development is one of the five aspects of personality development according to the Five Factor Model (FFM) of personality. The Conscientiousness aspect of personality development is representative of responsibility, trustworthiness, and structure. People who develop their conscientiousness aspect express concern for following rules, adhering to plans, and remaining dependable.

Conscientiousness of the Five Factor Model
Conscientiousness is one of the main aspects of the Five-Factor Model (FFM) of personality

Being careful or diligent is a defining personality trait according to the Big 5 (another name for the FFM). Conscientiousness implies a desire to complete a task well and to take one’s responsibilities to others seriously. Conscientious people are more efficient and organized than relaxed and disorderly people. For example, high conscientiousness causes people to recognize the value of diligent work and timeliness, working hard to meet expectations. However, low conscientiousness causes people to lose focus and become impulsive. People with low conscientiousness risk appearing erratic and inconsiderate which others perceive as lacking empathy because of their negligence and disrespect.

One way conscientiousness affects personality development is by promoting organizational skills and determination. Conscientious people subsequently develop stability and self-regulation because challenges appear less intimidating with a careful plan in place. People determine their conscientiousness level by taking a personality test that measures their behaviors and traits. For example, the Big Five is a personality assessment that establishes a person’s conscientiousness, openness, agreeableness, extraversion, and narcissism. Varying degrees of conscientiousness are measurable by personality tests such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which uses traits to categorize people into 16 different personality types.

The prevalence of conscientiousness varies as a person ages. For example, children are born with lower levels of conscientiousness compared to adults. Children mirror the behavior they see as they grow up and need to experience conscientiousness to reciprocate it properly. Developing conscientiousness in children requires a combination of hereditary and environmental influences, such as where they live or their childhood attention levels. For example, the location a person grows up influences conscientiousness by preparing them for lifestyles specific to that area.

Conscientiousness promotes traits that are beneficial for career growth and successful professional relationships. For example, a person who is conscientious in the workplace sets a precedent that hard work is important to them and they respect the work they do there. Having a good reputation at work fosters successful professional relationships that offer support in your career. Conscientious people’s consideration and trustworthiness transfer over from the workplace and into romance. For example, the conscientiousness aspect encourages people to consider their partner’s feelings and fosters open communication, which leads to a relationship built upon trust and respect.

Below we examine the conscientiousness aspect of personality development and explore how to develop a conscientious personality.

What is the definition of Conscientiousness?

Conscientiousness is an aspect of personality development that characterizes a sense of personal responsibility, self-control, and trustworthiness. Conscientious people are considerate of other people’s feelings and social codes of conduct, working hard to maintain a sense of personal accountability. For example, conscientious people prefer to make lists and follow a schedule to guide their productivity. Conscientiousness originates from personality psychology and is a factor within trait theories. Early personality trait theories included descriptions of conscientiousness under other aspects of personality. Raymond Cattell’s 16PF theory was first introduced in 1949 and measures perfectionism and rule-consciousness. Perfectionism and rule-consciousness describe conscientiousness and serve as the basis for conscientiousness assessments. Hans Eysenck’s three-factor model is an early model of personality development that features descriptions of conscientiousness within other factors. Eysenck’s theory includes descriptions of conscientiousness in categories of people with low levels of neuroticism and psychoticism. The Five Factor Model, or the Big Five, is a personality assessment that measures conscientiousness, openness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Personality psychologists began studying the Big Five during the late 20th century in the 1980s and 1990s. The concept of conscientiousness was first introduced by Ernest Tupes and Raymond Christal in 1958 and later popularized within the Big Five by J.M. Digman and Lewis Goldberg.

How does conscientiousness affect personality development?

