PR6 & Big 5 Personality Factors Research – 2024

PR6 Big 5 Personality Research 2024

Resilience and Personality – Open access research paper

How does resilience and our personality traits interact? When does resilience become protective, and how can it influence personality development over time?

We explore these questions in a new original research paper titled “Defining Protective Resilience – The 85% Threshold for Personality Development and Mental Health Risk Reduction” from Driven. This large-scale study, involving 2,044 participants, explores the relationship between resilience measured by the Predictive 6 Factor Resilience Scale (PR6), and the Big Five personality traits measured with the IPIP-NEO-120 scale, including 30 personality sub-factors.

The PR6 Big 5 research paper is now published and available to be downloaded here – driv.ai/pr6-big5

How to cite this article: Rossouw, J. G. (2024) Defining Protective Resilience: The 85% Threshold for Personality Development and Mental Health Risk Reduction. PsyArXiv DOI:https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/jkmnf

The Changing View of Personality and the Role of Resilience

The significance of this research ties into its alignment with modern understanding of personality as a more dynamic and changeable construct than previously thought. This perspective shift has important implications for resilience training and its potential impact on personal development.

Personality – No Longer Set in Stone

Historically, personality was often viewed as a fixed set of traits that remained stable throughout adulthood. However, recent longitudinal studies have challenged this notion:

  • A 63-year study found no significant stability in personality factors over the measured period (Harris et al., 2016).
  • Another 40-year study revealed only modest correlations in Extraversion (0.30) and Conscientiousness (0.25) with starting assessments (Edmonds et al., 2013).

These findings suggest that personality is more malleable than once believed, opening up possibilities for intentional development and change.

Catalysts for Personality Change

Two main factors have been identified as drivers of personality change:

  • Significant Life Events – Major life experiences, both positive and negative, can lead to shifts in personality traits. These can include career changes, relationships, trauma, or personal achievements (Edmonds et al., 2013).
  • Targeted Interventions – Emerging research shows that intentional efforts, such as therapy, coaching, or specific training programs, can lead to meaningful changes in personality traits (Hudson et al., 2020). Resilience training as a proven method to create personal change plays multiple roles here.

Resilience as a Catalyst for Positive Change

From this evolving understanding, resilience training becomes an effective tool for creating positive personality development:

  • Enhancing Response to Life Events – Higher resilience equips individuals to respond more constructively to life events, both challenging and positive. This improved response can lead to more beneficial outcomes from these experiences, increasing the likelihood of positive personality development.
  • Targeted Intervention – Resilience training, such as that provided through the Driven Resilience App, Resilience First Aid (RFA), and High Adversity Resilience Training (HART) programs, serves as a targeted intervention. By focusing on specific skills and mindsets, these programs can directly influence personality traits associated with resilience.
  • Neuroplasticity and Habit Formation – Resilience training often involves practices that promote neuroplasticity and the formation of new habits. These neurological and behavioural changes can, over time, manifest as shifts in personality traits.
  • Emotional Regulation – A key component of resilience is emotional regulation. As individuals become more adept at managing their emotions, this can lead to reductions in Neuroticism and increases in Emotional Stability, a significant personality change that leads to mental health protection and improved responses in tough situations.
  • Social Skills and Extraversion – Many resilience training programs, like RFA, focus on improving communication and social support. These skills can contribute to increases in Extraversion and related traits.
  • Goal-Setting and Conscientiousness – Resilience often involves setting and working towards goals, which aligns closely with the trait of Conscientiousness. Regular practice in this area through resilience training can lead to increases in this valuable trait.

Implications for Resilience Training Programs

Understanding personality as changeable and resilience as a catalyst for this change has significant implications for resilience programs:

  • Long-Term Focus – These programs can be viewed not just as short-term interventions, but as initiators of long-term personality development.
  • Holistic Approach – The multi-faceted nature of these programs aligns well with the complex process of personality change, addressing various aspects of an individual’s psyche and behaviour.
  • Measurement and Tracking – Including personality assessments alongside resilience measures can provide a more comprehensive view of the programs’ impacts over time.
  • Personalisation – Understanding the links between resilience domains and personality traits allows for more targeted, personalised approaches to resilience training.

By recognising the dynamic nature of personality and the role of resilience in shaping it, we can better appreciate the broad impacts of resilience training. The findings of this study not only validate the effectiveness of resilience interventions but also position them as effective tools for long-term personal development and growth.

"...the PR6 model has the strongest correlations to reducing Neuroticism and improving Conscientiousness and Extraversion."

Key Research Findings

The study found several significant insights into the relationship between resilience and personality traits, with important implications for mental health and well-being. We initially noticed some of these in the National Resilience Index papers. Now with more data we can uncover more details that help us to better understand resilience and also provide practical benchmarks for resilience training and interventions.

