Deutsch: Gewissenhaftigkeit / Español: Conciencia / Português: Conscienciosidade / Français: Conscience / Italiano: Coscienziosità

People high on th dimension of conscientiousness tend to be hard working, ambitious, energetic, scrupulous, and persevering.

In psychology, conscientiousness is one of the five major dimensions of personality in the Five-Factor Model, also known as the Big Five personality traits. It refers to a person's level of self-discipline, carefulness, and thoroughness.

General Description

Conscientiousness encompasses several key aspects of a person's behavior and attitudes:

  • Self-discipline: The ability to control impulses and carry out tasks even when they are challenging or unpleasant.
  • Organization: Being systematic and orderly.
  • Dutifulness: A strong sense of duty and obligation.
  • Achievement-striving: A commitment to setting and accomplishing goals.
  • Cautiousness: The tendency to think through possibilities before acting.

Individuals high in conscientiousness are generally reliable, efficient, and organized. They tend to plan ahead, work diligently, and complete tasks successfully. Conversely, individuals low in this trait may display a lack of direction, poor impulse control, and difficulty adhering to social norms or completing tasks.

Application Areas

Conscientiousness has significant implications across various fields of psychology:

  • Occupational Psychology: Highly conscientious individuals are often preferred in the workplace due to their reliability and persistence. This trait is linked to job performance across various sectors.
  • Clinical Psychology: Lower levels of conscientiousness have been associated with various mental health disorders, including substance abuse and ADHD.
  • Health Psychology: Conscientiousness has been correlated with healthier behaviors, better stress management, and longer life expectancy.

Treatment and Risks

In therapeutic settings, aspects of conscientiousness such as self-discipline and organization can be cultivated to improve an individual's coping strategies and overall mental health. Cognitive-behavioral techniques, for example, can help enhance these traits.

However, excessively high levels of conscientiousness might also be associated with stress, perfectionism, and burnout, especially if individuals push themselves too hard and are overly critical of their performance.

Similar Terms

  • Diligence: Often used interchangeably with conscientiousness, particularly relating to the careful and persistent work or effort.
  • Prudence: Similar to cautiousness, involving wise or judicious behavior.


  • 'Conscientiousness' in the glossary of the


Conscientiousness is a fundamental personality trait that describes a person's level of responsibility, organization, and efficiency. It influences a wide range of behaviors from work performance to interpersonal relationships and has significant implications for both personal well-being and professional success. Understanding and managing levels of conscientiousness can play a crucial role in psychological therapy and personal development strategies.