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Personality and occupational specialty: An examination of medical specialties using Holland’s RIASEC model

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Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to re-examine the role of personality in occupational specialty choice, to better understand how and in what ways personality traits might influence vocational development after a person has chosen a career. Design/methodology/approach – The study tested hypotheses in a sample of UK medical students, each of whom had chosen their specialty pathway, and completed a measure of the Big Five personality traits. Associations of the junior doctor’s Big Five personality traits with the Holland’s realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, conventional (RIASEC) profiles of their medical specialty selections (derived from the O*NET database) were examined. Findings – Findings provided good support for the hypotheses. Junior doctors’ agreeableness (with social) and neuroticism (with realistic, artistic and enterprising) were the main predictors of the RIASEC profiles of their specialty selections. Research limitations/implications – The findings suggest that personality traits influence specialty selection in predictable ways, and differently compared to occupational choice. The paper discusses findings within a theoretical framework that explains how and why trait influences on within occupational specialty selection differ from influences on occupational interest and choice more broadly. The potential mechanisms underlying these associations are explored in the context of motivational aspects of agreeableness and neuroticism. Practical implications – Within-occupation specialties should feature in career guidance discussions and interventions more explicitly to enable people to decide whether occupational specialties are available that appeal to their individual differences. Originality/value – This is the first study to examine the relations of personality and occupational specialty through the lens of the RIASEC model, and the first to propose cross-occupation theoretical pathways from personality to specialty choice. The data from the field of medicine enable us to test the propositions in a suitably diverse set of occupational specialties.

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... While medicine is often conceptualized as a single discipline, this may be overly simplistic as physicians can pursue a diverse range of specialties. There are currently 65 specialties and 31 sub-specialties in the UK (General Medical Council, 2019), and these can differ so much as to be recognized as separate occupations (Woods et al., 2016). For example, a public health doctor aiming to improve population health has a very different role to that of a surgeon using practical techniques to treat problems in individual patients. ...
... As far as we are aware, no published articles have yet examined whether autistic traits are associated with medical specialty choice. However, under the assumption that one's personality causes a gravitation toward certain occupations by developing interests that lead to job skills (Woods et al., 2016), some researchers have examined differences in personality traits between practitioners in different areas of medicine. Although there is a consensus that personality traits are associated with medical specialty choice (Bexelius et al., 2016;Borges & Gibson, 2005;Borges & Osmon, 2001;Borges et al., 2004;Sievert et al., 2016;Woods et al., 2016), findings have not always been consistent. ...
... However, under the assumption that one's personality causes a gravitation toward certain occupations by developing interests that lead to job skills (Woods et al., 2016), some researchers have examined differences in personality traits between practitioners in different areas of medicine. Although there is a consensus that personality traits are associated with medical specialty choice (Bexelius et al., 2016;Borges & Gibson, 2005;Borges & Osmon, 2001;Borges et al., 2004;Sievert et al., 2016;Woods et al., 2016), findings have not always been consistent. It is also difficult to compare these observations as the studies involved utilized a wide variety of personality measures as well as different criteria for categorizing medical specialties (Borges & Gibson, 2005). ...
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There is a higher than chance representation of autistic people and people with elevated autistic traits in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) industries. Medical students, despite studying a STEM subject, have lower autistic traits than other STEM students. Medicine is heterogenous, covering technique-oriented specialties (e.g., surgery) with little patient interaction, person-oriented specialties (e.g., paediatrics), and general practice. We present an online survey in which 502 UK university students (medicine, n=344; STEM, n=94; non-STEM, n=64) reported their study area and career aspirations and completed the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ), a quantitative self-report measure of autistic traits. Our main findings were that medical students had significantly lower AQ scores than other STEM (p < 0.001, d = 0.614) and non-STEM students (p < 0.001, d = 0.874), and that medical students aiming to pursue technique-focussed career paths had significantly higher AQ scores than medical students aiming to pursue person-oriented career paths (p = 0.009, d = 0.318). Each of these effects remained statistically significant after adjusting for alpha inflation. The findings of this study corroborate those of previous research reporting a link between autism and STEM; they also provide evidence that autistic traits are a predictor of medical students' career ambitions, with those students with high AQ scores being more likely to pursue technique-focussed (as opposed to person-focussed) roles. This may be informative for developing and optimising the strengths of individuals with differing levels of autistic traits.
... One study identified all medical disciplines to be throughout 'investigativesocial' (Borges et al., 2004), whereas another study by Petrides and McManus (2004) revealed that e.g., surgery is rather a 'realistic' discipline (including people who like to work with things: here hands and tools, needing high levels of technical proficiency, craftsmanship and practical skills), internal medicine can be more assigned to the 'investigative' category (including people who like to work with data: exploring symptoms and relating them to latent causes to make a diagnosis), and psychiatry was considered to be more 'artistic' (including people who like to work with ideas: interpreting patients' problems using various bio-psycho-social theories and responding individually to each patient). In turn, physicians who selected specialties with more pronounced social features also had higher scores on the Big Five dimension of 'agreeableness, ' whereas higher 'neuroticism' implied rather a preference for 'artistic' and an aversion for 'realistic' or 'enterprising' specialties (Woods et al., 2016). Overall, two meta-analyses found three moderate relationships between personality traits (Big Five) and vocational interests (RIASEC) of medical students (see Duffy et al., 2009): 'extraversion' with 'enterprising' and 'social, ' and 'openness to experience' with 'artistic.' ...
