The Big Five Theme Park: Assignment or discussion

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Yesterday, a few dear friends (all psychology professors) and I were having a nice chat via text. I said I wanted a theme park, perhaps it could be called SueFlags, SueLand, or SueWorld. Susan Nolan suggested SueZoo. That brief exchange was enough to generate this assignment prompt:

Create a theme park based on your Big Five scores. Explain how the elements of your theme park match each trait.

To flesh this out a little more, I would add this to the instructions:

Take the Big Five test on the website. When you receive your results, you’ll see a chart that depicts your traits. Take a screenshot of the chart and include it as part of your response. If you are uncomfortable revealing your Big Five scores, asked a willing friend or family member to take the Big Five test. Create a theme park based on their scores.

Name your theme park <your or their name>Wood. For example, if your name were Dolly, your theme park would be called DollyWood.

A version of this would work well for an in-class discussion. For a discussion, divide your class into small groups. Again, with the task of creating theme park elements, give each group a different low or high trait score. (If you have a small class, give each group both the high and low versions of a trait.) For example, one group would receive high neuroticism (or high emotionality or low emotional stability—use whatever term you use). Susan Nolan came up with this theme park attraction: “A haunted house that makes you anxious, although nothing actually bad ever happens.” Another group would receive openness to experience. Danae Hudson came up with this: “All new rides you've never seen! And a design your ride attraction.” Ask each group to create three theme park elements. Once discussion has subsided, invite a volunteer from each group to share with the class the trait they were assigned, their favorite theme park element their group created, and a brief explanation of how that element illustrates their assigned trait.

In our text exchange, Susan Nolan suggested other settings besides theme parks, such as “vacation destinations, shopping mall stores, restaurant dinner orders, type of transportation, pet species.” If time allows, assign a different trait to each group, then give the class a new setting.

What ChatGPT did with this assignment

If you are planning on going the assignment route rather than discussion, I have a ChatGPT alert. With this prompt, “Create a theme park based on your Big Five scores. Explain how the elements of your theme park match each trait,” ChatGPT generated this:

Welcome to "MindScape: The Big Five Adventure Park"! Step into a thrilling world where every corner of the park is designed to match the unique elements of my Big Five scores, providing an unforgettable experience for all visitors.

  1. Openness to Experience: The park's entrance, known as "The Gateway of Imagination," sets the stage for an extraordinary journey. It features vibrant colors, whimsical sculptures, and interactive art installations. Each attraction within the park caters to various facets of human curiosity, encouraging visitors to explore and discover new perspectives.
  2. Conscientiousness: "The Path of Achievement" is a meticulously organized area that appeals to visitors who appreciate structure and order. It houses intellectually stimulating attractions like puzzle-solving challenges, strategy games, and a "Life Skills Academy" offering workshops on personal growth, time management, and effective goal setting.
  3. Extraversion: "The Plaza of Energy" is a bustling hub of social interaction, entertainment, and high-energy activities. It features lively shows, live music performances, and interactive games where visitors can compete with each other. The area also includes a "Hall of Laughter" with comedy clubs and improv shows to keep the atmosphere lively.
  4. Agreeableness: "The Garden of Harmony" provides a tranquil and serene environment where visitors can connect with nature. This area hosts peaceful rides, such as gentle boat cruises through beautiful landscapes, and offers meditation sessions, yoga classes, and mindfulness workshops. Visitors can also engage in cooperative games and team-building activities to foster a sense of unity and cooperation.
  5. Neuroticism: "The Realm of Thrills" is an adrenaline-pumping zone designed to satisfy the thrill-seeking nature of visitors. It features exhilarating roller coasters, daring skydiving simulations, and bungee jumping adventures. For those seeking a milder experience, there are virtual reality experiences that simulate extreme sports and adventure activities.

Additional features: a) "The Mind's Observatory" is a centerpiece of the park, offering a panoramic view of the entire landscape. Visitors can reflect upon their experiences, engage in self-reflection, and journal their thoughts. b) "The Harmony Gardens" offer beautifully landscaped areas where visitors can relax, rejuvenate, and appreciate the park's natural surroundings. c) "The Knowledge Arcade" is an interactive educational space, blending technology and learning. Visitors can engage in hands-on exhibits, science demonstrations, and virtual reality simulations to expand their knowledge.

"MindScape: The Big Five Adventure Park" celebrates the diversity of human personality and offers something for everyone, catering to each person's unique preferences and interests. So come, embark on this extraordinary journey of self-discovery and adventure!