Conscientiousness affects personality development in the following three ways. Firstly, conscientiousness affects personality formation and development in psychology by exuding positivity. People appreciate conscientious behavior and the more it develops, the more people take note of another’s thoughtfulness and reciprocate the feeling. For example, arriving on time for your shift at work each day exhibits conscientiousness toward your coworkers. Your coworkers see the positive behavior and have a chance to emulate it, thusly, affecting personality development. Secondly, high levels of conscientiousness affect personality development through academic achievement and career success. Conscientiousness is linked to better study habits and behavior at school. Positive academic performance results in better career opportunities by demonstrating a person’s conscientiousness. For example, a 2006 longitudinal study titled Aptitude is Not Enough: How Personality and Behavior Predict Academic Performance from Maureen A. Conard at Sacred Heart University indicates a pattern between conscientiousness and academic performance, enough to predict performance and behaviors. The fluctuations in academic performance determine college acceptance, and career trajectory, and instill in students the necessary skills to succeed in a professional setting. Thirdly, conscientiousness affects personality development by promoting organizational skills and focus. Organizational skills and dedication teach conscientious people how to be proactive in achieving their goals. Structure and commitment are valuable skills that affect development by encouraging order and stable behavior. Society rewards emotional stability by promoting and hiring conscientiousness and emotional stability in the workplace. Research from 2016 by Murray R. Barrick, and Michael K. Mount in Select on Conscientiousness and Emotional Stability states that applicants who have a high level of conscientiousness and emotional stability result in more employees who effectively perform their duties.

High conscientiousness negatively affects personality development by causing people to be overly focused and struggle to adjust their expectations. The intense focus and concentration resemble introversion or a lack of creativity because they refuse to stray from the original path. For example, George, J. M. and Zhou, J. compare high conscientiousness to low openness in their 2001 research When openness to experience and conscientiousness are related to creative behavior: An interactional approach. Traits that align with high conscientiousness are similar to the traits of low openness. For example, low openness shares the same inflexibility that high conscientiousness inspires.

How is the conscientiousness aspect of personality determined?

The conscientiousness aspect of personality is determined through self-reporting and peer-reporting measures. Self-reports and peer-reports for the aspects of personality are measured using the following two methods. Firstly, determining the conscientiousness aspect of personality employs the use of lexical statements for self-assessment. Lexical statements are adjectives that describe the aspects of personality development. For example, lexical statements for the conscientiousness aspect are, “organized” or “considerate.” Secondly, the conscientiousness aspect of personality is determined using statement measures. Statement measures are hypothetical statements that describe the aspects of personality development. For example, statement measures that describe conscientiousness are “I want to follow the rules” or “My attention to detail leads to high-quality work.”

Conscientiousness is determined through a series of questionnaires and personality tests. For example, the Big Five is a personality test that assesses a person’s conscientiousness. The Big Five measures the aspects of personality through a series of questions that gauge their level of openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. A personality test like the Big Five utilizes self-reporting measures and requires the test takers to choose whether they agree or disagree with a variety of statements. Highly conscientious people agree with statements such as, “I am always prepared” and “I value consistency.”

What is the prevalence of the conscientiousness aspect of personality development?

The prevalence of the conscientiousness aspect of personality development is a fluctuating progression throughout the different stages of development. Michigan State researchers M. Brent Donnellan and Richard E. Lucas show that in their 2009 research for Age Differences in the Big Five Across the Life Span: Evidence from Two National Samples, there is a rise in conscientiousness over an individual’s lifespan until dropping later in life. Conscientiousness develops throughout life because of social influence that teaches conscientiousness. For example, adolescents begin life with a lower base level of conscientiousness before they are taught punctuality, self-regulation, and work management skills in school. The influence of academia and social interaction on an individual causes the prevalence of the conscientiousness aspect to become more widespread for older age groups. For example, the Michigan State study shows that conscientiousness peaks in middle age for both the British Household Panel Study and the German Socio-Economic Panel Study.

What is a high conscientiousness personality?

