Industrial-Organizational Psychology
Learning Module
Personality and
Work
Prepared by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology - SIOP
Lesson Objectives
At the end of this lecture, you should
understand:





What is meant by “personality.”
A brief history of personality theory and research.
The elements of the most commonly accepted model of
personality - the Five-Factor Model (“Big Five” or “FFM”).
How personality has been shown to affect job performance
and other work-related outcomes.
Why and how organizational managers use personality
assessment as a tool in decision-making.
Prepared by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology - SIOP
What is Personality?


Internal perspective: Processes within an individual that
explain why he or she behaves in characteristic ways.
 Attitudes, emotions, ways of thinking
 Fairly stable across time and situations
 Partly inherited
External perspective: How the individual is perceived by
others that he or she interacts with (reputation).
 “She has a great personality!”
 Shaped by two fundamental motives related to social
interaction


Getting along with others (cooperation)
Getting ahead of others (competition)
Personality Theory
and Research

Allport: Cardinal and Central Traits

Cattell: Sixteen Personality Factors

Eysenck: Extraversion, Neuroticism, and
Psychoticism
Prepared by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology - SIOP
Personality, Organizations, and
the Organization of Personality

Early researchers believed the personality-job
performance relationship was weak. Reasons:





Comparatively weak analytic techniques.
Inappropriate measures (most used psychopathology
inventories, e.g., MMPI).
No theoretical framework on which to base research
findings.
The belief that behavior is determined more by situations
than by traits (Mischel,1968).
Research and theoretical innovations that
“rehabilitated” personality in late 80’s, early 90’s.


Meta-analysis: A new quantitative method for
summarizing research findings.
The Five-Factor Model: A new organizing taxonomy for
personality structure (The Big Five).
The Five-Factor Model


Premise: Personality can be efficiently described with five
relatively independent trait dimensions.
Model derived from factor-analytic studies of much larger
sets of traits.
 Factor analysis: A method for reducing a large set of data
into something interpretable
 Allport & Odbert (1936): Identified more than 18,000 trait
terms in unabridged dictionary



Eventually factor analyzed into five dimensions
Five-factor model reproduced across many cultures and
languages (Saucier, Hampson, & Goldberg, 2000).
Research evidence points to the heritability (Rowe, 1997)
and stability (Costa & McCrae, 1997) of the FFM.
The Five-Factor Model

The Five Factors and their Characteristics:
Extraversion: Assertive, competitive, positive
emotionality, sociable
 Agreeableness: Warm, likeable, gentle, cooperative
 Conscientiousness: Orderly, dependable,
industrious, disciplined
 Emotional Stability: Relaxed, free from anxiety,
depression, negative emotionality
 Openness to Experience: Creative, cultured,
intellectual, perceptive

The Five-Factor Model and Job
Performance: Research Findings


Summary of meta-analytic findings (Barrick & Mount, 1991):
 Conscientiousness and Emotional Stability are the best
personality predictors of job performance across nearly
all jobs.
 Extraversion and Agreeableness are important in jobs
requiring a high degree of interpersonal work
 Less consistent evidence for Openness to Experience
Personality has been shown to predict:
 Job performance and results (e.g. $ sales volume)
 Job satisfaction
 Training performance
 Leadership
 ….and many more important job-related behaviors and
attitudes
How Does Personality Affect
Job Performance?

Theory and research show that Big Five factors impact
motivation, which in turn affects performance. For
example…
Self-efficacy
Conscientiousness
Performance
Goals

Thus, personality’s effect on performance may be fully or
partially (dotted line) mediated by motivation
Why Should Organizations
Test Personality?

Personality predicts aspects of job performance
that may not be strongly related to knowledge,
skills or abilities.
Incremental validity
 Predicts what a person will do, as opposed to what
they can do.
 Contextual job performance (Borman & Motowidlo,
1993)



Organizational Citizenship Behaviors: Willingness to
“go above and beyond” the call of duty
Unlike other selection tools, little or no evidence of
adverse impact (different selection ratios between
demographic groups).
Personality in Selection
Decisions: A Case Study

You’ve been hired to design a selection system for
customer service workers at McToxic Pizza

Step 1: Conduct a thorough Job Analysis


Step 2: Refer worker attributes to a validated model
of personality (e.g., the Big Five)


You discover that high-performers are friendly,
dependable, and low in imagination
Friendly: Agreeableness; Dependable:
Conscientiousness; Unimaginative: (Low) Openness
to Experience.
Step 3: Incorporate a personality test as one factor
guiding selection decisions

