Personality and the Brain

The results of our assessment do not only provide you with an overview of your cognitive skills, but also suggest how your personality might be reflected in those. This can help you to understand why you behave in certain ways, as personality plays a big role at work too!

One of the most influential and science-based personality theories relevant for the workplace is the so-called HEXACO personality theory, which relates personality to six basic traits, namely Honesty-Humility, Emotionality, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Openness to Experience.

The HEXACO Personality Traits

Honesty-Humility versus Integrity-Pride

High scorers in this trait tend to prioritize honesty and directness, even if it means personal disadvantage. They adhere to moral rules and ethical behavior, making them reliable team members. On the other hand, low scorers are more assertive and skillful in advocating their opinions, which can be advantageous in discussions with clients.

Emotionality versus Emotional Stability

Individuals with high emotionality possess a natural instinct for sensing the emotions of those around them. They display empathy, which fosters understanding and authentic connections with team members and clients. In contrast, those with low emotionality are emotionally stable, able to distinguish their own emotions from others’. They exhibit emotional resilience, leading to better emotional regulation and overall mental well-being.

Extraversion versus Introversion

High scorers in extraversion are outgoing and energized by social activities. They exude confidence, particularly in public speaking or presenting. They contribute to positive team dynamics and can elevate motivation. Conversely, low scorers prefer solitude and find energy in working independently. They possess deep focus and excel in analytical thinking when tackling complex problems.

Agreeableness versus Disagreeableness

Individuals high in agreeableness value interpersonal relations and strive to avoid conflicts by adapting their behavior. They are great collaborators and promote harmony within teams. Those low in agreeableness are more critical of others’ opinions and express disagreement more freely. They offer a realistic perspective, challenging decisions and highlighting potential risks.

Conscientiousness versus Flexibility

Highly conscientious individuals exhibit organized working styles, meticulous planning, and a disciplined approach. They are seen as reliable team members, excelling in tasks like proofreading or scheduling. Low scorers prioritize flexibility and adaptability, swiftly adjusting to unexpected circumstances. They make quick decisions and do not dwell on excessive deliberation.

Openness to Experience versus Conventionalism

Individuals high in openness to experience enjoy exploring new topics, embracing task diversity, and offering creative problem-solving approaches. They are receptive to different perspectives and opinions. Conversely, those low in openness to experience prefer routine and familiarity, focusing on practicality and conforming to expectations.

Personality and the Executive Functions

It’s important to note that most individuals fall somewhere in the middle of each dimension, and their personality may manifest differently depending on the situation. However, research has revealed intriguing links between these personality traits and the four executive functions measured by NeurOlympics. Discover the intricate connection between personality and cognitive skills, embrace your unique traits, and unleash your potential with BrainsFirst. Below, you can find more information on how each EF is linked to particular personality dimensions.

Working Memory: Unleashing Your Cognitive Potential

Unlocking the potential of higher working memory capacity reveals fascinating traits in individuals. Those with enhanced working memory tend to display characteristics such as Extraversion, Emotional Stability, and Conscientiousness. Their cognitive prowess equips them with valuable resources to effortlessly navigate social interactions and communicate effectively. Moreover, they exhibit greater emotional stability, enabling them to handle emotional challenges with resilience and grace. Their exceptional working memory also empowers them with efficient planning, organization, and task management skills. They excel at maintaining task-relevant information, effortlessly switching between mental sets, and successfully inhibiting distractions or impulsive behaviors. Harnessing the power of working memory opens doors to enhanced cognitive abilities and empowers individuals to excel in various aspects of their lives.


Attention: Unveiling the Traits of the Focused Mind

A higher attentional capacity unveils fascinating personality traits in individuals. Those with a greater ability to focus are often perceived as Introverted, Honest, Humble, Conscientious, and Emotionally Stable. Research suggests that individuals with an expansive attention span thrive in focused environments and engage in reflective thinking, aligning with less extraverted behaviors. Their strong attentional focus is associated with elevated levels of honesty, sincerity, and ethical behavior, contributing to the admirable trait of Honesty-Humility. These individuals demonstrate thoughtful consideration of their actions and steadfast adherence to moral standards. Furthermore, their enhanced attentional control is closely linked to conscientiousness, enabling effective task management and meticulous attention to detail. Moreover, their refined attentional focus bolsters emotional stability by promoting superior emotion regulation and resilience to the demanding challenges of the workplace. Embracing the power of attention allows individuals to cultivate remarkable qualities that set them apart in various spheres of life.

Cognitive Flexibility: Embracing Change and Expanding Horizons

Individuals with high cognitive flexibility possess remarkable traits that set them apart. They are generally more Open to Experience, Introverted, Emotionally Stable, and Conscientious. Their dynamic mindset leads them to be perceived as curious, imaginative, and open-minded. They eagerly embrace novel ideas, engage in creative thinking, and readily adapt to change. Their cognitive flexibility fosters introspection and self-reflection, aligning with introversion and promoting a deeper understanding of oneself. Moreover, their capacity for flexible thinking and problem-solving contributes to emotional stability as they excel in emotional regulation through mental reframing and considering alternative perspectives. In navigating the complexities of life, their adaptability enhances their emotional resilience. Furthermore, their cognitive flexibility empowers them to be conscientious individuals. They effortlessly adapt plans, manage tasks, and make well-informed decisions, embodying responsibility, thoroughness, and goal-directed behavior. By embracing cognitive flexibility, individuals unlock the potential for personal growth and navigate a world that demands adaptability and innovation.

Inhibition: Balancing Self-Control and Empathy

Individuals with high levels of inhibition possess unique qualities that shape their interactions and behaviors. They are more likely to be Agreeable, Emotionally Stable, Conscientious, and Introverted. Their inherent disposition towards agreeableness fuels their ability to foster harmonious relationships, valuing the needs and perspectives of others. They engage in empathic and prosocial actions, demonstrating compassion and cooperation. Furthermore, their strong inhibitory control contributes to emotional stability, allowing them to regulate their emotional responses and approach situations with rationality. This emotional resilience empowers them to navigate challenges with composure and make level-headed decisions. Their conscientious nature shines through as they effortlessly block distractions, work efficiently, and exhibit responsible behavior. With their ability to maintain cognitive control, they sustain concentration and engage in introspective thinking. This introspection provides them with valuable opportunities for deep reflection and contemplation. By embracing the power of inhibition, individuals strike a harmonious balance between self-control and empathy, fostering meaningful connections and thoughtful decision-making.


In the realm of psychology, the intricate relationship between personality and executive functions raises intriguing questions. The chicken-and-egg dilemma emerges, questioning whether certain personality traits shape executive functions or if executive functions influence personality traits. Unraveling this enigma remains a challenge, yet it is vital to recognize that both personality and executive functions contribute significantly to our behaviors in the workplace. They serve as valuable predictors, shedding light on various factors that impact our performance within a specific job. While the question of causality persists, we can find solace in the fact that its influence on predicting work behavior is relatively limited. Acknowledging this complexity allows us to navigate the intricacies of human behavior, leveraging the insights gained from both personality and executive functions to enhance our understanding of workplace dynamics.