A high conscientiousness personality refers to a predisposition for planning, responsible decision-making, and dependability. Highly conscientious people are punctual because of their desire to maintain careful schedules. They take responsibility for their actions and understand the importance of being orderly. Conscientious people are dependable and trustworthy because they follow through on their promises and commit to their schedules. People benefit from a high conscientiousness personality because of their strong sense of self-discipline. Self-discipline allows conscientious personality types to regulate their emotions, motivate their personal growth, and manage their productivity. For example, highly conscientious people who commit to attending a class with a friend follow through on their commitment. They show up on time to the class and are ready to participate in the activities, making their friend feel welcome and supported in the process. Conscientious people who are unable to make their intended plans call their friends to explain before they show up late or flake at the last minute. Highly conscientious people struggle with perfectionism and risk overworking themselves due to their attempts to meet their high standards. They risk feeling slighted by others who don’t reciprocate their penchant for structure. High conscientiousness is a beneficial personality trait because of the structure and time management skills conscientious people have naturally.

What is a low conscientiousness personality?

A low conscientiousness personality refers to a susceptibility to spontaneous behavior, impulsive decision-making, and a lack of focus on structure. People with low conscientiousness show up unprepared and late to events because they don’t recognize the value of other people’s time. Low conscientiousness prompts people to dodge responsibility, causing others to doubt their dependability. People with a low level of conscientiousness are driven by spontaneity which affords them unexpected opportunities. For example, spontaneity encourages people to step out of their comfort zones and use their new experiences to inspire creative innovation. People benefit from low conscientiousness because it reduces inhibitions and keeps them from getting stuck in a cycle. Conscientiousness promotes a sense of duty and commitment that leaves people feeling uninspired and keeps them from pursuing novel experiences. However, a low level of conscientiousness drives people to be more open to changes and unexpected events. A low conscientiousness personality struggles with self-discipline and trustworthiness because of their lack of focus and disinterest in commitment. People who lack self-discipline find it difficult to commit to habits or schedules, which causes their friends to question their level of trustworthiness. For example, people with a low level of conscientiousness cancel appointments at the last minute or fail to show up at all. They are easily distracted and fail to recognize the importance of other people’s time and expectations. Low conscientiousness causes people to appear less honest because they fail to meet expectations and let other people down in the process.

What are the characteristics of Conscientiousness?

Below are four characteristics of conscientiousness.

  • Responsibility: Responsibility is the sense of duty and accountability that binds a person to fulfill their commitments. Conscientious people are eager to take charge of situations and guarantee fair treatment and respect for others. Responsible conscientious people are driven to devote themselves to meeting or exceeding expectations.
  • Persistence: Persistence is the pursuit of goals and tasks until they are complete, regardless of difficulties or setbacks. Conscientious people commit to achieving their long-term objectives and persevere through life’s challenges. Persistent conscientious individuals maintain their standards of excellence and keep aiming for success.
  • Self-governance: Self-governance is the ability to regulate personal actions and decisions without requiring external oversight. Conscientious people are capable of working independently and adhering to deadlines because they have an internal set of rules and norms. Self-governing conscientiousness makes people adept at balancing their lifestyles and making decisions that align with their values and objectives.
  • Righteousness: Righteousness is the internal sense of moral and ethical principles that guide a person’s actions. Conscientious people make decisions that align with their understanding of right and wrong. Righteous conscientiousness earns the trust and respect of others by urging people to act fairly and ethically.

What are the problems experienced by conscientiousness?

There are three main problems experienced by conscientiousness. Firstly, conscientiousness causes perfectionism. Perfectionism is problematic for conscientious people because it causes them to obsess over their work and abilities. Overly conscientious people who struggle with perfectionism project their high standards onto others. Expecting others to uphold the same high standards is unrealistic and causes other people to feel judged by a conscientious person who wants to do a good job. Secondly, conscientiousness causes inflexibility. Inflexibility is a problem for people with high conscientiousness because they prefer schedules and plans. Conscientious people want to maintain a rigid schedule to remain dependable or consistent in their behavior. Having a rigid schedule backfires on conscientious people if others don’t value the same structure that they do. Conscientious people who have to deal with chaotic and unorganized people find their spontaneity stressful to endure. Inflexibility causes conscientious people to miss out on novel experiences that inspire creativity and innovation. The lack of innovation holds them back from stepping out of their comfort zone and advancing in careers, relationships, or personal goals. Thirdly, conscientiousness causes overcommitment. Overcommitment is a problem because people agree to more obligations than they can handle. The burden of overcommitting to events, work, or relationships causes conscientious people to suffer exhaustion and burnout.

