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soft.factionary Expand your knowledge

Look up, learn, and understand the psychological terminology of soft.fact.

soft.factionary Expand your knowledge


Soft Facts

A precise definition of soft facts does not (yet) exist in the scientific literature. We refer to everything that makes up a person - hard facts (professional competencies), soft skills (methodological competence, social competence, personal characteristics, etc.) - as well as the result that emerges from group dynamic processes as soft facts. This outcome includes personal experience, trust, responsibility, communication, mindfulness, resilience, motivation, emotional intelligence, self-efficiency, proactivity and learning. By looking at these dynamic processes that occur in the social context between people, it is possible to make soft facts measurable - just like hard facts.

Greiser, C., Martini, J., Stephan, L., Tamdjidi, C. (2020) Tap Your Company's Collective Intelligence With Mindfulness. Boston Consulting Group x Awaris


Personality is understood as the totality of all temporally stable characteristics that can be used to describe a person's experience and behaviour (Asendorpf, 2020).

Asendorpf, J. (2020, September 03). Persönlichkeit. In Dorsch Lexikon der Psychologie. Retrieved from:

Big 5

The Big 5 are a taxonomy of five basic personality dimensions: Neuroticism or Reversed Emotional Stability (tendency to be anxious and nervous), Extraversion (tendency to be sociable, dominant and cheerful), Openness (tendency to be preoccupied with deep and beautiful subjects), Agreeableness (tendency to be friendly and harmonious), Conscientiousness (tendency to plan for the long term, self-discipline and diligence). The Big 5 are broad personality dimensions that can be used to describe personality differences across cultures. Historically, similar five factors have been found again and again in different data sets (overview: John et al., 2008), so they can all be interpreted as Big 5 and a five-factor structure can be considered very robust. The Big 5 are the best known and most widely used trait taxonomy in personality research. The Big 5 allow psychology to have a common language for naming and communicating about basic personality dimensions. Therefore, they have an integrating and guiding effect on the field, which now has numerous studies on the predictive power, transcultural equivalence, stability over time and development across the life span of the Big 5.

Soto, C. J., & John, O. P. (2017). The next Big Five Inventory (BFI-2): Developing and assessing a hierarchical model with 15 facets to enhance bandwidth, fidelity, and predictive power. Journal of personality and social psychology, 113(1), 117.


Openness is one of the personality traits of the Big 5 personality model. It’s defined by an outspoken nature and unreserved honesty.

Characteristic of a high level of openness is a wide-ranging interest, curiosity about dealing with complex issues as well as creativity in developing new ideas.

Low levels of openness are characterised by a pragmatic focus, a consistency of ideas and a preference for routine with little interest in abstract or imaginative thought.


Conscientiousness is one of the personality traits of the Big 5 personality model. It’s defined by following socially prescribed norms for impulse control and by purposeful, planned and well-structured behaviour.

Characteristic of a high expression in conscientiousness are an efficient, consistent way of working, a preference for cleanliness and order, and reliable consistency.

Low levels of conscientiousness are characterised by a comfortable leisureliness with a tendency to procrastinate, a high tolerance for chaos and a tendency to jumpiness, which may be accompanied by recklessness or irresponsibility.


Extraversion is one of the personality traits of the Big 5 personality model.

It’s defined as a mental attitude characterised by concentration of interests on external objects. Introversion is understood as the opposite of extraversion. People with an introverted nature tend to concentrate their interest away from the outside world towards inner-emotional processes.

High levels of extraversion are characterised by an energetic, enthusiastic drive, a high degree of assertiveness with a tendency to take the lead and a high level of sociability and talkativeness.

Characteristic of a low expression in extraversion is a less enterprising, enthusiastically reserved nature, a tendency to adaptability in groups and a quiet reclusiveness.


Agreeableness is one of the personality traits of the Big 5 personality model.

It’s defined by a sense of community, a willingness to cooperate and to identify with others.

High levels of agreeableness are characterised by respectful, courteous politeness, a tendency to be empathetic, warm, helpful and selfless, and a tendency to be lenient and trusting of others.

Characteristic of low levels of agreeableness are directness, which can come across as brusque and rude, a tendency towards detachment and indifference, and emotional detachment, which can lead to mistrust and frequent criticism.

Emotional Stability

Emotional stability is one of the personality traits of the Big 5 personality model.

Emotional stability and emotional lability are two human patterns of dealing with emotions. For a person with a stable emotional system, only a high activation leads to an emotional reaction. For a person with an unstable emotional system, even a low level of activation causes them to react emotionally, their emotions "boil over" quickly. People who tend to have quick emotional reactions also take longer to recover from their emotional outbursts. In contrast, people who only experience an emotional outburst in response to very strong stimuli, recover much more quickly.

Characteristic of a high level of emotional stability are a secure, calm composure, a self-assured, contented confidence and a balanced relaxation that goes hand in hand with a controlled communication of feelings.