DO NOT base selection decisions solely on a single
test score of any kind!!
Big Five Mini-Marker Exercise
How Accurately Can You Describe Yourself?
1
Inaccurate
2
Slightly
Inaccurate
1. Bashful
2. Bold
3. Careless
4. Cold
5. Complex
6. Cooperative
7. Creative
8. Deep
9. Disorganized
10. Efficient
11. Energetic
12. Envious
13. Extraverted
14. Fretful
3
Neither
15. Harsh
16. Imaginative
17. Inefficient
18. Intellectual
19. Jealous
20. Kind
21. Moody
22. Organized
23. Philosophical
24. Practical
25. Quiet
26. Relaxed
27. Rude
28. Shy
4
Slightly
Accurate
5
Accurate
29. Sloppy
30. Sympathetic
31. Systematic
32. Talkative
33. Temperamental
34. Touchy
35. Uncreative
36. Unenvious
37. Unintellectual
38. Unsympathetic
39. Warm
40. Withdrawn
Reverse score items:
1, 3, 4, 9, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 25, 27, 28, 29,33, 34, 35, 37, 38, 40
1=5
2=4
3=3
4=2
5=1
Sum items:
1, 2, 11, 13, 25, 28, 32, 40 = Factor I
12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 33, 34, 36 = Factor II
4, 6, 15, 20, 27, 30, 38, 39 = Factor III
3, 9, 10, 17, 22, 24, 29, 31 = Factor IV
5, 7, 8, 16, 18, 23, 35, 37 = Factor V
Extraversion (Factor I)
1. Bashful
2. Bold
3. Careless
4. Cold
5. Complex
6. Cooperative
7. Creative
8. Deep
9. Disorganized
10. Efficient
11. Energetic
12. Envious
13. Extraverted
14. Fretful
15. Harsh
16. Imaginative
17. Inefficient
18. Intellectual
19. Jealous
20. Kind
21. Moody
22. Organized
23. Philosophical
24. Practical
25. Quiet
26. Relaxed
27. Rude
28. Shy
29. Sloppy
30. Sympathetic
31. Systematic
32. Talkative
33. Temperamental
34. Touchy
35. Uncreative
36. Unenvious
37. Unintellectual
38. Unsympathetic
39. Warm
40. Withdrawn
Emotional Stability (Factor II)
1. Bashful
2. Bold
3. Careless
4. Cold
5. Complex
6. Cooperative
7. Creative
8. Deep
9. Disorganized
10. Efficient
11. Energetic
12. Envious
13. Extraverted
14. Fretful
15. Harsh
16. Imaginative
17. Inefficient
18. Intellectual
19. Jealous
20. Kind
21. Moody
22. Organized
23. Philosophical
24. Practical
25. Quiet
26. Relaxed
27. Rude
28. Shy
29. Sloppy
30. Sympathetic
31. Systematic
32. Talkative
33. Temperamental
34. Touchy
35. Uncreative
36. Unenvious
37. Unintellectual
38. Unsympathetic
39. Warm
40. Withdrawn
Agreeableness (Factor III)
1. Bashful
2. Bold
3. Careless
4. Cold
5. Complex
6. Cooperative
7. Creative
8. Deep
9. Disorganized
10. Efficient
11. Energetic
12. Envious
13. Extraverted
14. Fretful
15. Harsh
16. Imaginative
17. Inefficient
18. Intellectual
19. Jealous
20. Kind
21. Moody
22. Organized
23. Philosophical
24. Practical
25. Quiet
26. Relaxed
27. Rude
28. Shy
29. Sloppy
30. Sympathetic
31. Systematic
32. Talkative
33. Temperamental
34. Touchy
35. Uncreative
36. Unenvious
37. Unintellectual
38. Unsympathetic
39. Warm
40. Withdrawn
Conscientiousness (Factor IV)
1. Bashful
2. Bold
3. Careless
4. Cold
5. Complex
6. Cooperative
7. Creative
8. Deep
9. Disorganized
10. Efficient
11. Energetic
12. Envious
13. Extraverted
14. Fretful
15. Harsh
16. Imaginative
17. Inefficient
18. Intellectual
19. Jealous
20. Kind
21. Moody
22. Organized
23. Philosophical
24. Practical
25. Quiet
26. Relaxed
27. Rude
28. Shy
29. Sloppy
30. Sympathetic
31. Systematic
32. Talkative
33. Temperamental
34. Touchy
35. Uncreative
36. Unenvious
37. Unintellectual
38. Unsympathetic
39. Warm
40. Withdrawn
Openness to Experience (Factor V)
1. Bashful
2. Bold
3. Careless
4. Cold
5. Complex
6. Cooperative
7. Creative
8. Deep
9. Disorganized
10. Efficient
11. Energetic
12. Envious
13. Extraverted
14. Fretful
15. Harsh
16. Imaginative
17. Inefficient
18. Intellectual
19. Jealous
20. Kind
21. Moody
22. Organized
23. Philosophical
24. Practical
25. Quiet
26. Relaxed
27. Rude
28. Shy
29. Sloppy
30. Sympathetic
31. Systematic
32. Talkative
33. Temperamental
34. Touchy
35. Uncreative
36. Unenvious
37. Unintellectual
38. Unsympathetic
39. Warm
40. Withdrawn
Caveats and Future Research
Directions

