Emotional stability personality

Alva Guide to the Big Five: Emotional Stability Explained

Today’s topic

  • By Kajsa Asplund
  • Psychometric Testing, Big Five

For the last post in our series on the Big Five, we’re looking into the trait that’s the most closely related to our feelings: emotional stability. The benefits of staying calm and composed in the face of difficulty are many – but there might be challenges as well.

What’s the thing that unites Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse, while setting it apart from their friends? Besides an artful charm, one thing is emotional stability. Neither Winnie the Pooh nor Mickey Mouse lets emotions get the better of them.

When unexpected things happen, they tend to stay calm and curious. When their friends behave annoyingly, they look at them with mild tolerance.

Contrast this to the reactions of their dear friends, Rabbit and Donald Duck. These characters are a lot more passionate in their nature. They’re sensitive, easily annoyed, and they don’t have much patience with setbacks. All signs of a low emotional stability personality.

It might seem a little odd to illustrate a personality trait with these children's characters. But one reason that these sets of characters keep speaking to generation after generation is that they remind us of our real-life acquaintances. And emotional stability really is one of those traits that we note in other people, and that taint our image of who a person is.

Emotional stability defined

At its core, the meaning of emotional stability is about the extent to which we tend to experience negative emotions. It also entails how constant our mood tends to be: Whether we’re more or less in the same mood from day to day, or whether we experience large swings.

This trait influences our ability to cope with stress, resist our impulses, and adapt to change.

People who score high on emotional stability tend to be calm, composed, and stress-resistant. They’re also generally confident and not easily provoked or disheartened by setbacks. Some examples of people who score lower on sensitivity, on the other hand, tend to have ‘thinner skin’: they’re sensitive, easily worried, and tend to get low-spirited or depressed more easily. Stress and pressure can get the better of them, and they may come across as moody.

The 3 facets of Emotional Stability

In Alva’s personality test, we define three components of emotional stability, all of which are closely mirrored in other well-validated Big Five tests: Optimism, Stability, and Stress tolerance.

Emotional Stability and Optimism

People who score high on Optimism tend to take a positive attitude towards most life situations. Problems are made to be solved, and setbacks are seen as temporary. People with lower scores tend to be more heavy-hearted; they feel more beaten down by difficulties, and don’t automatically expect the best to happen.

Emotional Stability and ... Stability

This component has to do with one’s propensity for anger and frustration. People with high scores keep their cool in most situations. They have an even temper and tend to feel pretty much the same from day to day. It’s hard to provoke or shock them. A lower score, on the other hand, indicates a more passionate and hot-tempered personality. People at this end of the scale are more easily angered and frustrated.

Emotional Stability and Stress tolerance

The final component concerns worry, stress, and related states. Those who score high on this scale tend to be highly resistant to stress and pressure.

They can focus and work effectively even in the face of significant stress, and feel confident they can handle most situations. If you have a lower score, you tend to be more sensitive, more prone to worry about the future, and more anxious about your own ability to cope.

Emotional stability and job performance

As you can probably guess, being stable, optimistic, and resilient to stress often represent significant advantages at work. Emotional stability has turned out to predict job performance in quite a number of positions. In leadership roles, not least, Emotional stability serves the dual benefit of helping to handle difficult situations and projecting calm towards the team.

Unsurprisingly, the same goes for customer service roles. In positions where you have to deal with upset customers, time pressure, and a fairly stressful environment, Emotional stability will help you be effective and not lose your cool. An emotionally stable person is also less prone to take insults and accusations personally.

Emotional stability represents an advantage in sales. The reasons are similar: calm and stable individuals tend to handle the pressure of sales better, and get over the often plentiful rejections more easily.

Emotional stability links to integrity

Emotional stability has turned out to have a clear relationship with integrity at work: the tendency to be trustworthy, just, and honest. One reason for this is impulse control – integrity has a lot to do with desisting from doing things your temper might tell you to do.

And while high Conscientiousness helps people resist their impulses, high Emotional stability might imply that you simply get fewer strong impulses altogether. With a more even temper and fewer mood swings, the urges to act out might not be as plentiful.

