What is meant by the "Big Five" personality factors?

The Big Five personality factors are general concepts or descriptions that can be used to integrate the enormous number of personality traits or dimensions that have been identified by personality researchers. 
Each of the Big Five personality factors represents both a collection of related traits and a continuum along which individual differences may be manifest anywhere (rather than only at the two poles). 
These five main factors can appropriately be used to summarize personality structure for any individual. The Big Five personality factors are used to describe an individual's:
  1. adjustment (stable, confident, effective versus nervous, self-doubting, moody),  
  2. sociability (gregarious, energetic, self-dramatizing versus shy, unassertive, withdrawn),  
  3. conscientiousness (careful, neat, dependable versus impulsive, careless, irresponsible),  
  4. agreeableness (warm, tactful, considerate versus independent, cold, rude), and   
  5. intellectual openness (imaginative, curious, original versus dull, unimaginative, literal-minded).

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