Difference between Hexaco and Big 5

Difference between Hexaco and Big 5

Description: Discover the differences between the popular Big 5 Personality Test and the comprehensive Hexaco Model, and how they can help us better understand our own personalities.

The most popular personality test in the scientific community is undoubtedly the Big 5 Personality Test. However, it is based on a more comprehensive personality model known as the Hexaco Model. Let's explore how these two tests help us understand our personalities.

What is the Big 5 Test?

The Big 5 Personality Test, also known as the Five-Factor Model (FFM), assesses five broad dimensions of personality:

  • Openness to Experience: Intellectual curiosity, creativity, and preference for novelty and variety.
  • Conscientiousness: Organization, dependability, and goal-directed behavior.
  • Extraversion: Sociability, assertiveness, and the tendency to seek social stimulation.
  • Agreeableness: Trust, altruism, and kindness in interpersonal interactions.
  • Neuroticism: Emotional stability and the tendency to experience negative emotions like anxiety and depression.

What is the HEXACO Test?

Developed by psychologists Kibeom Lee and Michael C. Ashton, the HEXACO model assesses six distinct personality traits: Honesty-Humility, Emotionality, eXtraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Openness to Experience (HEXACO). Each trait is measured on a scale from 1 to 10, with higher scores indicating stronger traits.

The Six Factors of HEXACO:

  1. Honesty-Humility: Sincerity, fairness, greed avoidance, and modesty. High scorers are honest, humble, and avoid manipulating others for personal gain.
  2. Emotionality: Includes emotional attachment and sentimentality, in addition to emotional instability.
  3. eXtraversion: Sociability, liveliness, and social interaction, similar to Extraversion in the Big 5.
  4. Agreeableness: Patience, forgiveness, and gentleness, with a greater emphasis on tolerance and cooperation compared to the Big 5.
  5. Conscientiousness: Organization, diligence, and reliability, similar to the Big 5's Conscientiousness.
  6. Openness to Experience: Creativity, curiosity, and openness to new experiences, similar to the Big 5's Openness.

Differences between Hexaco and Big 5 Tests

A key difference is the measurement of emotions. The HEXACO includes an Emotionality factor that encompasses emotional attachment and sentimentality, whereas the Big 5 has a separate Neuroticism factor focused on emotional instability. The HEXACO also introduces the Honesty-Humility factor, which assesses traits related to sincerity, fairness, and modesty, providing a more nuanced view of personality that the Big 5 may overlook.

Both tests measure the same five core traits but use different scales. The HEXACO model's scales capture a broader range of personality dimensions, potentially better at measuring extremes in traits like openness or conscientiousness.


Both the Hexaco and Big 5 tests provide valuable insights into personal strengths and weaknesses. However, neither test should be used as an absolute guide for understanding oneself or others. Personality is complex and nuanced. Using multiple sources, such as online assessments or professional psychological counseling, can provide a more comprehensive understanding. Remember that no single source will give an entirely accurate representation, so take all results with a grain of salt.