  1. Critical Resilience Threshold – The study identifies a crucial PR6 resilience threshold of 85%, beyond which individuals experience marked improvements in personality traits and mental health protection. This threshold represents a tipping point where resilience begins to offer dramatically enhanced buffering against key risk factors for mental illness and more positive responses to life events. For instance, while moving from low resilience to above average (70% to <85%) participants experienced a 2.8-fold reduction in Depression, reaching high resilience (85%+) doubled this to a 5.6-fold reduction. This provides a clear, quantifiable goal for resilience interventions in various settings.
  2. Neuroticism Reduction – Higher resilience scores are strongly associated with a 2.9-fold reduction in Neuroticism. This overall reduction is reflected in significant improvements across various subfactors of Neuroticism. Specifically, there’s a 5.6-fold reduction in depression, a 4.2-fold reduction in anxiety, and a 5.9-fold reduction in vulnerability for those with high resilience. These findings highlight the potential of resilience training as a preventative pathway for protecting mental health and well-being, particularly in high-stress environments.
  3. Positive Personality Changes – Increased resilience correlates with substantial positive changes in other key personality traits. The study found a 52% increase in Conscientiousness and a 65% increase in Extraversion as resilience levels increased from low to high. These changes were particularly notable in certain subfactors. For example, Self-Discipline (a subfactor of Conscientiousness) showed a 97% increase, with 22% of this gain occurring in the final step to high resilience. Similarly, Gregariousness (a subfactor of Extraversion) demonstrated a 99% increase from low to high resilience levels.
  4. Modesty and Resilience – An intriguing negative correlation (r = -0.34) was found between resilience and modesty, suggesting that a balanced and realistic self-assessment may be a component of high resilience. As resilience increased, there was a 22% decrease in Modesty scores, with most of this change (21%) occurring between low and above-average resilience levels. This finding challenges common perceptions about modesty and suggests that some level of self-assurance and willingness to acknowledge one’s capabilities may be beneficial for resilience.

These key findings provide a wealth of new insights into the nature of resilience and its relationship with personality traits and mental health outcomes. They offer valuable guidance for developing targeted resilience interventions and set a new benchmark for what it means to be truly resilient.

"The significant reduction in Vulnerability scores associated with high resilience can help with trauma prevention and PTSD reduction."

Research Implications

The real value of this research lies in practical implications for resilience-building programs and initiatives:

  • Quantifiable Goals – The 85% PR6 resilience threshold offers a clear, measurable target for resilience interventions. This benchmark can be used as personal targets as well as workplace targets to continue to build towards a level of mental health protection, useful as an indicator of a clear way to manage psychosocial hazards through targeted prevention. This benchmark can be integrated into workplaces using the Certified Resilient Workplace (CReW) program.
  • Targeted Interventions – The study identifies specific PR6 resilience domains that strongly correlate with personality sub-factors. This allows for more precise, personalised resilience training programs aimed at specific personality improvements or mental health outcomes. Programs like the Driven Resilience App already automates targeted intervention, and the Resilience First Aid (RFA) and High Adversity Resilience Training (HART) can be used strategically to build resilience in a way that benefits personal development.
  • Mental Health Prevention – The strong correlation between high resilience and reduced Neuroticism suggests that resilience training could be an effective preventative measure against mental health issues. This aligns perfectly with the CReW program’s focus on prevention and proactive mental health strategies in the workplace.
  • Personality Development – The research supports the use of resilience training as a pathway for beneficial personality development, particularly in increasing Conscientiousness and Extraversion. This provides a strong rationale for implementing comprehensive resilience programs like RFA and HART in various workplace settings.
  • Trauma Prevention – The significant reduction in Vulnerability scores associated with high resilience can help with trauma prevention and PTSD reduction. This is particularly relevant for the HART program, which is designed for high-stress environments and emergency services.
  • Holistic Approach – The study reinforces the value of a comprehensive approach to resilience, addressing multiple domains that contribute to overall well-being and mental health. This supports the multi-faceted nature of programs like CReW, which incorporate various training components to build a resilient workplace culture.
  • ROI Demonstration – The clear correlations between resilience and positive personality traits provide tangible evidence of the return on investment for resilience training. This can be used to build the case for implementing comprehensive resilience training programs in workplaces.
  • Customised Training Paths – Understanding the relationship between specific resilience domains and personality factors allows for the development of customised training paths within the CReW framework. Workplaces can focus on particular aspects of resilience training that align with their workforce’s needs and goals.
  • Leadership Development – The research highlights the potential for resilience training to enhance leadership qualities by improving traits like Conscientiousness and Extraversion. This can be incorporated into leadership-focused modules within RFA and HART programs.
  • Cultural Impact – The findings suggest that widespread resilience training could have a significant impact on workplace culture. This aligns with the CReW program’s goal of fostering a culture of resilience and supports the implementation of workplace-wide initiatives.

These research findings add to the evidence-based foundation for the value of resilience training programs. They offer concrete measurements that can be used to enhance existing programs, as well as support a business case to invest in training and be able to have confidence in the long-term value of these investments.

This research not only validates the effectiveness of the PR6 model but also gives more confidence to people working through training to build their own skills. By aiming for the 85% resilience threshold, coaches and clients can achieve significant improvements in mental health protection and positive personality development.

Research PDF Download

Download the full research paper here – driv.ai/pr6-big5

Want to use the PR6 Assessment?

Here are ways you can use the PR6 as a valuable tool to get insight into resilience:

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