Neuroticism / Emotional stability

By 123test team. Updated June 29, 2023

Emotional stability or neuroticism is one of the five personality traits of the Big Five personality theory. Emotional stability refers to a person's ability to remain stable and balanced. At the other end of the scale, a person who is high in neuroticism has a tendency to easily experience negative emotions. Neuroticism is similar but not identical to being neurotic in the Freudian sense. Some psychologists prefer to call neuroticism by the term emotional stability to differentiate it from the term neurotic in a career test.

Individual high in emotional stability is stable and calm

People who score high in emotional stability (low in neuroticism) on a career test react less emotionally and are less easily upset. They tend to be emotionally stable, calm, and do not constantly experience negative feelings. The fact that these individuals are free from experiencing negative feelings does not mean that they experience a lot of positive feelings. The latter is a trait of the extraversion trait.

Individual high in neuroticism is emotionally reactive

People who score high in neuroticism are very emotionally reactive. They will have an emotional response to events that would not affect most people. A high scorer in neuroticism on a personality test has a greater chance of feeling threatened or being in a bad mood in a normal situation. They may find it difficult to think clearly and cope with stress. Take a free personality test to learn more about your career strengths and to test personality.

Sub traits of the emotional stability trait

Neuroticism personality trait

Each of the Big Five personality traits is made up of six facets or sub traits. To test personality, these can be assessed independently of the trait that they belong to. The sub traits of the emotional stability trait are:

  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Self-consciousness
  • Immoderation
  • Vulnerability

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Careers and emotional stability trait

A person who has a high level of emotional stability is preferred in most professions because they have more control over their emotions at work. Employees with low emotional stability may be more easily distracted from their work, by deadlines, personal situations, and pressure.

Take a free personality test to learn more about yourself

The emotional stability trait is one of five domains in the Big Five personality theory developed by many different researchers over the years. It is the most scientifically validated and reliable psychological model to test personality. To test personality and learn more about your work preferences, take a free personality test or a career test now.