Cybernetic Big Five Theory – DeYoung (2015)

so – the link between Jordan Peterson and Stafford Beer, including the Enneagram?


[PDF] Cybernetic Big Five Theory. | Semantic Scholar

Cybernetic Big Five Theory

Journal of Research in Personality, 56, 33-58 – June 2015


  1. Colin G. DeYoung – University of Minnesota


Cybernetics, the study of goal-directed, adaptive systems, is the best framework for an integrative theory of personality. Cybernetic Big Five Theory attempts to provide a comprehensive, synthetic, and mechanistic explanatory model. Constructs that describe psychological individual differences are divided into personality traits, reflecting variation in the parameters of evolved cybernetic mechanisms, and characteristic adaptations, representing goals, interpretations, and strategies defined in relation to an individual’s particular life circumstances. The theory identifies mechanisms in which variation is responsible for traits in the top three levels of a hierarchical trait taxonomy based on the Big Five and describes the causal dynamics between traits and characteristic adaptations. Lastly, the theory links function and dysfunction in traits and characteristic adaptations to psychopathology and well-being.Less


I thank Jordan Peterson for introducing me to many of the ideas synthesized by CB5T and for developing a theory capable of explaining human activities from the most trivial to the most abstract (Peterson, 1999). Thanks to Valerie Tiberius for conversations about virtues and values; to Bob Krueger for thoughts on clinical relevance; to Jacob Hirsh for testing the limits of my distinction between traits and characteristic adaptations; and to Steve DeYoung and Alex Rautu for comments on an earlier version of the manuscript.

Cybernetic Big Five Theory.

[PDF] Cybernetic Big Five Theory. | Semantic Scholar