Emotional stability predicts job satisfaction

It’s not just job performance that’s predicted by Emotional stability, but also job satisfaction. Not that surprising, given that stable individuals tend to experience less negative emotions, which also likely makes them more effective at work.

People with high Emotional stability also have a more positive attitude towards challenges and a stronger belief in their own ability – which often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

What about the perks of sensitivity?

Like with Conscientiousness, there are very few studies showing any negative effects of Emotional stability. This trait seems to represent a fairly small but consistent benefit in many roles. But, you may ask yourself: aren’t there any downsides? In recent years, there’s been a lot of talk about the hidden advantages of being a Highly Sensitive Person.

The HSP, the story goes, is good at understanding other people and situations through their sensitive ‘antennae’. They’re often artistic and creative, and see details that others would miss.

High Sensitive People aren't necessarily low on Emotional Stability

It should be mentioned that, so far, the concept of HSP has received a lot less academic research attention than the Big Five.

It’s also worth noting that HSP doesn’t correspond one-to-one to low Emotional stability. Rather, this is a so-called compound concept consisting of many parts. But surely, there are both good and bad sides to being more sensitive in life.

A lower Emotional stability may mean that you experience the ups and downs with more nuance. People who score higher on this trait, conversely, can sometimes come across as a bit detached or dispassionate. This is especially true if they also score low on Agreeableness and/or Openness.

Humble people, too, aren't necessarily low on Emotional Stability

People who score lower on Emotional stability may also come across as more relatable and humble in some circumstances. The fact that they tend to waver more in their self-confidence can make them appear more attentive and responsive, taking other people’s views and opinions seriously. Allowing oneself to change opinions when being influenced by others often comes easier to those who score low on Emotional stability.

Emotional Stability: people and policies matter

When we think about Emotional Stability at work, we need to remember that our psychological safety, structures and policies must work together to allow our people to feel safe, able to experiment, and deliver their best work.

Understanding the levels of Emotional Stability that best work with a job can give us the insight we need to hire well; not every job needs it, and people can and should be supported by leadership.

But when we know what a job needs as foundational, core skills - rather than unhelpful metrics such as working in a similar sized business or years of experience in the field - we can reduce bias and hire the diverse teams we need for success. It's about understand what a job really needs, and how to work well to build the right teams.

Key take-aways for recruitment

  • High Emotional stability will help employees stay on track and work effectively in the face of stress, pressure, provocation, and setbacks. These employees are also less likely to give in to impulsive behaviour or take objections personally.
  • Look for high Emotional stability when you’re recruiting for roles that require a cool head, resilience in the face of hardship, and dealing with negative emotion. Typical positions include leadership, sales, and customer service roles.
  • High Emotional stability is also a clear benefit in jobs where a high degree of integrity is needed: handling dangerous equipment or substances, managing monetary assets or personal security, etc.
  • In more typical white-collar professional roles, Emotional stability is not as central to job performance and can be left out of the screening.
  • Keep in mind that individuals who score high on Emotional stability may come across as a bit detached or dispassionate, especially if they also score low on Agreeableness and/or Openness. This may be a challenge in e.g. managerial roles or in any instance where you have to be the bearer of bad news.

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What is Neuroticism? - Learn all about the neuroticism personality trait

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Emotional stability or neuroticism is one of the five personality traits of the Big Five personality theory. Emotional stability refers to a person's ability to remain stable and balanced. At the other end of the scale, a person who is high in neuroticism has a tendency to easily experience negative emotions. Neuroticism is similar but not identical to being neurotic in the Freudian sense. Some psychologists prefer to call neuroticism by the term emotional stability to differentiate it from the term neurotic in a career test.

Individual high in emotional stability is stable and calm

People who score high in emotional stability (low in neuroticism) on a career test react less emotionally and are less easily upset. They tend to be emotionally stable, calm, and do not constantly experience negative feelings. The fact that these individuals are free from experiencing negative feelings does not mean that they experience a lot of positive feelings. The latter is a trait of the extraversion trait.

