Every individual in our society is different; each person is known or described differently from one another. The Big Five Factors: neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness, are thought to describe and outline personality in all cultures and language families. They characterize the differences in humankind and can be used to predict or explain job performance. Jackie Robinson was a man who I would describe as having a strong and persevering personality. He grew up at a time when racial tensions were at their worst, and yet, managed to succeed and follow through with everything he faced. At times he was forced to "suck it up," although many times it meant being humiliated in front of thousands of people. However, everyone that Jackie Robinson encountered was impressed by his genuine personality.
In most situations, neuroticism is thought to be a negative trait. Jackie Robinson scored very low on this trait (total=23), meaning that he was calm, easy-going, and able to resist temptations. These facets are constantly demonstrated throughout Robinson's autobiography. Robinson was the first African American to play in the Major Leagues for baseball. He was considered the "experiment" of major league baseball. Although Robinson played for a team in the North, there was much resentment from the players of the Dodgers, many of whom were from the South. When he first started traveling with the team, not only was Robinson and his family separated from the team physically, they also had to face many derogatory comments from Robinson's fellow teammates. However, Robinson kept his composure and sucked it up. As Robinson said, "I don...
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...providing my wife with a decent home, a nest egg in the bank, and a garden for her to work in and watch green and glorious colored things grow" (276). Robinson always was a fighter, and his personal struggle reached many. He gave people courage from every walk of life to go on with their struggles.
From the time he was a little boy, Jackie Robinson was a likeable individual who tried to better himself and society. He demonstrated traits of extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness, but not neuroticism. Robinson's array of traits allowed him to succeed in life and pave a path for future members of the African American race. As he once boldly put it, "The game had done so much for me, and I had done so much for it" (134).
Robinson, Jackie. 1972. I Never Had It Made. New York: G.P Putnam's Sons.
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