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Cross-curricular extension unit 9

Civic and ethical education: Personality


1 Read the peoples sentences about their personality. Then match the words in the box to the speech
bubbles.

agreeable careless conscientious extroverted imaginative inflexible introverted


laid-back logical neurotic

I like trying different things. Ive always I worry far too much
When I say Im going
got a lot of new and exciting ideas. about small details. I
to do something, I
need to relax more!
always do it.
1 ______________
2 ______________ 3 ______________
Im practical, and
know how things I find it easy to make friends. Im I love having fun and being the

work, like computers, sensitive to peoples emotions. centre of attention.

for example. 5 ______________ 6 ______________

4 ______________
I never worry Sometimes I do things
I rarely change my
Im not interested in about things. too quickly and make
opinion or decision
having a lot of friends. Lifes too short! mistakes.
about something.
I like my own company.
9 ______________
8 ______________
7 ______________ 10 ______________

2 Complete the text with the words in the box.

capable distracted fit in personality psychologists research

Have you ever taken a (1)______________________ test? Theyre everywhere: in magazines and on the internet.
Theyre fun and you dont always have to take them seriously. But (2)______________________ have done a lot of
(3)______________________ into the different parts of a normal personality and some tests are based on this. One
day, you might complete one of these tests in a job application. It can tell a company a lot. It can find out if
candidates are (4)______________________of concentrating or if they are easily (5)______________________; if they
get on well with people or if they find it hard to (6)______________________. So remember this: personality tests can
be fun, but do them carefully. There might be a lot of truth in your results!

3 Whats the difference between the pairs of words? Match them to their definitions a or b.
1 free will a the ability to make your own decisions
willpower b the ability not to give up something difficult
2 physiological a about how our minds function
psychological b about how our bodies function
3 spectrum a a result in a test
score b a range of possible results
4 nature a the way things happen in the world without control
nurture b the care and protection of, for example, a young child
5 trait a a characteristic of your personality
behaviour b how we react to situations, objects and people

 PHOTOCOPIABLE OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS 1


4 Read the text. Then answer the questions. 5 Read the text again. Then answer the questions.
1 What are the Big Five personality traits? 1 How do psychologists measure our personalities?
_______________, _______________, __________________________________________
_______________, _______________ and __________________________________________
_______________ 2 Describe the good things about a low score on
2 Have psychologists learned everything about our the neuroticism spectrum.
personalities yet? _______________ __________________________________________
3 How do high scorers on the agreeability spectrum
The ingredients of a behave towards other people?

personality __________________________________________

Personality affects how we think, feel and react to 6 Read about Martha and mark her scores on the
people, objects and situations. It influences how personality chart.
we function in society: who becomes a leading
member of society and who has difficulty fitting
in. Psychologists divide personality into five Martha is always full of great ideas shes
areas, known as the Big Five personality traits. creative and artistic and enjoys making things.
Each trait is a spectrum and we can have a high
Her room is full of paintings and sculptures that
or low score on it. The traits are:
she has made carefully she never leaves
Imagination High scorers are often artistic anything unfinished. Marthas parents think she
and can think creatively, but they sometimes should use her talent to get a good job, but
have trouble doing practical things. Low scorers Martha doesnt want to. Getting a job doesnt
are logical, but they find it hard to be creative. worry her. In fact, Martha doesnt worry about
Conscientiousness This determines how
her future much at all! Her friends say shes
good you are at making plans and following
them. Low scorers are easily distracted and really laid-back. Martha has got a few good
dont have much willpower, but high scorers friends. Shes good fun to be with and makes
can sometimes be inflexible! people feel good about themselves, but
Extroversion If youre cheerful, fun-loving sometimes she gets a bit bored when her
and ambitious, then youre a high scorer. Low friends talk about their problems. But Martha
scorers arent interested in having a lot of doesnt need to be with people all the time.
friends or a great career. Shes quite happy to be on her own.
Neuroticism High scorers on this spectrum
are often depressed and anxious with a low high middle low
opinion of themselves. But they are capable of
deep thought and careful analysis, too. Low imagination
scorers are laid-back, happy people, but perhaps
dont think carefully enough about things. conscientiousness
Agreeability Do you get on well with people? extroversion
Is it difficult to make you angry? Then youre a
high scorer. Low scorers dont care so much neuroticism
about other people and can seem a bit cold.
agreeability
Whats important to remember is that your
score in one spectrum has no effect on your
scores in the others. And for this reason we 7 Many tests on the internet are based on the Big
have a wide variety of personalities. Five. Write your own personality test for one of
But what gives us those traits in our personalities? your classmates. Look at each trait and think of a
Theres the question of nature versus nurture. Are question for each one which will show his / her
we genetically programmed from birth to behave personality.
in a certain way, or does our behaviour change as
we grow and learn from experiences? And what Example:
about free will? Are humans really free to choose, Agreeability
or are we controlled by something unknown?
Then theres physiological need how much One of your friends is moody today. Do you
does our need for food, water and to reproduce a criticize him / her for behaving like this?
affect our personality? These are only some of
the questions that psychologists are working on. b leave him / her alone for the day?
We dont have all the answers yet, but they will be
c ask him / her if wants to talk or prefers to be alone?
interesting!
Now test your classmate.

 PHOTOCOPIABLE OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS 2