Individual high in neuroticism is emotionally reactive

People who score high in neuroticism are very emotionally reactive. They will have an emotional response to events that would not affect most people. A high scorer in neuroticism on a personality test has a greater chance of feeling threatened or being in a bad mood in a normal situation. They may find it difficult to think clearly and cope with stress. Take a free personality test to learn more about your career strengths and to test personality.

Sub traits of the emotional stability trait

Each of the Big Five personality traits is made up of six facets or sub traits. To test personality, these can be assessed independently of the trait that they belong to. The sub traits of the emotional stability trait are:

  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Self-consciousness
  • Immoderation
  • Vulnerability

Free Big Five personality test

Want to learn more about yourself and your strengths? Take a free Big Five personality test

To the personality test

Careers and emotional stability trait

A person who has a high level of emotional stability is preferred in most professions because they have more control over their emotions at work. Employees with low emotional stability may be more easily distracted from their work, by deadlines, personal situations, and pressure.

Take a free personality test to learn more about yourself

The emotional stability trait is one of five domains in the Big Five personality theory developed by many different researchers over the years. It is the most scientifically validated and reliable psychological model to test personality. To test personality and learn more about your work preferences, take a free personality test or a career test now.


Emotional stability as an indicator of the psychological health of the future teacher

The article considers the concept, essence, main components of emotional stability, and also suggests that it affects the psychological health of future teachers.

Keywords Keywords: educational institution, teacher, emotional stability, educational process, psychological health. nine0006

The articles considers the concept, essence, and main components of emotional stability, and also suggests that it affects the psychological health of future teachers.

keywords: educational institution, teacher, emotional stability, educational process, psychological health.

Emotions are a unique creation of nature, more universally realized in man. Emotions play the role of an intermediary in the transformation of material external and internal influences into psychological energy. nine0003

The emotional stability of a person is understood as an integrative property that contains a system of “emotional, volitional, intellectual, motivational components of mental activity and the ability to suppress emotional reactions.

The main criterion of emotional stability for many scientists is the effectiveness of activity in an emotional situation. OA Sirotin includes in the definition of emotional stability the ability of a person to successfully solve complex and responsible tasks in a tense emotional environment6, p. 54. nine0003

In this statement, emotional stability is essentially taken to be the ability to suppress emotional reactions, i.e., “willpower”, manifested in patience, perseverance, self-control, endurance (self-control), leading to stability in performance.

There are four main approaches to the consideration of emotional stability, which are implemented in the studies of some psychologists: the first approach takes the main psychological factors of emotional stability beyond its boundaries and sees them initially in volitional qualities, and the second approach defines it as a consequence of the integration of various mental processes and phenomena, then the third approach in the study of emotional stability has in mind the reserves of neuropsychic energy, the fourth approach - initially determines the qualities and properties of the emotional process itself in a difficult situation for a person1, p.90.

The decisive role in the behavior of the psychological health of the teacher is played by the ability to behave in accordance with the situation and show adequate emotions, which is a difficult task for most people. Accordingly, this cannot be done without the formation of psychological health.

The phrase "psychological state of health" was introduced into the general scientific dictionary by I. V. Dubrovina, she highlights the diversity of this term, which combines two areas - medical and emotional. The psychological state of health, according to I. V. Dubrovina, manifests itself in a combination of individual qualities, namely stress resistance, effective self-realization, and is characterized by a well-formed reflection [5, p.189].

According to O. S. Vasilyeva and F. R. Filatov, psychological health combines aspects of the inner world and ways of external manifestations of the personality into one whole [2, p. 211].

Thus, psychological health is a complex of individual characteristics of a person, which are prerequisites for stress resistance, adaptation in society, and successful self-realization.

A number of basic characteristics of a person's psychological health can be distinguished [4, p. 87]:

  1. Adequate self-esteem and a sense of self-respect allow you to make adequate decisions;
  2. Capabilities:

 adapt to constantly changing conditions of life;

 effectively meet the needs and the ability to compensate for those that cannot be satisfied at the moment;

- make an independent choice, make a decision independently, adhere to your own life plan, independently managing your life; nine0003

 courageously overcome difficulties and disappointments, without resorting to alcoholism, drug addiction;

- take care of other people, be kind and trusting to others;

 act effectively and enjoy the work done.