Characteristic of a low level of Emotional Stability are anxiety, which is characterised by tension and worry, a tendency towards joyless dejection and a volatility of feelings, which is accompanied by irritability and moody, fluctuating moods.


Derived from the French word "rôle", which refers to the role of an actor in theatre, Driskell, Driskell, Burke & Salas (2017) define the role that a team member takes on as an internalised, enduring repertoire of behaviours. Roles are important in teams because they represent patterns of behaviour that are related with the activities of other team members in pursuit of the team goal. As the execution of a role is connected to a certain pattern of behaviour - and behaviour in a social context always also influences those around us- the role a team member carries out has consequences on the other team members.

An example: A person joins a new team. This person is used to make decisions as it suits the personality and besides, the person on their old team also made the decisions. Now, within the new team, this role is already taken. The new team member can now either choose another role, suiting the personality, or compete for this role with the other team member - a conflict can arise.

A team constellation in which multiple team members attempt to perform the same role may impair team effectiveness by leading to inefficiencies and conflict. On the other side, when each role is filled, a team is more likely to succeed. Either way, the distribution of roles will have consequences on the team’s behaviour and therefore the achievement of the team goal (Driskell et al., 2017). This shows how important it is, firstly, to be clear about the roles in a team and, secondly, to assign them according to the personality of each individual. soft.fact does that by using a model allocating core role tendencies and connecting personality and roles.

Driskell, T., Driskell, J., Burke, C., Salas, E. (2017). Team Roles: A Review and Integration. Sage Publications

Team Roles by soft.fact

Driskell et al. postulate that the models of a wide variety of researchers only use different names for similar role dimensions. For this reason, they developed the TRIAD Model (Tracking Roles In and Across Domains) that describes three primary behavioural dimensions that underlie team role behaviour: Dominance, Sociability and Task Orientation.

Figure 2. Three-dimensional scatterplot of the 13 role clusters. Note: SOC = sociability; TASK = task orientation; DOM = dominance. Derived from Driskell, T., Driskell, J., Burke, C., Salas, E. (2017). Team Roles: A Review and Integration. Sage Publications

Based on this model, Driskell et al. conducted a cluster analysis of 154 team roles described in previous research. Based on all this, they identified 13 primary team role clusters: Team Leader, Task Completer, Problem Solver, Evaluator, Teamwork Supporter, Follower, Coordinator, Social, Task Motivator, Critic, Attention Seeker, Power Seeker, Passive. These role dimensions are called Core Roles. 10 of the 13 Core Roles are regarded as social roles (Team Leader, Task Completer, Problem Solver, Evaluator, Teamwork Supporter, Follower, Coordinator, Social, Task Motivator, Critic), 3 as anti-social roles (Attention Seeker, Power Seeker, Passive). The distinction is due to the positivity or negativity of impact the role has on the team’s functionality.

Social roles and anti-social roles
We chose a role classification capturing both positive team roles and potentially negative team roles. With focus on the team's well-being and performance. "Positive" in this context means that these roles can have a positive influence on team dynamics. "Negative", on the other hand, means that these roles can have a negative influence on the team dynamics, which in extreme form and manifested can even prove toxic. To make the label comprehensible in a short and easy way, we use the phrases “social roles” and “anti-social roles” as some roles will more likely be beneficial in a social context and others won’t be. This doesn't necessarily mean that when having a tendency to display anti-social behaviour, this person is toxic for the team. Each person has more than one role tendency and can always choose to act in another role. As people first need to be aware of their possibilities before being able to make a conscious choice, soft.fact transparently shows all role tendencies of each team member - the social and anti-social ones.

Which roles are represented in an effective team?
Driskell et al. (2017) propose that effective teams require a balance of role distribution. The researchers further state that “an optimal team profile would involve team members enacting role activity that spreads over the high task orientation, high dominance and high sociability spaces” (Driskell et al., 2017). In other words: the diversity of distributed team roles is important, but not the inclusion of all possible team roles. Most role inventories only show social roles and leave out the spectrum of anti-social roles which are realistically nevertheless there. The soft.fact approach makes every role tendency transparent. soft.fact shows all 13 role tendencies a person has on an individual level and recommends to especially take over one out of the 10 social roles on a team level. Consequently, the role distribution in the team is highly dependent on each team member. Whenever the team settings change (e.g. a new team member joins the team), soft.fact takes this into consideration and adjusts the recommended role distribution accordingly.

Driskell, T., Driskell, J., Burke, C., Salas, E. (2017). Team Roles: A Review and Integration. Sage Publications


A value describes what a person considers desirable and worthwhile for themselves and others (Kluckhohn, 1951). Values guide people's behaviour and form the basis of decisions (Frey, 2016).

Kluckhohn, C. (1951). Values and value orientations in the theory of action. In: T. Parsons, & F. A. Shields (eds.), Toward a general theory of action (pp. 388–433). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Frey, D. (2016). Psychologie der Werte. Springer Verlag: Berlin Heidelberg


A motive is considered to be the latent evaluative disposition for goals and situation characteristics that lead to the expectation of goal achievement or goal failure. Motives refer to content classes of goals. Motives can be understood as organism-side determinants of motivation and thus as internal causes of behaviour (Puca, 2019).

