The primary aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between thinking styles and the big five personality dimensions. Four hundred and eight (149 males, 259 females) university students from Shanghai, mainland China, responded to the Thinking Styles Inventory and the NEO Five-Factor Inventory. It was found that thinking styles and personality dimensions overlap to a degree. As predicted, the more creativity-generating and more complex thinking styles were related to the extraversion and openness personality dimensions, and the more norm-favouring and simplistic thinking styles were related to neuroticism. No specific pattern was identified in the relationships of thinking styles to the agreeableness and conscientiousness dimensions. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.