So I am writing a story where the magic system is based off of personality traits of the individual. I would like to base it off of something like the Big Five model or the Myers-Briggs model or even the four temperaments model. I am going to pick one eventually to base it off of, that is not really the question. What I am more concerned about is if using the same terminology as these personality models would be frowned upon.

So what I mean by that is take the Big Five: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeable, and Neurotic (OCEAN). Can I use the same terminology (OCEAN) to describe the traits that people have or do I need to find other words (i.e. change Extraversion = Outgoing, etc.) or do I need to come up with my own system all together?

1 Answer 1


You can use those terms.

Traits like extroversion are scientific concepts and not copyrightable.

What you cannot use are the tests (NEO-PI-R, MBTI).

  • But I can use those models to make up my own way to test though? Is that a fair assumption? I just can't use the same results as those tests that are listed above. For example, Q: "I like people." A: Agree; +1 Extroversion.
    – Dtb49
    Apr 20, 2018 at 12:57
  • Yes, @Dtb49, you can make up your own test to measure those traits.
    – user29032
    Apr 20, 2018 at 14:12

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