What are the benefits of having a conscientious personality?

There are three main benefits of having a conscientious personality. Firstly, a conscientious personality is beneficial because it promotes organizational skills. People with high levels of conscientiousness are well-organized, which streamlines their daily lives. Organizational skills help people minimize stress and enhance productivity because they don’t waste time looking for items or lose their belongings. Having proper organizational skills saves time that would otherwise be wasted on searching for their belongings or fretting about missed appointments. Secondly, conscientiousness encourages a strong work ethic. A strong work ethic is the driving force behind conscientious people’s eagerness to succeed. Their work ethic helps in career advancement and in achieving personal goals. The necessary effort to reach one’s ambitions means that conscientious individuals experience high levels of achievement and satisfaction in their lives. Thirdly, conscientiousness is beneficial because it supports healthy relationships. The reliability and integrity inherent in conscientious people make them desirable partners, friends, and colleagues. They are thoughtful and aim to fulfill their relationship commitments, which strengthens their bonds and builds trust.

What are the risks of having a conscientious personality?

There are three main risks of having a conscientious personality. Firstly, having a conscientious personality puts people at risk of becoming overly self-critical. Conscientious people have high standards and start to discredit themselves if feel they haven’t met those standards. The self-critical nature conscientious people exhibit leads to lower self-esteem and a decreased sense of self-worth. Secondly, conscientious people are at risk of experiencing social tension due to differing values. Conscientiousness promotes a strong sense of right and wrong and ethical morality. The personal beliefs of conscientious people put them at risk of being judgmental toward people who do not share their views on responsibility, punctuality, or attention to detail. Exhibiting different ethics and standards of accountability makes social interactions and maintaining diverse friend groups difficult. For example, developing a balanced level of conscientiousness leads to relationships that foster growth because of the novel experiences and life lessons you learn from your different philosophies. Thirdly, having a conscientious personality puts people at risk of being overly cautious. People who are overly cautious have difficulty with creative tasks and struggle to step out of their comfort zone. High levels of conscientiousness lead to creative inhibitions that hold people back from success. For example, inflexibility in the workplace prevents overly cautious people from channeling creativity to give themselves a new way to stand out at work.

How do you develop conscientiousness in a child?

There are two main methods for developing conscientiousness in a child. Firstly, developing conscientiousness in a child requires positive reinforcement. A child needs to learn that certain behaviors are conscientious before they commit to acting appropriately. Giving a child rules to follow or a task chart to complete provides you with an opportunity to positively reinforce their conscientious behavior. For example, praise a child for showcasing trustworthy behavior to encourage them to repeat the behavior in the future. Secondly, you develop conscientiousness in a child by demonstrating conscientiousness. A child emulates the behaviors they see in adults and by demonstrating conscientiousness, you have a chance to be a positive role model. Showing up on time and making a point to mention the importance of timeliness is a way to develop conscientiousness in a child. The more a child is exposed to conscientious behavior, the more opportunities they have to learn and benefit.

Developing conscientiousness in a child benefits them by encouraging positive growth through adolescence. A 2017 study on childhood conscientiousness from researchers Allison M. Tackman, Sanjay Srivastava, and Jennifer H. Pfeifer from the University of Oregon and Mirella Dapretto from the University of California, Los Angeles called Development of conscientiousness in childhood and adolescence: Typical trajectories and associations with academic, health, and relationship changes found that conscientiousness is positively associated with school behavior, social interactions, and physical activity level. Research shows there is a connection between changes in childhood and adolescent conscientiousness levels and social settings. Therefore, positive displays of conscientious behavior promote the development of high conscientiousness later in life.