Achieving the basic characteristics of a person's psychological health is undoubtedly compatible with professional pedagogical activity.

Also, the following aspects can be attributed to the components of psychological health [5, p.106]: nine0003

  1. Valuable. This is a component that assumes that a person is aware that he is valuable and unique, and not only him, but also the people around him. He is able to accept himself and others as they are.
  2. Instrumental. This is the ability of a person to reflect, concentrate on his own thoughts, evaluating his actions and deeds, analyzing his own activities.
  3. Need-motivational. This is a person's desire for self-development and personal development, as well as the willingness to take responsibility for one's own life. nine0050
  4. Developing. A person constantly works on himself, develops his mental and mental processes, social skills, maintains his psychological and physical health.
  5. Socio-cultural. This is the ability of an individual to develop and act in the current cultural and social situation, the ability to establish contact with people and interact.

L. A. Kuryshovak indicators of the psychological health of the individual include the phenomenon of "psychological stability", which is provided by the phenomenon of "balance", that is, the harmony of the interaction of various spheres of the personality (value-semantic, cognitive, reflective, evaluative, affective), ensuring the integrity of the personality [ 3]. nine0003

The factors influencing the level of psychological health include: the system of human relations, the characteristics of the perception of other people and the strategy of cooperation with them, the personal characteristics of a person.

It's no secret that the profession of a teacher is stressful and requires large reserves of self-control and self-regulation. For this reason, the psychological health of teachers is a necessary condition for the health of children, since the main instrument of the teacher is his psychological interaction with the child, and the personality of the teacher is the main factor in the work of the teacher, which determines the professional position of pedagogical activity and pedagogical communication. nine0003

The high emotional intensity of pedagogical work is caused by the presence of a large number of stress factors: high dynamism, lack of time, work overload, the complexity of emerging pedagogical situations, social assessment, the need for frequent and intensive contacts, interaction with various social groups, etc.

The professional standard "Teacher (pedagogical activity in the field of preschool, primary general, basic general, secondary general education) (educator, teacher)" approved by order of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Russian Federation of October 18, 2013 N 544n says that emotional stability refers to the basic personal competence of the teacher and determines the nature of relations in the educational process, especially in situations of conflict, helps to maintain the objectivity of the assessment of students, determines the effectiveness of class ownership [4]. nine0003

In connection with the above facts, there is a question about the protection of the health of the teacher, his professional longevity. But how to achieve this? How to ensure professional longevity, improve the health of teachers?

The formation of a positive self-perception, self-acceptance, self-respect, i.e. a positive assessment of oneself as a capable person worthy of respect, contributes greatly to the preservation and restoration of the psychological health of a teacher.

Having adequate self-esteem and a positive self-attitude, the teacher has a positive impact on the self-esteem and self-attitude of children, stimulates their desire for success in their activities, and contributes to the development of such personal qualities as goodwill, responsiveness, self-confidence. nine0003

An important property that characterizes the emotional stability of a teacher is the amount of knowledge and skills of self-regulation of emotional states.

For this reason, the psychological health of teachers is a necessary condition for the health of children, since the main instrument of the teacher is his psychological interaction with the child, and the personality of the teacher is the main factor in the work of the teacher, which determines the professional position of pedagogical activity and pedagogical communication. At the same time, psychological health directly depends on the emotional stability or instability of the teacher. This is especially evident during university education, since it is during this period that the personality of the future teacher is formed. nine0003

Emotional stability can be viewed as a complex personality characteristic, a synthesis of individual qualities and abilities. It follows that the degree of its severity is determined by many personal factors and characteristics of the educational environment, and largely depends on the resources of the individual. Thus, the factors affecting emotional resistance to obstacles to self-realization can be of two types: personal and environmental. The emotional stability of the teacher is listed as the main factor of influence and interaction in pedagogical work. The success of emotional impact depends on it, it mobilizes students, motivates them to action, improves their intellectual activity. nine0003

In addition, an emotionally stable teacher has a huge impact on the entire climate of the educational institution. As our theoretical analysis on this issue has shown, a large number of teachers are characterized by emotional instability, a high level of anxiety and tension.

