My mind, my thoughts, my words

Applications of Trait Theory (P5)


The big 5 may be related to certain outcomes

  • O: artistic
  • C: job performance
  • E: leadership
  • A: social interests
  • N: criminal behaviour

Academic Performance

  • O: correlates with IQ .2 to .4; bigger vocabulary and knowledge, correlates negatively with class attendance
  • C: correlates positively with class attendance, exam grades and internal assessment, good predictor for acadmic performance in general
  • E: good at short MCQ, oral exams, class participation, but bad in long timed essay, homework (negative achievements depend on age; young + E = positive; more teacher attendance; older + E = prefer hanging out with mates)
  • N: worry, exam stress, correlates with academic performance -.2

Workplace Performance

Finding the best person before actually employing them ensures fewer hassels down the street. Personality tests and interviews may be carried out. But occupational criteria and performance criteria are difficult to assess.  The validity of traits in the workplace is controversial!

O liberal, open to future experiences low O conservative, stable, traditional
C achievement striving, active low C follows, contemplates, less concerned with high achievements
E challenges authority, likes to be empowered Introvert respects hierarchy, needs direction
A cooperative, likes to please others, respects low A independent, doesn’t share and trust

The most productive staff show:

  • job success (C is most associated with leaders; C and IQ (general mental ability) are the best predictors for job success. All correlations are under .4 though!)
  • job motivation (correlates with N -.3 and C .24)
  • job satisfaction (correlates with N -.29, C .26, E .25, A .17, O .02)

Maybe, IQ reflects what a person CAN do and personality traits predict what a person is LIKELY to do!?

Personality and Health

Are some personality types more likely to get sick? Some people fixate on minor illnesses and more readily seek medical attention. Different people, different coping strategies.

There are 4 ways personality might be linked to health:

  • personality > illness
  • biological cause > personality 
  •                                   > illness
  • personality > behaviour > illness
  • illness > personality

When assessing personality and health, it is important to assess personality BEFORE the illness, too, not just when the illness occurs or afterwards. Some correlations that have been found between health and personality:

  • high E: smoke more > lung cancer
  • Type A personality (competitive, in a hurry, aggressive, do things fast) have more heart attacks than Type B personalities (relaxed, lethargic, philosophical, do things in a slow manner) (Friedman & Rosenman)
  • High E and high N, and low C (moderator) may predict smoking and drinking behaviour


2 comments on “Applications of Trait Theory (P5)

  1. healthiestbeauty

    Reblogged this on The healthiest beauty.

  2. Pingback: Psychology (undergrad level) | My mind, my thoughts, my words

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This entry was posted on 16/04/2013 by in Psychological Issues and tagged , , , , , , , .
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