General Interpretation of NEO-AC Scores

When interpreting the results of a person’s completed NEO-AC test, it is important to remember that this tool is based on a top-down, or hierarchical, assessment. The first step is to look at the pervasive trends in the more broad domains (the five major factors), and to find out in which of these five factors the person most deviates from the mean. The second step is to analyze each subdomain (facet) to identify those that are contributing most to the overall major domain score.

What this means is that the five major domains always “pull rank,” compared to the individual facets. For example, if it turns out that a person scores “low” on one of the five major domains (let’s say on the Openness ...

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