The Hexaco personality test is a comprehensive assessment tool that evaluates an individual’s personality across six key dimensions. By examining these traits, the test offers valuable insights into a person’s character, behavior, and preferences, providing a deeper understanding of their unique personality profile.
What is Hexaco?
The Hexaco model of personality traits 1 goes beyond the traditional Big Five framework by incorporating six dimensions: Honesty-humility, emotionality, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience.
By including these dimensions, the Hexaco model provides a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of an individual’s personality, capturing important aspects like honesty, humility, and emotionality that may not be fully captured by the Big Five traits 2 alone.
The Hexaco personality inventory was developed in 2000 by Canadian psychology 3 professors Kibeom Lee and Michael C. Ashton. It emerged from extensive cross-cultural research with the aim of creating a more comprehensive personality framework.
Recent research 4 has delved into its applications across various domains, such as organizational behavior, interpersonal relationships, and individual differences in moral behavior. These studies have linked specific Hexaco traits to outcomes such as job performance, leadership effectiveness, and ethical decision-making.
The traits of 5 the Hexaco personality model include:
Individuals who exhibit high scores in this trait demonstrate a strong commitment to following rules, rarely engage in deception for personal gain, show little interest in extravagant or luxurious lifestyles, and do not feel entitled to a privileged social status.
Conversely, those with low scores tend to have an inflated sense of self-importance, engage in flattery to manipulate others, bend rules for personal advantage, and prioritize material possessions.
Individuals who score high in this domain tend to experience heightened levels of anxiety, seek emotional support, display deep empathy towards others, and exhibit a greater fear of physical harm.
On the other hand, individuals scoring low on emotionality tend to be less concerned about physical dangers, exhibit a certain detachment from others, experience minimal distress, and are less inclined to open up emotionally to others.
Individuals with high extraversion scores display confidence in leadership roles, derive energy and motivation from social interactions, possess a positive self-image, and thrive in social settings.
Conversely, those with low scores in this domain may perceive themselves as less popular, feel drained in social situations, experience discomfort when they are the center of attention, and exhibit less outward enthusiasm and optimism.
Read More About Extroversion Here
Individuals who score high on agreeableness are more inclined to seek compromise, manage their temper, show leniency in judging others, and readily forgive.
On the other hand, those with low scores in this trait tend to be stubborn, hold grudges against those who have wronged them, criticize others frequently, and easily become angered when mistreated.
Read More About Agreeableness Here
Individuals with high conscientiousness scores exhibit careful decision-making, strive for precision and perfection, demonstrate discipline in pursuing their goals, and maintain organization in both their time and physical surroundings.
Conversely, those scoring low in this domain may overlook errors, make impulsive decisions, pay less attention to time management or organizational tasks, and feel deterred by challenging goals or tasks.
6. Openness to Experience
Individuals scoring high on this trait display a vivid imagination, exhibit an attraction to unconventional ideas or people, engage deeply with nature and art, and possess a strong curiosity for diverse knowledge domains.
In contrast, those with low scores in openness to experience tend to be less creative, shy away from radical ideas, show little interest in artistic pursuits, and lack intellectual curiosity.
Read More About Openness Here
Hexaco Personality Traits and Mental Health
The over-influence or under-influence of each trait in the Hexaco model of personality can impact in adequate personality growth, mental health, and well-being 6, which include:
- Individuals with low honesty and humility may be related to a higher risk of engaging in deceitful behaviors, which can strain relationships and contribute to trust issues.
- A high level of emotionality can indicate a greater vulnerability to experiencing intense emotions, such as anxiety, feeling restless, and difficulty concentrating.
- Individuals with low extroversion may be at a greater risk of experiencing loneliness and depressive thoughts.
- Low agreeableness can be connected to difficulties in maintaining harmonious relationships and individuals may be more prone to conflicts and may experience stress.
- Low conscientiousness can be related to challenges in self-discipline and goal-directed behavior, which may contribute to a low level of productivity.
- Inflexibility and aversion to novel experiences may limit personal growth and adaptation to new challenges.
Benefits of Hexaco Personality Model
The Hexaco personality model offers several benefits 6, such as:
- The Hexaco model offers a rich and comprehensive assessment of personality, providing a detailed profile of an individual’s traits across six dimensions.
- The Hexaco model was developed through extensive cross-cultural research, making it particularly sensitive to cultural variations in personality traits.
- The Hexaco model of personality has been shown to accurately predict how people perform in their jobs and make ethical decisions in the workplace.
- The Hexaco model facilitates self-reflection and personal growth by identifying strengths, weaknesses, and areas for development.
- The inclusion of the Honesty-Humility dimension in the Hexaco model provides a unique focus on the moral and ethical behavior of an individual.
Limitations Of the Hexaco Model
Here are some limitations 7 of the Hexaco model:
- The Hexaco model focuses primarily on broad personality traits and may not capture the full complexity of individual differences.
- The Hexaco model is primarily designed for normal personality variations and may not directly address clinical diagnoses or specific mental health concerns.
- Certain dimensions within the Hexaco model, such as Honesty-Humility, have received less empirical attention compared to the more widely studied Big Five traits.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How is the HEXACO model measured?
The HEXACO model is typically measured using self-report questionnaires designed to assess the six key dimensions of personality, such as the Hexaco Personality Inventory (HEXACO-PI).
2. What does the HEXACO personality test measure?
HEXACO personality test provides insights into an individual’s unique personality profile and can be used to understand their behavior, preferences, and potential strengths or challenges.
3. Can the HEXACO model be used for career assessment or selection?
The model’s six dimensions provide valuable insights into an individual’s personality traits, which can be relevant for different career paths and job roles.
- Romano, D., Costantini, G., Richetin, J., & Perugini, M. (2023). The HEXACO Adjective Scales and Its Psychometric Properties. Assessment, 10731911231153833. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/10731911231153833
- Soto, C. J. (2018). Big Five personality traits. ResearchGate. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324115204_Big_Five_personality_traits
- Ashton, M. C., & Lee, K. (2009). The HEXACO-60: a short measure of the major dimensions of personality. Journal of personality assessment, 91(4), 340–345. https://doi.org/10.1080/00223890902935878
- Henry, S., Thielmann, I., Booth, T., & Mõttus, R. (2022). Test-retest reliability of the HEXACO-100-And the value of multiple measurements for assessing reliability. PloS one, 17(1), e0262465. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0262465
- Ashton, M. C., & Lee, K. (2007). Empirical, theoretical, and practical advantages of the HEXACO model of personality structure. Personality and social psychology review : an official journal of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc, 11(2), 150–166. https://doi.org/10.1177/1088868306294907
- Aghababaei, N., & Arji, A. (2014). Well-being and the HEXACO model of personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 56, 139–142. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2013.08.037
- Gaughan, E. T., Miller, J. D., & Lynam, D. R. (2012). Examining the utility of general models of personality in the study of psychopathy: a comparison of the HEXACO-PI-R and NEO PI-R. Journal of personality disorders, 26(4), 513–523. https://doi.org/10.1521/pedi.2012.26.4.513