Do nice guys--and gals--really finish last? The joint effects of sex and agreeableness on income.

Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Impact Factor: 5.08). 11/2011; 102(2):390-407. DOI: 10.1037/a0026021
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Sex and agreeableness were hypothesized to affect income, such that women and agreeable individuals were hypothesized to earn less than men and less agreeable individuals. Because agreeable men disconfirm (and disagreeable men confirm) conventional gender roles, agreeableness was expected to be more negatively related to income for men (i.e., the pay gap between agreeable men and agreeable women would be smaller than the gap between disagreeable men and disagreeable women). The hypotheses were supported across 4 studies. Study 1 confirmed the effects of sex and agreeableness on income and that the agreeableness-income relationship was significantly more negative for men than for women. Study 2 replicated these results, controlling for each of the other Big Five traits. Study 3 also replicated the interaction and explored explanations and paradoxes of the relationship. A 4th study, using an experimental design, yielded evidence for the argument that the joint effects of agreeableness and gender are due to backlash against agreeable men.


Available from: Beth A. Livingston, May 30, 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The field of personality psychology offers a wealth of robust empirical research and a successful descriptive taxonomy, but neither explains the origins of the structure of human personality nor elaborates a generative framework for predicting the specific conditions that evoke the development of distinct personality traits. Exploration of traditional personality constructs within an evolutionary adaptive individual differences framework may help fill this explanatory gap. Personality traits exhibit functional features and patterns of variation expected from psychological adaptations designed to solve survival- and reproduction-related challenges recurrently faced during our species’ evolutionary history. Condition- dependent evolutionary models of personality have been proposed for decades, but only recently have begun to see empirical investigation. These models posit that species-typical psychological mechanisms take as input cues from the individual’s phenotype that would have been ancestrally linked to differential cost–benefit tradeoffs of alternative personality strategies, and produce as output personality trait levels with the greatest probabilistic net benefit for the individual. This paper elaborates a more nuanced conceptual framework that builds on earlier conceptualizations of condition-dependent traits to yield new and untested hypotheses about personality trait variation and covariation. It then describes clear future research directions for empirically investigating these readily testable hypotheses.
    Personality and Individual Differences 12/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.paid.2014.10.013 · 1.86 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study used a longitudinal data set of 5199 adults followed for 50 years to determine the factors that influence adult trait Agreeableness. In a large, nationally representative sample in the UK (The National Child Development Study), data were collected at birth, in childhood (age 11), and adulthood (ages 33, 42, and 50) to examine the effects of family social background, childhood intelligence, educational and occupation attainment on the personality trait Agreeableness assessed at age 50. Results showed that parental social status, childhood intelligence, education, occupation, and gender were all significantly associated with trait Agreeableness. Structural equation modelling showed that childhood intelligence, education, occupation, and gender had the direct effects on trait Agreeableness, whilst family social status affected adult trait Agreeableness mainly through education and occupation. Gender was the strongest predictor of trait Agreeableness. Limitations and implications of the study are discussed.
    Personality and Individual Differences 01/2015; 73:67–71. DOI:10.1016/j.paid.2014.09.025 · 1.86 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We examine the effects of cognitive and non-cognitive individual differences on the dynamics of career success (i.e. pay, occupational status) by comparing temporal changes in the validities of two measures of personality—Core Self Evaluations and the Big Five personality dimensions—to temporal changes in the validities of two standard intelligence tests. The main finding of two studies based on large representative samples is that the validity of intelligence clearly increases over time, whereas the validity of personality tends to be stable, indicating that intelligence, but not personality, drives career success.
    Applied Psychology 01/2015; DOI:10.1111/apps.12038 · 1.52 Impact Factor