... Therefore, their way of treating patients is fundamentally different based upon a more holistic (e.g., bio-psycho-social) view on persons' health and disease with many chronic patients consulting them again and again. This interpretation of their working style is consistent with some cited studies that considered psychiatry to be rather 'artistic' which is in turn positively associated with 'openness to experience' but also with 'neuroticism' (Petrides and McManus, 2004;Duffy et al., 2009;Woods et al., 2016). However, as this discipline is not as straightforward or concrete as surgery, this might mislead to the assumption of less 'impressive' work, receiving further support from the hospital when paged for patients on the somatic wards for only prescribing psychotropics. ...
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Character strengths profiles in the specific setting of medical professionals are widely unchartered territory. This paper focused on an overview of character strengths profiles of medical professionals (medical students and physicians) based on literature research and available empirical data illustrating their impact on well-being and work engagement. A literature research was conducted and the majority of peer-reviewed considered articles dealt with theoretical or conceptually driven ‘virtues’ associated with medical specialties or questions of ethics in patient care (e.g., professionalism, or what makes a good physician). The virtues of compassion, courage, altruism, and benevolence were described most often. Only a limited number of papers addressed character strengths of medical students or physicians according to the VIA-classification. Those articles showed that the VIA-character strengths fairness, honesty , kindness , and teamwork were considered most often by respondents to be particularly important for the medical profession. Available cross-sectional (time span: six years) and longitudinal (time span: three years) data regarding VIA-character strengths profiles of medical professionals were analyzed ( N = 584 medical students, 274 physicians). These profiles were quite homogenous among both groups. The character strengths fairness , honesty , judgment , kindness , and love had the highest means in both samples. Noteworthy differences appeared when comparing medical specialties, in particular concerning general surgeons and psychiatrists, with the former reporting clearly higher levels of e.g., honesty ( d = 1.02) or prudence ( d = 1.19). Long-term results revealed significant positive effects of character strengths on well-being and work engagement (e.g., perseverance on physicians’ work engagement) but also significant negative effects (e.g., appreciation of beauty and excellence on students’ well-being). Further, hope was significantly associated both positively with physicians’ well-being and negatively with students’ work engagement, possibly indicating specific issues concerning medical education or hospital working conditions. According to the modern-day physician’s pledge, medical professionals should pay attention to their own well-being and health. Therefore, promoting self-awareness and character building among medical professionals could be a beneficial strategy.
... The test classifies personality types into six types: realistic type, investigative type, artistic type, social type, enterprising type, and conventional type (RIASEC), and presents the preferred vocational majors and careers by each type. This instrument has been widely used in studies related to medical specialty choices [27,28], and is considered to be a suitable tool for examining the future specialty aptitudes of medical students. This study also classified the six personality types into person-oriented and object-oriented traits, and compared the differences in empathy scores according to these two traits [27]. ...
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Purpose: The purpose of this study is to determine whether there is any change in the empathy scores of third-year medical graduate students after they have taken a clerkship and have begun gaining more opportunities to meet patients through the clerkship. Methods: The participants were 109 third-year students in 2014 and 110 fourth-year students in 2015 at Kyungpook National University, School of Medicine. The author measured empathy using a modified and expanded version of the Korean version of the Jefferson Scale of Empathy of Physician Empathy-Student version and used the Holland-III aptitude test-S to assess vocational aptitude. Results: As a results, male students in their third year exhibited higher scores, but there was no significant difference in the fourth year. The empathy score increased slightly when third-year students became fourth-year students, but the difference was not statistically significant. There was no statistically significant change in the scores of both male and female students between the 2 years. The results of the vocational aptitude test showed that students who preferred person-oriented specialties had higher empathy scores when they entered their fourth academic year compared to objectively-oriented students. Conclusion: In this study, male students showed higher empathy scores than female students, an atypical finding that was inconsistent with the results of previous studies. However, the distribution of scores among male students was wider than that of female students, a finding consistent with previous studies. As such, individual differences need to be considered when developing curriculum in order to improve the empathy of medical students.
... A large volume of empirical studies provides convincing evidence of the importance of personality in predicting the person-job fit of physicians-in-training [18]. Previous studies examining the association between personality traits and medical careers have focused on medical students [5,14,[19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26] and a few specialties, mainly surgery [19,20,23,27] and psychiatry [20][21][22][23]27], with partly inconsistent findings [5,19,[21][22][23]27]. Medical students preferring surgery over other specialties have shown higher extraversion [19] and lower agreeableness [20] but inconsistent differences in neuroticism [19,27] as well as no differences in any distinctive characteristics [23] compared with other specialties. ...
