Personality AssessmentThe NEO PI-R™ is a big five personality assessment designed by Costa and McCrae. 

The NEO PI-R™ embodies a conceptual model based on factor analytic research about the structure of personality.

This assessment can be used in both clinical and non-clinical settings, by those with a high level of psychometric training, such as psychologists.

NEO PI-R™ Overview

  • 240 test items
  • 5 primary scales and 30 facet scales
  • Untimed and takes approximately 30 minutes to complete

NEO PI-R™ Scales

Lower Score Description

Higher Score Description


Calm, Relaxed; Do not dwell on things that might go wrong


Anxious, Apprehensive, Fearful; Prone to worry, nervous, tense, and jittery.

Easygoing, Slow to Anger

N2 –
Angry Hostility

Readiness to Experience Anger; Disagreeable, frustrated, bitter

Rarely experience depressive emotions

N3 –

Guilt, sadness, hopelessness, loneliness; Easily discouraged, often dejected

Less disturbed by awkward social situations

N4 –

Uncomfortable around others; Shame, embarrassment, sensitive to ridicule, prone to feelings of inferiority, shyness, social anxiety

High tolerance for frustration; Easy to resist temptation

N5 - Impulsiveness

Inability to control cravings and urges; Desires so strong that they cannot be resisted

Capable of handling themselves in difficult situations

N6 - Vulnerability

Vulnerability to stress; Unable to cope with stress, becoming dependent, hopeless or panicked when facing emergency situations


More formal, reserved and distant in manner; Neither hostile nor necessarily lacking in compassion

E1 –

Affectionate, Friendly; Generally like people and easily form close attachments to others.

Loners who do not seek – or even actively avoid- social stimulation

E2 - Gregariousness

Enjoy the company of others, the more the merrier

Prefer to keep in the background and let others do the talking

E3 - Assertiveness

Dominant, forceful, and socially ascendant; Speak without hesitation and often become group leaders.

Leisurely, relaxed in tempo

E4 –

Rapid tempo and vigorous movement; Sense of energy, and a need to keep busy.  Lead fast-paced lives.

Feel little need for thrills

E5 –

Crave excitement and stimulation; Like bright colours and noisy environments

Less exuberant and high-spirited; Not necessarily unhappy.

E6 –
Positive Emotions

Tendency to experience positive emotions; Laugh easily and often.  Cheerful and optimistic.


Keep their mind on the task at hand; More prosaic.

O1 –

Open to fantasy; Have a vivid imagination and an active fantasy life.  Daydream not only for escape but to create an interesting inner world.

Relatively insensitive to and uninterested in art and beauty.

O2 –

Deep appreciation for art and beauty; Moved by poetry, absorbed in music, and intrigued by art.  Interest in the arts.  Not necessarily artistic ability.

Have somewhat subdued feelings; Do not believe that feeling states are of much importance.

O3 –

Experience deeper and more differentiated emotional states; Feel happiness and unhappiness more intensely than others.

Find change difficult, prefer to stick to the ‘tried and true’

O4 –

Prefer novelty and variety to familiarity and routine

Limited curiosity; If highly intelligent, narrowly focus their resources on limited topics

O5 –

Enjoy philosophical arguments and brain-teasers; Intellectually curious, open-mindedness, willingness to consider new, unconventional ideas.

Accepting of authority, honour tradition; Generally conservative.

O6 –

Readiness to re-examine social, political and religious values.


Tend to be cynical and sceptical; Can assume others are dishonest or dangerous.


Believe that others are honest and well-intentioned.

Willing to manipulate others through flattery, craftiness or deception.  May regard others as naïve.  Guarded in expressing feelings.

A2 –
Straight forwardness

Frank, sincere and ingenuous.

More self-centred, reluctant to get involved with others’ problems

A3 –

Active concern for others’ welfare; Shown in generosity, consideration of others, and a willingness to assist others in need of help.

Aggressive; Prefers to compete rather than co-operate, and has no reluctance to express anger when necessary

A4 –

Defer to others; Inhibits aggression, tends to forgive and forget.  Meek and mild.

Believe they are superior; May be considered conceited or arrogant by others.

A5 –

Humble and self-effacing, not necessarily lacking in self-confidence and self-esteem

More hard-headed, consider themselves realists; Less moved by appeals to pity, make decisions based on cold logic.

A6 –

Moved by others’ needs; Emphasise the human side of social politics


Lower opinion of their abilities; Admit that they are often unprepared and inept.

C1 –

Feel well prepared to deal with life; Believe themselves to be capable, sensible, prudent and effective.

Unable to get organised, less methodical


Neat, Tidy, Well Organised; Keep things in their proper places

More casual about principles; May be somewhat undependable or unreliable.

C3 –

Adhere strictly to ethical principles; Scrupulously fulfil their moral obligations

Not driven to succeed; Lackadaisical, perhaps even lazy.  Lack ambition and may seem aimless, content with low levels of achievement.

C4 - Achievement Striving

Have high aspiration levels and work hard to achieve their goals.  Diligent, purposeful and have a sense of direction in life.  Very High Score: potentially workaholic.

Procrastinate, easily discouraged, eager to quit.

C5 –

Ability to motivate themselves to get the job done.  Begin tasks and carry them through to completions despite boredom and other distractions.

Hasty, often speak or act without considering the consequences.  At best, low scorers are spontaneous and able to make snap decisions when necessary.

C6 –

Cautious, deliberate, think carefully before acting.

In addition to the NEO PI-R assessment, there is the NEO-FFI (Five Factor Inventory) assessment which is a short version of the classic NEO test. This is a 60 item version which scores on for the 5 personality domains, and no sub scales.

We have other assessment tools in the following categories:Different types of tests





























Go to Top

























Go to Top