What is the conscientiousness aspect of personality development’s relationship to MBTI classification?

The conscientiousness aspect of personality development’s relationship to MBTI classification exists in the connection between conscientiousness and Judging vs. Perceiving. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality assessment that categorizes a personality into 16 types, Extraversion vs. Introversion, Sensing vs. iNtuition, Thinking vs. Feeling, and Judging vs. Perceiving. The conscientiousness aspect shared a relationship with Judging vs. Perceiving for the following two reasons. Firstly, high conscientiousness relates to Judging. High conscientiousness consists of traits and behaviors such as preparedness, inflexibility, and a desire to follow the rules. Judging personality types share the same appreciation for preparation, schedules, and adhering to the rules as people who develop high conscientiousness. For example, an INTJ-A subtype is inflexible concerning their sense of right and wrong. The INTJ-A type is consistent in their behavior patterns, which grow into self-reliance and independence, two overlapping traits of conscientiousness. Secondly, low conscientiousness relates to Perceiving. Low conscientiousness consists of spontaneity, flexibility, and an adventurous spirit. Perceiving personality types share a penchant for impulsivity, adaptability, and creative innovation. For example, an ISFP-A subtype is adventurous and eager to stray from the beaten path. ISFP-A behavior aligns with low conscientiousness traits of unpreparedness, risk tolerance, and, defiance.

Developing conscientiousness with a focus on the MBTI requires the following three steps. Firstly, establish your MBTI type and whether or not you align with the Judging or Perceiving trait. Knowing your MBTI type determines which direction you need to develop your conscientiousness in. Secondly, develop your personality aspects and adjust your behaviors to align with the conscientiousness traits. Type development occurs through the different stages of life and situational factors interfere with the state of mind people are in while taking the test, resulting in varying answers depending on time, place, and emotional state. Thirdly, develop conscientiousness with positive reinforcement. For example, Perceiving types who want to develop their conscientiousness aspect should take note of their considerate behaviors and reward themselves for following through. Consistent effort forms healthy habits and behaviors such as continuing to show up on time.

How is conscientiousness in a professional relationship?

The following two examples describe how conscientiousness is in a professional relationship. Firstly, conscientiousness in a professional relationship is valuable because it instills a sense of duty. A sense of duty drives conscientious people to commit to their tasks and work hard to see those tasks through to the end. For example, a conscientious person who agrees to show up to a professional event at a specific time plans to arrive on time. A dutiful person recognizes the importance of upholding their end of a bargain and strives to follow through, which fosters mutual respect in a professional setting. Secondly, conscientiousness promotes trustworthiness in professional relationships. Trustworthiness is beneficial in professional relationships because it shows others that their colleague is dependable. For example, a trustworthy person strives to deliver consistent results their colleagues can count on. The sense of duty and trust that stems from conscientiousness creates dependable professional relationships.

Conscientiousness’s main strength in professional relationships is that conscientious people are considerate of their professional associates. Conscientiousness promotes concern for maintaining order among their colleagues, however, conscientious people are at risk of overworking themselves. People with high levels of conscientiousness struggle with burnout because they struggle to delegate tasks and take on an abundance of responsibilities instead of passing them off to an associate. Burnout causes conscientious people to suffer from weak performance and forgetfulness, which causes them to let their coworkers down.

How is a conscientious personality in a workplace?

A conscientious personality in a workplace is an asset for the following two reasons. Firstly, a conscientious personality is productive in the workplace. For example, a conscientious person values hard work and recognizes their efforts are necessary to keep productivity high. High productivity stems from self-discipline and attention to detail which are proponents of conscientious personalities. Secondly, a conscientious personality in a workplace is determined to uphold responsibilities that benefit the team. An innate sense of responsibility drives a conscientious person to fulfill their commitments to work. For example, a conscientious person takes responsibility for their actions and makes an effort to rectify any problems without blaming their team at work. Productivity and a sense of responsibility are the driving factors behind conscientious people having a significant role in the workplace.