Is the Big Five the best model?




Are self-report personality tests accurate?



It’s a model of personality, not a theory
Some research suggests that 3, 7, or 9 factor models best
represent human personality
Studies have shown greater predictive validity for finer-grained
facets of personality - measure predictors and criteria at the
same level.
Personality test-takers can distort responses when instructed to
do so
Most research suggests that distortion does not undermine
validity of personality tests
Again: How does personality affect performance?

Are there other mechanisms besides motivation?
References

General overview





Meta-analyses



Barrick, M.R., & Ryan, A.M. (Eds.). (2003). Personality and work: Reconsidering
the role of personality in organizations. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
Roberts, B.W., & Hogan, R. (Eds.). (2001). Personality psychology in the
workplace. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
Hogan, R. (1991). Personality and personality measurement. In M.D. Dunnette &
L.M. Hough (Eds.), Handbook of industrial and organizational psychology (Vol 2).
Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
Hogan, R., Hogan, J., & Roberts, B.W. (1996). Personality measurement and
employment decisions. American Psychologist, 51, 469-477.
Barrick, M.R., & Mount, M.K. (1991). The Big Five personality dimensions and job
performance: A meta-analysis. Personnel Psychology, 44, 1-26.
Hough, L.M., Eaton, N.L., Dunnette, M.D., Kamp, J.D., & McCloy, R.A. (1990).
Criterion-related validities of personality constructs and the effect of response
distortion on those validities. Journal of Applied Psychology, 75, 581-595.
The Five-Factor Model




Wiggins, J.S. (Ed.) (1996). The Five-Factor Model of personality. New York:
Guilford.
Saucier, G., Hampson, S.E., & Goldberg, L.R. (2000). Cross-language studies of
lexical personality factors. In S.E. Hampson (Ed.), Advances in personality
psychology (Vol. 1). Philadelphia: Taylor & Francis.
Costa, P.T., & McCrae, R.R. (1997). Longitudinal stability in adult personality. In
R. Hogan, J. Johnson, & S. Briggs (Eds.), Handbook of personality psychology.
San Diego: Academic Press.
Rowe, D.C. (1997). Genetics, Temperament, and personality. In R. Hogan, J.
Johnson, & S. Briggs (Eds.), Handbook of personality psychology. San Diego:
Academic Press.
References (con’t)

Personality, Motivation, and Performance




Contextual Performance/OCB’s



Block, J. (1995). A contrarian view of the five-factor approach to personality
description. Psychological Bulletin, 117, 187-215.
Schneider, R.J., Hough, L.M., & Dunnette, M.D. (1996). Broadsided by broad
traits: How to sink science in five dimensions or less. Journal of Organizational
Behavior, 17, 639-655.
Incremental validity for facets


Borman, W.C., & Motowidlo, S.J. (1993). Expanding the criterion domain to
include elements of contextual performance. In N. Schmitt & W.C. Borman (Eds.),
Personnel selection in organizations. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
Alternatives to the Big Five


Kanfer, R., & Ackerman, P.L. (2000). Individual differences in work motivation:
Further explorations of a trait framework. Applied Psychology: An International
Review, 49, 470-482.
Judge, T.A., & Ilies, R. (2002). Relationship of personality to performance
motivation: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 797-807.
Barrick, M.R., Mount, M.K., & Strauss, J.P. (1993). Conscientiousness and
performance of sales representatives: Test of the mediating effects of goal-setting.
Journal of Applied Psychology, 78, 715-722.
Stewart, G.L. (1999). Trait bandwidth and stages of job performance: Assessing
differential effects for conscientiousness and its subtraits. Journal of Applied
Psychology, 84, 959-968.
Distortion

Hough, L.M. (1998). Effects of intentional distortion in personality measurement
and evaluation of suggested palliatives. Human Performance, 11, 209-244.
Descargar

SIOP-Industrial-Organizational Psychology Learning …