A change in the level of emotional stability of a teacher in a real pedagogical process is possible only if the perception and awareness of himself, his life positions changes. Therefore, the choice of technologies and methods for increasing the emotional stability of teachers depends on the characteristics of the specific activities of those who need help. nine0003


  1. Ashikhmina OA Emotional stability of educational psychologists at different stages of professionalization: diss. cand. psychologist. nauk.– M.: MGPPI, 2017.– 219p.
  2. Vasilyeva O. S., Filatov F. R. Psychology of human health: standards, ideas, attitudes: Proc. allowance for students. higher education, institutions. - M .: Publishing Center Academy, 2018. - 352 p.
  3. Kuryshova L. A. Emotional stability as an important component of psychological competence [Electronic resource. URL: https://www.b17.ru/article/imocionalnaya ustoichivost/ nine0050
  4. Order of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Russian Federation of October 18, 2013 N 544n “On approval of the professional standard “Teacher (pedagogical activity in the field of preschool, primary general, basic general, secondary general education) (educator, teacher)” (as amended on 05. 08 .2016)
  5. Psychology: Textbook for students. avg. ped. textbook institutions / I. V. Dubrovina, E. E. Danilova, A. M. Parishioners; Ed. I. V. Dubrovina. - M .: Publishing Center "Academy", 2019. — 464 p.
  6. Sirotin O. A. To the question of the psychophysiological nature of the emotional stability of athletes // Questions of Psychology. –2018. - No. 1. - S. 129-133.

Basic terms (automatically generated) : emotional stability, psychological health, pedagogical activity, emotional stability of the teacher, adequate self-esteem, educational institution, pedagogical work, pedagogical communication, professional position, professional longevity. nine0003

Emotional stability - Psychologos

October 01, 2022, 9:27 pm

Emotional stability - endurance; a person is emotionally mature, calm, stable in interests, hard-working, can be rigid, focused on reality, he is not hurt by annoying little things.

The opposite of emotional stability is emotional instability - impulsiveness, a person is under the influence of feelings, changeable in moods, easily upset, unstable in interests. Low tolerance for frustration, irritability, fatigue. Characteristic for Asthenic and Labile type. nine0003

Emotional stability in the work of an employee can be assessed on the following scale: (-2) Emotions control. Avoids the demands of reality, neurotic fatigue, irritable, emotionally excitable. (-1) Sensitive, emotionally unstable, easily upset. (0) 50/50 can evaluate situations rationally, often making emotional judgments. (1) Emotionally stable, soberly assessing reality, active, mature. In most cases, the situation evaluates rationally. (2) Emotionally mature, stable, unflappable. Able to soberly rationally assess complex situations and work efficiently under stress. nine0139

How to strengthen emotional stability

Your emotional stability can be strengthened, trainings and special psychological exercises contribute to this. Most of all, strengthening emotional stability helps ↑ Syntone program: Communication Mastery and Emotion Management.

If you don't have the opportunity to go through the Synthon program yet, you can work on yourself with the help of special exercises. Our recommendations:

  • Calm presence is work with the body. Formation of the body base of a calm, adequate, sane person.
  • Emotional traffic light is work with the head. The result is that annoying little things hurt less, it is easier to distinguish: "This is a trifle, not something serious." Even the serious blows of life are perceived more calmly.
  • Mental insurance is work with the soul as a whole. The soul trains to take the blows of life, becomes stronger, more protected.
  • nine0049 Dawn in Kryzhopol is work with the philosophy of life, readiness to start life from scratch. Description of this exercise from the Syntone program: "Management of emotions".

  • Emotional stability
  • Affective sphere


Guest, November 03, 2013, 10:07 PM

Yes.. I'm also interested in the last recommendation. nineNovember 23, 2014 October 31, 2018 Post the exercise, please.

Guest, March 2, 2019, 05:02 AM

This is something like indifference. This quality is possessed by people mainly either from special forces or maniacs.

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