The main strength of a conscientious personality in the workplace is their desire to deliver quality work. People with conscientious personalities are consistent with the quality of their work because they want to guarantee they commit to their workplace duties. For example, a conscientious personality says yes to additional work and takes a proactive approach in anticipating the work they need to put into projects. However, conscientious personalities have high standards for their work and struggle with perfectionism. For example, a conscientious person overthinks the details of their work projects and spends unnecessary time focusing on finite issues and battling their self-confidence.

How is conscientiousness in a romantic relationship?

Conscientiousness in a romantic relationship is beneficial for the following two reasons. Firstly, conscientiousness in a romantic relationship is beneficial because it encourages dependability and commitment. High levels of responsibility and integrity mean that partners who develop conscientiousness avoid behaviors that stand to harm the relationship. For example, conscientiousness in romantic partners drives them to stay faithful and honest. Secondly, conscientiousness in a romantic relationship promotes emotional stability. Conscientious partners value routine and work hard to manage their day. Emotional instability gets in the way of their plans and sets them back from achieving their daily goals. Conscientiousness in a partner encourages them to maintain emotional stability, contributing to relationship harmony. For example, conscientiousness in a romantic relationship encourages each person to respect the others’ boundaries and think before they overreact.

One strength of a conscientious romantic relationship is that it encourages thoughtfulness. Conscientious partners take note of their significant other’s availability and interests to plan unique dates. For example, a thoughtful partner who hears you say you enjoy a type of novelty item remembers that and buys it for you the next time they have the chance. Simple thoughtfulness and kind actions promote happiness in romantic relationships. A conscientious romantic relationship struggles to refrain from projecting their expectations onto their partner. For example, a conscientious partner who is always thoughtful and considerate of their partner’s time is at risk of feeling unimportant if their partner doesn’t reciprocate those feelings.

How is conscientiousness in communication with peers?

The following two descriptions provide insight into how conscientiousness is in communication with peers. Firstly, conscientiousness promotes reliable communication with peers. Conscientious people are prompt to respond to their peers and don’t hesitate to reach out if they have a question of their own. For example, conscientious communicators take notice of text messages they receive and make a point to touch base with them immediately. Secondly, conscientiousness encourages honest communication with their peers. Conscientious communication between peers involves transparency to foster trust and support. For example, conscientiousness in communication means approaching peers with issues rather than lying to them and pretending everything is okay. Choosing to use honest communication gives people a chance to right their wrongdoings.

One strength of conscientiousness in peer communication is the ability to manage conflicts and self-regulate. Conscientious people are emotionally stable and take the initiative to resolve issues by opting for an open discussion and productive conversation. Conscientiousness allows people the patience to listen to and understand different perspectives while standing firm on their convictions. For example, conscientious communication consists of each person considering the other person’s feelings before they decide how the situation should unfold. However, conscientiousness in communication causes people to struggle from a tendency to be blunt or unintentionally insensitive in their pursuit of direct and open communication. Becoming overly blunt occurs because conscientious people are stern about their beliefs and occasionally give the impression of being critical.

What is the relationship between conscientiousness and perfectionism?

The relationship between conscientiousness and perfectionism is that conscientiousness corresponds to perfectionism. Conscientiousness promotes diligence, structure, and a desire to accomplish goals. Perfectionism connects with the conscientiousness aspect’s desire for structure and success. However, the relationship between conscientiousness and perfectionism corresponds with the other in a nuanced way. Conscientiousness encompasses both high and low levels showcasing varying degrees of perfectionism. For example, low conscientiousness showcases a lack of structure and focus, leading to a less-than-perfect work ethic. However, researchers Joachim Stoeber, Kathleen Otto, and Claudia Dalbert found that high conscientiousness correlates with self-oriented perfectionism in their 2009 paper, Perfectionism and the Big Five: Conscientiousness Predicts Longitudinal Increases in Self-Oriented Perfectionism. Extreme perfectionism leads to negative psychological displays of stress, anxiety, and low self-esteem because of the perception they aren’t able to meet the impossible demand of being perfect. Conscientious people benefit from regulating their focus and determination to better utilize their perfectionistic tendencies and avoid negativity.