Puca, R. (2021, January 12). Motiv. In Dorsch Lexikon der Psychologie. Retrieved from:

Way of Working

According to the Duden dictionary, working methods are the way of working, the method of working. Components of a person's ways of working are, for example, the desired way of interacting, the preferred focus working hours and the skills of a person.


Mindfulness is a translation of the Pali term sati, which refers to the ability of the mind to stay with something and be present with attention (Walach, 2020).

Walach, H. (2020, October 29). Achtsamkeit. In Dorsch Lexikon der Psychologie. Retrieved from:


According to the Duden dictionary, trust is a firm conviction of the reliability of a person or thing. Trust is defined in many different ways, but what they all have in common is that trust is an advance performance of the person(s) trusting associated with a positive expectation of the future. Trust implies taking individual or collective risks, as trust can be linked to negative consequences (Clases, 2020).

Clases, C. (2020, October 29). Vertrauen. In Dorsch Lexikon der Psychologie. Retrieved from:


Communication refers to a process in which an individual or a group conveys information about ideas, feelings and intentions to another individual or group. Communication goes beyond the mere transmission of a message; in addition to the exchange of information, motivational, emotional and social aspects are significant (Bierhoff, 2021).

Bierhoff, H. (2021, October 29). soziale Verantwortung. In Dorsch Lexikon der Psychologie. Retrieved from:


The term "motivation" means movere in Latin, to move. Motivation describes processes that involve setting and evaluating goals (Achtziger, 2020).

Achtziger, A., Gollwitzer, P., Bergius , R., & Schmalt, H., & (2020, October 29). Motivation. In Dorsch Lexikon der Psychologie. Retrieved from:


Efficacy beliefs or self-efficacy beliefs serve to assess one's own possibility of being able to realise measures to cause consequences. Accordingly, the self-efficacy expectation is the generalised conviction or specific expectation of achieving desired results with one's own behaviour (Heinecke-Müller, 2020).

Heinecke-Müller, M. (2020, October 29). Wirksamkeitsüberzeugungen, Selbstwirksamkeitsüberzeugungen. In Dorsch Lexikon der Psychologie. Retrieved from:


Learning potential describes a competence that is not only about the ability to learn, i.e. the ability to learn, but also about the desire to learn, i.e. the motivation to learn (Sarges, 2020).

Sarges, W. (2020, October 29). Lernpotenzial. In Dorsch Lexikon der Psychologie. Retrieved from:


Proactivity can be understood as a characteristic that includes identifying and acting on opportunities. Also characteristic of proactive behaviour is showing initiative and taking action and maintaining action until meaningful change occurs (Crant, 1995).

Crant, M. (1995). The Proactive Personality Scale and Objective Job Performance Among Real Estate Agents. Journal of Applied Psychology, 80(4), 532-537.


The Dorsch Dictionary of Psychology does not define the term responsibility without the word "social". In the team context, we are primarily concerned with responsibility in relation to other people, which is why the definition of social responsibility is considered an important part of the construct. Social responsibility has both the aspect of supporting the welfare of others and pursuing one's own goals without harming others in the process (Bierhoff, 2020).

Bierhoff, H. (2020, October 29). soziale Verantwortung. In Dorsch Lexikon der Psychologie. Retrieved from:

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is understood as the multidimensional ability to recognise feelings, to deal with and use feelings and to express feelings appropriately (Rindermann, 2020).

Rindermann, H. (2020, October 29). Intelligenz, emotionale. In Dorsch Lexikon der Psychologie. Retrieved from:


Resilience describes the resilience of an individual to develop successfully despite adverse and critical life events (Warner, 2020).

Warner, L. (2020, October 29). Resilienz. In Dorsch Lexikon der Psychologie. Retrieved from:


The Dorsch Lexicon of Psychology defines performance as the value created through the expenditure of energy. Psychologically, performance is the use of a person's available abilities as well as their result. The term "collective intelligence" is also closely interwoven with team performance and is described in a study by the Boston Consulting Group and Awaris as "a groups ability to perform the wide variety of tasks required to reach a goal. (Greiser et al., 2020).

Leistung (2020, October 29). In Dorsch Lexikon der Psychologie. Retrieved from:

Greiser, C., Martini, J., Stephan, L., Tamdjidi, C. (2020) Tap Your Company´s Collective Intelligence With Mindfulness. Boston Consulting Group x Awaris

Work Satisfaction

The Dorsch Dictionary of Psychology defines job satisfaction as a positive emotional state resulting from one's evaluation of one's job or experiences in one's job (Locke, 1976).

Locke, E. A. (1976). The nature and causes of job satisfaction. In M. D. Dunnette, Handbook of industrial and organizational psychology (S. 1297–1349). Chicago: Rand McNally.