The Five Supertraits

Introduction to the WorkPlace Big Five Profile™

In 2001, the Center for Applied Cognitive Studies introduced the WorkPlace Big Five Profile™, a 107-item survey with workplace-oriented language that measures five supertraits and 24 subtraits. The current 4.0 version has 23 subtraits.

The five supertraits that describe work-related behavior are—

Need for Stability (N)


Explains how people at work respond to and handle stressful situations—a critical aspect of today’s successful and effective work environment.

  • Worry
  • Intensity
  • Interpretation
  • Rebound Time

Extraversion (E)


Defines how people at work tolerate and deal with sensory bombardment or the lack of it. Situations would include when people work alone at home or settings and sensory experiences such as a three-day senior management off-site strategy meeting.

  • Warmth
  • Sociability
  • Activity Mode
  • Taking Charge
  • Trust of Others
  • Tact

Originality (O)


Illustrates how open and accepting people at work are to new experiences, ideas and change.

  • Imagination
  • Complexity
  • Change
  • Scope

Accommodation (A)


Measures how easily or to what degree of difficulty people defer to others—this super trait relates directly to power and how to use it effectively.

  • Others’ Needs
  • Agreement
  • Humility
  • Reserve

Consolidation (C)


Explains the degree to which people at work focus on their work, goal accomplishment and needs for achievement and success.

  • Perfectionism
  • Organization
  • Drive
  • Concentration
  • Methodicalness