The Jungian psychology model, inspired by Freud and his BIG-FIVE model, also known as the Five Factor Model: description and use

Five Factor Model

We talk about Jungian psychology today, as Carl Gustav Jung had a major influence on psychological analysis and its introduction into the world of work with the Big-5, the Five Factor Model and the MBTI.

Carl Gustav JUNG – who was he?

It’s interesting to talk about him because, although he is best known for the BIG-FIVE model, his range of research is much broader and has a major impact on our world today and the research that has been carried out since.

Born in 1875 and died in 1961, Jung has had a major influence on psychological research and thinking, as well as on philosophy and sociology. Jung was the father of a number of concepts that are the subject of extensive research today:

  • The collective unconscious, which is also found in Einstein’s reflections, but also in the analysis of animal behaviour and intuitions.
  • Psychological types, which inspired Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother Katherine Cook Briggs to create the MBTI model. Other trends followed, notably Process Communication. Neuroscience models such as DISC and HBDI are also based on these modelling approaches, albeit with different analytical approaches.
  • He is also the father of the concept of synchronicity, which can be found in approaches combining personal and spiritual development and illustrated in best sellers such as The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho or The Andes Prophecy by James Redfield.

The Five Factor Model and the contributions of Jungian psychology

The majority of personality tests on the market today are inspired by this model. The Assess Manager test is also based on this model, but its approach is complemented by other theories developed in the ” Theoretical references ” section.

Personality traits and temperament

Much has been written about the distinction between the 2 terms. To sum up the definitions in a very simplified way, temperament is genetic and neurophysiological, whereas personality is an adapted temperament, the result of temperament combined with learning and contextual adaptations.

Many authors end up agreeing that personality traits and temperament are, in fine, fairly equivalent, which has far-reaching consequences for the way in which a personality test is constructed and the way in which its results are analysed. If you have taken a test based on the BIG-FIVE approach, you will certainly have felt the frustration of reading a report that describes more who you were and less who you have become.

Personality tests are often very relevant. However, they are more concerned with temperament and the foundations of our cognitive, emotional and behavioural model than with the adaptations we have put in place over the years, through absolute and decontextualised questioning. It is in this sense that the predictive approach has certain limits, which we wanted to circumvent in the Assess Manager test with a theoretical approach that needed to be innovative.

Nevertheless, Jungian psychology is fascinating and an excellent basis for analysis, which we summarise below.

Five factors of the personality model – the NEO PI-R inventory

The NEO PI-R (Cosata, McCrae & Rolland, 1998) stems from Jungian thought and comprises 5 dominant traits, themselves made up of sub-traits. The model is presented below.


Neuroticism, as opposed to emotional stability, is defined as the system for regulating the activation of avoidance, withdrawal and flight behaviours. It measures the perception of threat, whether real or symbolic, and reactivity to that threat. It is therefore a system for controlling the production of negative or unpleasant emotions and cognitions. In contrast, a low scale for negative stimuli does not indicate a tendency towards optimism.

Neuroticism includes the following 6 sub-domains: anxiety, anger-hostility, depression, social shyness, impulsivity and vulnerability.


Extraversion, contrasted with introversion, describes the individual with a high score on this trait as being hypersensitive and highly reactive to pleasant stimuli, with a strong tendency to perceive, construct and experience reality and events as stimulating and pleasant. The result is a certain enthusiasm, energy and optimism.

Correlations between extraversion and self-esteem were introduced in 2001 and 2002.

Extraversion includes the following 6 sub-domains: warmth, gregariousness/sociability, assertiveness, activity/energy, sensation-seeking and positive emotions.

For HR professionals :

Openness to experience

Openness to experience brings together a set of behaviours relating to tolerance, exploration and even the active search for novelty, the ability to seek out and experience new and unusual things. High scores in this area may reflect active imagination, aesthetic sensitivity or attention to one’s own emotional world. There is also the potential for a degree of independence of judgement.

Openness to experience includes the following 6 sub-domains: daydreams, aesthetics, feelings, actions, ideas and values.


Agreeableness concerns the nature of relationships with others and refers to the tonality of relationships. A person with high Agreeableness will tend to be altruistic, concerned about the well-being of others, considerate and caring, with a natural tendency to trust others. They may show a degree of empathy and sensitivity to their problems and needs.

Agreeableness-altruism includes the following 6 sub-domains: confidence, uprightness, altruism, compliance, modesty and sensitivity.


Conscientiousness, contrasted with impulsivity, refers more to motivation and organisation, perseverance in goal-directed behaviour. On the dynamic side, conscientiousness identifies the ability to work with objectives, to anticipate and plan work, and to organise and implement action.

Conscientiousness includes the following 6 sub-domains: competence, order, sense of duty, striving for success, self-discipline and deliberation.

Why use other indicators in our personality test?

In the Assess Manager model, we first determined what we wanted to assess in relation to managerial skills and leadership styles. Once the objectives had been determined, we added certain essential indicators, as the Jung model does not cover all needs.

Psychological types and evolution

We integrated the notion of psychological types by exploiting neuroscience models. This theoretical approach has enabled us to dissociate the natural tendency from the evolution linked to the context and the adaptations put in place by the individual.

Behavioural reality instead of predictive analysis

Finally, we also wanted to evaluate certain theories linked to inter-relational behaviour in order to assess an individual’s actual behaviour, rather than using a predictive logic such as that of the Big Five model. We therefore supplemented the analysis with behavioural models such as Karpman’s dramatic triangle or the communication strategies implemented, inspired by theoretical models derived from neuro-linguistic programming in particular.


  • Some components of Jungian psychology for personality assessment
  • An analysis of psychological types using neuroscience to identify operating trends and assess changes in the individual and his or her posture
  • Specific and targeted theories linked in particular to communication and management (non-predictive but verified logic)

To go further with Assess Manager