optimism, personality, performance, stress, employee
Research on cognitive ability measures consistently concludes that they are predictive of employee performance. While accounting for only about 9% of the variance in performance, however, cognitive ability measures are not sufficient. Alternative measures, such as measures of personality constructs, must be included to fully predict employee performance. The research on personality measures suggests that they are marginally predictive of employee performance. Research also suggests that predicative accuracy of personality measures can be enhanced when the measure is specific to the situation (i.e., stress measure are more predictive of performance in high stress situations compared to moderate or low stress situations). The current study compares a specific measure of a personality construct, the Seligman Attributional Style Questionnaire (a measure of optimism), with a broad, general measure of personality, the Gordon Personal Profile-Inventory, comparing jobs specifically requiring higher levels of optimism versus jobs that do not require high levels of optimism. The results suggest that the use of the SASQ under situationally specific conditions does not result in greater predictive accuracy that the more generic GPPI. In addition, neither measure resulted in significant correlations with employee performance. The study generally confirmed the literature on the limited utility of personality measures in predicting performance. It also raised questions about how situational specificity is operationized.
Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Davis, Mary, "The Relation Between Optimism And Job Performance: An Applied Setting" (2006). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 953.