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What Book I Think You Should Read, Based on Your Strongest Big Five Trait

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mich chapter.

When thinking about what to write, I was experiencing some mild writers’ block, so I decided to combine two of my favorite things: Psychology and Books! Thus, here is a book recommendation based on the Big Five Trait you score the highest on. If you’re unsure of what the Big Five is or what your scores are, check out this link before reading on: https://openpsychometrics.org/tests/IPIP-BFFM/

Conscientiousness: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

If you score high on conscientiousness, you’re probably pretty particular, like to do your work thoroughly and to the best of your ability. By no means does this make you a “goody-two-shoes,” but maybe you’re often described as a perfectionist or paying close attention to detail. Jane Austen’s, Pride and Prejudice, explores the life of a family in 19th century rural England. The young women of the family are expected to fulfill their “womanly duties” by marrying away to gain connections, wealth, property, and status. However, highly conscientious people will not like this book merely for its “rule-following.” The witty and rebellious character of Elizabeth Bennett will surely intrigue conscientious individuals and the elegant writing will tickle brains! 

Extraversion: Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

For my extroverted peeps out there (I swear my extraversion score is outrageously high), chances are you love interacting with all sorts of people! Daisy Jones & The Six is one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read, because it switches between perspectives of band members, in a unique playwright script format. Each character is unique and lovable in their own way, making for a highly entertaining and engaging read! The book’s plot uncovers the drama and harsh realities of why the ever-popular (though make-believe) band, Daisy Jones & The Six, broke up. I finished this book in one sitting, so it’s also a great one to get you out of a reading slump if you’re an avid bookworm struggling to pick up something new.

Openness: Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah

While openness is the most controversial Big Five trait because of its varying interpretations amongst cultures, it is most often interpreted in the United States as “openness to experience,” for the sake of simplicity, that’s the trait I’ll be referring to for this book recommendation! Where the Forest Meets the Stars follows the life of Joanna Teale, a graduate student researching birds living alone for her field studies. On her property, Joanna comes across a mysterious, seemingly homeless young girl, identifying herself as “Ursa” that Joanna begins to take an interest in. However, this child is extremely peculiar and has a complex story. This highly adventurous and engaging novel takes many twists and turns in the discovery of the child’s real-life story.

Neuroticism: The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

One characteristic of a neurotic personality is its fast pace in switching from one interpretation of a situation or emotion to another. The Woman in the Window is an excellent embodiment of this trait: It takes a constant series of twists and turns, packed full of excitement and unpredictability. It follows Anna Fox, a woman living alone in New York City, who enjoys passing the time by watching old movies and day drinking… As well as spying on her mysterious neighbors. This was a book I never wanted to put down; you never knew what was going to happen next!

Agreeableness: My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

My Absolute Darling follows a young girl, Turtle, and her peculiar life with her father. Turtle is initially a highly agreeable character: No matter what, she knows her daddy loves her, and she loves him back. However, Turtle begins to piece together the harsh realities of her father’s character and eventually builds up the courage to forge her own path. The courage and individualism brought out by such an agreeable character as Turtle would likely be heartwarming and inspiring to an agreeable individual, making it the perfect, challenging read! However, a quick warning, this book does feature a bit of violence and mature content that may be uncomfortable to some readers, so proceed with caution here.

Aspiring sport psychologist studying Psychology as a junior at the University of Michigan. Avid dog-lover, foodie, Spotify playlist creator, and UMich/Detroit sports fan.