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Personality Tests - their role and effectiveness

What are some of the reasons that traits like conscientiousness or core self-evaluations, as measured by personality tests are likely to relate to job performance across many occupations? Why isn't extroversion as consistently beneficial on the job?

Why is it so hard to get a good measure of a person's personality? What are some of the best techniques for measuring personality?

Describe some of the positive features of general mental ability tests that make them attractive for selection purposes. What are the drawbacks?

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What are some of the reasons that traits like conscientiousness or core self-evaluations, as measured by personality tests are likely to relate to job performance across many occupations?

1. A study which investigated the 'Big Five' dimensions to various job performance criteria and occupations shows that conscientiousness showed consistent relations with all job performance criteria for all occupational groups. Extraversion was a valid predictor for two occupations involving social interaction, managers and sales (across criterion types) (barrack et al, (1991).
Dr John M. Oldham lists the following eight characteristic traits and behaviors of the Conscientious Personality style as listed in his The New Personality Self Portrait( Oldham et al, 1995):
1. Hard Work
2. Doing the right thing
3. Doing things the right way
4. Perfectionism
5. Perseverance
6. Order and detail
7. Prudence
8. Accumulation
The interests of the conscientious personality include having strong moral principles, not resting until the job is done right, working hard to do well, achieving and accomplishing things,loving to work and be challenged ( Oldham et al, 1995).
One can see how these factors are essential to job performance, irrespective of job criteria and occupation.

Why isn't extroversion as consistently beneficial on the job?

Extraversion refers to traits such as sociability, assertiveness, activity and talkativeness. Extraverts are energetic and optimistic (Rothmann, 2003). Many studies indicate that Extraversion is a valid predictor of performance in jobs characterized by social interaction, such as sales personnel and managers ( Bling et al, 2000,Vinchur et al, 1998, Lowery et al, 1994). There are no studies that indicate the importance of extraversion in other kind of jobs. This could be because extraverts are good at interpersonal communication and but there is nothing else in that trait that could ensure success in jobs or aspects of jobs that does not involve people interaction.

Why is it so hard to get a good measure of a person's personality?

2. According to Cronback and Meehl (1955), personality constructs are inferred traits. They
are not tangible and since it cannot be physically seen, there is the potential to question whether they exist. The validity of a measurement device refers to the extent to which it actually measures what it intends to measure. Abstract personality ...

Solution Summary

The paper studies the role of personality traits in job performance and looks at the benefits and drawbacks of using these tests for job selection

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