Everything You Need To Know about conscientious

Everything You Need To Know about conscientious
Written By: Counselling Psychologist
M.Sc. Psychology - Swansea University, UK.
Reviewed By: Counselling Psychologist
MA Psychology Pennsylvania State University, USA
Last Updated: 30-03-2023

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What is it?

Conscientiousness is a part of the Big5 personality traits. It reflects the tendency of a person to be organized, responsible, goal-directed, cautious, dutiful and to adhere to the norms and rules. This trait involves being mindful of those around you be it friends, family, or even strangers. Conscientiousness enables a person to be good at self-regulation and impulse control. It influences various choices of a person like whether one will set and keep a long-term goal, or act impulsively or not.

Traits of conscientious people:

  • Conscientious people don’t just set up their goals but also a target deadline for the same. Such people pay attention to details which helps them in succeeding. They take the initiative to set up their goals and direct their attention and energy toward achieving them.
  • These people are not impulsive but are involved in planning excessively and always abide by their schedules i.e. are punctual. Conscientiousness leads people to consider and ponder upon the possible consequences of their actions thereby enabling them to make a well-informed decision and not act impulsively leading them to be more confident about their decisions.
  • They are known to be greatly involved in self-care through mediums of exercise, proper sleep, and healthy eating. They generally do not engage in practices of smoking or heavy consumption of alcohol. Research has showcased that conscientiousness can be associated with low blood pressure, lower diabetic rates, lower chances of stroke, and fewer problems related to joints.
  • Conscientious people tend to be more organized and thus thrive with schedules and routines. They are self-disciplined and tend to persevere even when things go downhill.
  • Conscientious people tend to be more reliable with a strong sense of duty and moral obligation whereas the unconscientious ones tend to view rules and regulations as restricting and confining. They are generally irresponsible towards others.
  • Conscientious people tend to be more empathetic towards others in general.
  • Conscientious people are very diligent and stick to their problem until it is solved.
  • Conscientious people not only do abide by the rules but also stand forth and take responsibility for their actions.

Is conscientiousness genetic?

Studies in behavioral genetics have showcased that conscientiousness is attributed to both genetics and the environment in which one is raised. The prefrontal cortex is considered to be critical in reflecting the behavior of a person with conscientiousness.

Can conscientiousness have adverse effects?

Being too conscientious can have negative impacts as well like being too dedicated and diligent can result in burnout. Being highly conscientious may lead one to take up more tasks than required and the dedication to finish all may take a toll on one’s health. Highly conscientious people tend to be too hard on themselves and set excessively high standards for themselves. Such people are perfectionists and therefore can take life very hard.

What can be done?

One can work to build conscientious personalities in the following ways:

  • Put in the effort and try to focus on the specifics. Just resolving to do the same won’t work. Conscientiousness can be achieved if one works hard. Try to start with the basics and try to be punctual, and organize your desk. Take baby steps to do the same. You can start by maybe organizing it every 2-3 days for beginners and slowly growing.
  • Set your schedule and try to abide by it. This encourages organization and self-discipline oneself.
  • The usage of reminders can prove to be beneficial for those who are not naturally conscientious. It is easier for such people to stray off the course. The usage of reminders is a good way to stay focused. 
  • Focusing on the nooks and corners can restrain from being social which should be avoided. Conscientiousness is fundamentally being social so trying to be social i.e. staying in touch with family and friends can encourage conscientious behaviors.

Scoring high in conscientiousness trait does not define your overall personality. It is one trait of yours. It might tell what you and why but is not the only one responsible for defining who you are. A personality consists of all the Big 5 personality traits. Accept who you are and know that there’s always scope for improvement.

By Divyangana



  1. Conscientiousness. (n.d.). Retrieved September 03, 2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/basics/conscientiousness
  2. Publishing, H. (n.d.). Raising your conscientiousness. Retrieved September 03, 2020, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/raising-your-conscientiousness





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