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if personality can reliably predict job behaviors

It's obvious why personality has received so much attention: if it can reliably predict behavior, then it can also predict job performance, which is of enormous interest to employers of every type. Whether managers can use personality measures to make personnel decisions, or whether they should even try, is a question that has bitterly divided social psychologists.

Please read the attached files on a "pro" position, Horgan, Horgan & Roberts (1996) and for a "anti" position, Johnson, Wood and Blinkhorn (1988).


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As you assess if personality can reliably predict behavior and then also predict job performances, I am on the pro side. Although I do not see it as a guarantee, I do feel like it can offer managers some solid insights for enhancing personnel decisions. Evidence in the article from the first pdf file further suggests effectiveness as "In the largest meta-analysis of personality measures ever conducted, Ones, Viswesvaran, and Schmidt (1993) found that integrity tests, which are composed of facets of the Big-Five dimensions of conscientiousness and emotional stability, significantly predict supervisors' ratings of job performance in a variety of settings (estimated
operational validity = .41)."

As the first pdf file with the Hogan, Hogan, and Roberts article strongly maintains, I feel that these tests have value since "competently developed personality measures are valid predictors of real world performance." I see them as a way to offer some preliminary insights and some proactive "red flags" about how an employee might behave or perform in a specific role, task, or context at work. If an employer is seeking a certain personality type to fulfill a certain work task, then I see this usage as potentially beneficial.

The authors also concede that "well-constructed measures of normal personality are valid predictors of performance in virtually all occupations." They also maintain that "using well-developed personality measures for preemployment screening is a way to promote social justice and increase organizational productivity." Advocates also maintain that intelligence tests are useful since they can "predict important practical outcomes (e.g., "Mainstream Science, 1994)." Because procedures are such a vital part of any job, I feel like this benefit is extremely valuable to ensure work routinization.

Advocates also argue that since personality traits are often relatively stable across life spans, this reason validates the use of personality tests. "Roberts (1994) found that traits similar to the Big-Five dimensions of extraversion and conscientiousness measured in college predicted successful participation in the paid labor force 20 years later."

The authors conclude, "We are not suggesting that personality is destiny. Nor are we saying ...

Solution Summary

Using the article as a lens, this solution briefly assesses if personality can reliably predict job behaviors.