Aside from whiffing on neuroticism, it’s not bad, but it didn’t address the question. The original question asked about a person’s specific scores. As a student, I could modify the question to include Big Five scores. For example, a student could prompt ChatGPT with this, “Create a theme park based on high agreeableness, high conscientiousness, low neuroticism, moderate openness, and low extraversion. Explain how the elements of your theme park match each trait.” This is what ChatGPT did with that:

Welcome to Harmony Haven, a theme park designed to cater to individuals with high agreeableness, high conscientiousness, low neuroticism, moderate openness, and low extraversion. Our park is designed to provide a serene and organized environment, with attractions and activities that align with the specific traits of our visitors. Let's explore how each trait is reflected in the elements of Harmony Haven:

  1. High Agreeableness: Harmony Haven emphasizes a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere, encouraging cooperation, empathy, and kindness. The park is adorned with beautiful gardens, tranquil water features, and soothing music, creating a serene ambiance. The staff members are trained to provide exceptional customer service, ensuring that guests feel welcomed, valued, and their needs are met.
  2. High Conscientiousness: Harmony Haven is meticulously designed and maintained to cater to guests who appreciate order, organization, and attention to detail. The park features clearly marked pathways, clean and well-maintained facilities, and reliable operational schedules. Our park's rides and attractions undergo thorough safety inspections and regular maintenance to ensure a worry-free experience.
  3. Low Neuroticism: Harmony Haven aims to create a stress-free environment, avoiding intense stimuli or situations that may cause anxiety or distress. The park offers gentle and family-friendly attractions such as gentle rides, scenic walks, and educational exhibits. Quiet areas are available for guests to relax, meditate, or simply enjoy a moment of tranquility away from the crowds.
  4. Moderate Openness: While not overly avant-garde, Harmony Haven still offers moderate levels of novelty and exploration for visitors who appreciate new experiences within their comfort zone. The park features diverse themed areas, each with its own unique atmosphere and attractions. These areas provide a range of experiences, including art exhibitions, cultural displays, and interactive workshops that encourage creativity and learning.
  5. Low Extraversion: Harmony Haven understands the preference for a more peaceful and introspective experience. The park provides secluded areas, including quiet gardens, reading nooks, and peaceful walkways, where guests can enjoy moments of solitude. The entertainment options cater to smaller groups, and there are opportunities for personal reflection and self-discovery throughout the park.

Overall, Harmony Haven is a place where individuals with specific personality traits can find comfort, relaxation, and enjoyment. By aligning the elements of the park with high agreeableness, high conscientiousness, low neuroticism, moderate openness, and low extraversion, we create an environment that caters to the unique preferences and needs of our visitors, ensuring they have a memorable and fulfilling experience at our theme park.

In an attempt to thwart ChatGPT, I amended the assignment instructions so that the Big Five score graph is included and naming the park <name>Wood. This is how ChatGPT handled these new instructions.

As an AI language model, I don't have personal traits or the ability to take tests. However, I can still create a theme park based on the Big Five traits for you. Let's imagine a theme park called "AdventureLand" based on a fictional person's Big Five scores.

AdventureLand is designed to cater to the traits of our visitor, John, who has taken the Big Five test and scored as follows:

  • Openness: High
  • Conscientiousness: Moderate
  • Extraversion: Low
  • Agreeableness: High
  • Neuroticism: Low

AdventureLand is a theme park that embraces creativity, curiosity, and exploration. It offers a variety of immersive and educational experiences that align with John's traits. Here's how the different elements of the theme park match each trait:

  1. Openness: AdventureLand stimulates John's openness with innovative and unconventional attractions. It features interactive art installations, virtual reality experiences, and science exhibitions. There are also workshops and classes where visitors can learn about different cultures, cuisines, and artistic techniques.
  2. Conscientiousness: While AdventureLand encourages exploration and spontaneity, it also caters to John's need for structure and organization. The park provides detailed maps and schedules, allowing visitors to plan their day efficiently. There are also "challenge zones" where visitors can test their problem-solving skills and engage in team-building activities.
  3. Extraversion: Although John scored low on extraversion, AdventureLand acknowledges that everyone needs social interaction in varying degrees. The park includes cozy cafes and quiet corners for introspective moments, as well as social areas where visitors can engage in group activities, such as interactive shows, musical performances, and community games.
  4. Agreeableness: AdventureLand fosters a sense of harmony and cooperation. It features attractions that promote teamwork, such as escape rooms, collaborative challenges, and group adventures. The park encourages empathy and understanding through themed areas that showcase different cultures, histories, and ecological awareness.
  5. Neuroticism: To cater to John's preference for a calm and relaxed environment, AdventureLand incorporates tranquil gardens, meditation spaces, and wellness centers. The park also offers nature trails, soothing music performances, and mindfulness workshops to promote emotional well-being and stress reduction.

By considering John's Big Five scores, AdventureLandWood creates an immersive experience that aligns with his traits, providing a diverse range of attractions and activities to cater to his preferences and promote personal growth.

Please note that this is a fictional example, and the actual Big Five scores and preferences may vary for different individuals.

Alternatively, instead of trying to thwart ChatGPT, you could use it. Ask students to give ChatGPT any of the above prompts, and then ask your students to critique the response. “Did ChatGPT characterize each Big Five trait correctly? Did its theme park elements accurately match each trait? Explain your rationale for each decision.”


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About the Author
Sue Frantz has taught psychology since 1992. She has served on several APA boards and committees, and was proud to serve the members of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology as their 2018 president. In 2013, she was the inaugural recipient of the APA award for Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at a Two-Year College or Campus. She received in 2016 the highest award for the teaching of psychology--the Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award. She presents nationally and internationally on the topics of educational technology and the pedagogy of psychology. She is co-author with Doug Bernstein and Steve Chew of Teaching Psychology: A Step-by-Step Guide, 3rd ed. and is co-author with Charles Stangor on Introduction to Psychology, 4.0.