What are the books about the conscientiousness aspect of personality development?

The following two books are about the conscientiousness aspect of personality development. Firstly, the 2005 book Personality: Theory and Research by Lawrence A. Pervin discusses the aspect of conscientiousness through the lens of the Big Five Personality. Pervin defines the conscientiousness aspect as organized, reliable, hard-working, and self-disciplined. Secondly, Specht’s Personality Development Across the Lifespan from 2017 explores the conscientiousness aspect of personality development and how it develops throughout life. Conscientiousness is described as the display of behaviors such as self-discipline, achievement-oriented, and orderly.

What are the careers and jobs suited to the conscientiousness trait?

Below are the four careers and jobs suited to the conscientiousness trait.

  • Healthcare: Conscientious people are well suited for careers within healthcare because of their dependability and sense of ethics. Healthcare professionals utilize high conscientiousness to work well with their team to provide care.
  • Teaching: Teaching is suitable for a high conscientiousness trait because working in education requires organization, responsibility, and self-control. Conscientiousness is necessary for a teaching role to maintain efficiency and uphold an orderly classroom.
  • Scientific research: Scientific research benefits from high conscientiousness because of the care and exactitude conscientious people display. Conscientiousness lends an individual a perceptive mind with solid attention to detail that scientific research requires for accurate results.
  • Finance: Finance careers are suitable for conscientious people because of their ethical standards and precision. Ethical standards keep people working in finance from mishandling funds or committing financial crimes, while precision keeps them from making errors.

Is the conscientiousness trait hereditary?

Yes, the conscientiousness trait is hereditary. Personality psychologists state that a combination of genetics and environment influences the conscientiousness aspect of personality development. The influence of genetics on the development of conscientiousness is examined through twin studies that compare the behavioral traits of twin siblings. Firstly, Genetic and Environmental Pathways Underlying Personality Traits and Perceived Stress: Concurrent and Longitudinal Twin Studies by researchers at the University of Illinois in 2020 discusses the genetic correlation between conscientiousness and perceived stress. Research from the University of Illinois indicates there are both genetic and environmental influences at work during the development of conscientiousness. Secondly, Big Five Dimensions and ADHD Symptoms: Links Between Personality Traits and Clinical Symptoms studies the relationship between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and conscientiousness. Evidence points to a link between the development of low conscientiousness and ADHD within family members.

Is Conscientiousness correlated with where you live?

Yes, conscientiousness correlates with where you live depending on the following two factors. Firstly, conscientiousness correlates with people living in large metropolitan areas in comparison with people who live in small communities. For example, a 2016 study from Yoshio Itaba at Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan titled, Does City Size Affect Happiness? argues that people in large cities attract conscientious personality types. Conscientious people are drawn to larger cities because organizational skills and diligence are beneficial and sought-after traits in large cities. Secondly, conscientiousness correlates with the area you live due to socioeconomic status. For example, areas with few opportunities correlate with lower conscientiousness, while areas with more potential opportunities correlate with higher conscientiousness. People who live in areas that have more opportunities for success develop higher levels of conscientiousness because the economy supports a less competitive job market that encourages conscientious behavior.

Are the conscientious more empathic?

No, the conscientious are no more empathic than people with low conscientiousness. Conscientiousness and empathy are two separate personality traits that form at varying degrees depending on an individual’s personal development. Empathy involves being aware of other people’s emotions and using that awareness to relate to their experiences. Conscientious people are respectful of rules and have the desire to do the right thing. Conscientious people consider social etiquette before their preferences, but that doesn’t guarantee they sympathize or understand other people’s emotions.