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Background: Personality influences an individual's adaptation to a specific job or organization. Little is known about personality trait differences between medical career and specialty choices after graduating from medical school when actually practicing different medical specialties. Moreover, whether personality traits contribute to important career choices such as choosing to work in the private or public sector or with clinical patient contact, as well as change of specialty, have remained largely unexplored. In a nationally representative sample of Finnish physicians (N = 2837) we examined how personality traits are associated with medical career choices after graduating from medical school, in terms of employment sector, patient contact, medical specialty and change of specialty. Methods: Personality was assessed using the shortened version of the Big Five Inventory (S-BFI). An analysis of covariance with posthoc tests for pairwise comparisons was conducted, adjusted for gender and age with confounders (employment sector, clinical patient contact and medical specialty). Results: Higher openness was associated with working in the private sector, specializing in psychiatry, changing specialty and not practicing with patients. Lower openness was associated with a high amount of patient contact and specializing in general practice as well as ophthalmology and otorhinolaryngology. Higher conscientiousness was associated with a high amount of patient contact and specializing in surgery and other internal medicine specialties. Lower conscientiousness was associated with specializing in psychiatry and hospital service specialties. Higher agreeableness was associated with working in the private sector and specializing in general practice and occupational health. Lower agreeableness and neuroticism were associated with specializing in surgery. Higher extraversion was associated with specializing in pediatrics and change of specialty. Lower extraversion was associated with not practicing with patients. Conclusions: The results showed distinctive personality traits to be associated with physicians' career and specialty choices after medical school independent of known confounding factors. Openness was the most consistent personality trait associated with physicians' career choices in terms of employment sector, amount of clinical patient contact, specialty choice and change of specialty. Personality-conscious medical career counseling and career guidance during and after medical education might enhance the person-job fit among physicians.
... Although Lent and Brown (2013) omitted interests from their extended model, I argue that interests are essential to adaptive career behaviors throughout an individual's career. Similar arguments have been made regarding the influence of personality traits on individuals' career development after entry into an occupational field (e.g., Woods, Patterson, Wille, & Koczwara, 2016). Understanding how individuals make micro-career decisions within their jobs/occupations and how interests influence these decision-making processes can greatly benefit both interest and careers research. ...
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The current review presents a theoretical integration of interest research across the fields of vocational, organizational, and educational psychology and provides empirical evidence that supports this integration. Guided by the framework of Trait-State Interest Dynamics (TSID; Su, Stoll, & Rounds, 2018), I discuss three research themes that cut across and link the currently segregated disciplines: (1) the motivational functions of interests (direction, vigor, persistence), (2) the behavioral outcomes of interests (selection into academic and work environments, performance in academic and work settings, educational and career success), and (3) the affective and cognitive experience of interest and interventions for increasing interest. The review leverages advancement in interest research over the last two decades (1999-2018) since the publication of Savickas and Spokane’s (1999) edited book Vocational Interests: Meaning, Measurement, and Counseling Use, with a particular focus on new meta-analytic findings across the fields. I discuss updated evidence that counters previous beliefs about interests, areas where current research is lacking or needs further synthesis, and future directions for the development of interest theory, assessment, and application. In closing, I highlight the need to understand interest and interest fit as dynamic phenomena in individuals’ work life.
... This is a valuable characteristic, as many have noted the growing importance of lifelong learning and self-management of one's expertise in the modern world of work (Bhattacharya, Gibson, & Doty, 2005;Manyika et al., 2017). Academic research has supported the effectiveness of many individual-level applications where O*NET has been used to better understand when and how job transitions affect well-being and wage growth over time (Monfort et al., 2015), improving the selection of specialties within specific occupations (Woods, Patterson, Wille, & Koczwara, 2016), enhancing career preparedness among college undergraduate students (Koys, 2017), as well as diagnosing person-occupation fit in terms of individual abilities ( Converse, Oswald, Gillespie, Field, & Bizot, 2004). ...
... Agreeableness was also lower among these registrars compared to their peers from other fields. The results of Woods et al. 8 (using the Big Five Inventory and Holland's RIASEC) successfully supported their hypothesis that personality traits could be used to predict which specialty medical students would select. Pawełczyk et al. 9 compared personality traits, using the Formal Characteristics of Behaviour-Temperament Inventory, with final-year medical students' preference for surgical or non-surgical specialist fields. ...
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Background: Studies have attempted to categorise undergraduate medical and postgraduate students and specialists into personality types, to determine what influences personality has on specialty choice and job satisfaction. This study explored the personality characteristics of doctors in four surgical and three consulting specialties at an academic hospital in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Method: This analytical cross-sectional study used the Zuckerman-Kuhlman Personality Questionnaire as a measuring tool which included five scales: impulsive sensation seeking (subscales impulsivity and sensation seeking), neuroticismanxiety, aggression-hostility, sociability (parties and friends and isolation intolerance), and activity ( work activity and general activity). Overall, 70 consultants and senior registrars from surgical specialties (anaesthesiology, obstetrics and gynaecology, orthopaedic surgery, surgery), (response rate 60.3%) and 58 consultants and senior registrars from three consulting specialties (internal medicine, paediatrics, family medicine) (response rate 71.6%) participated. Results: Respondents from four surgical specialties had higher medians than the overall consulting group for the subscale sensation seeking. The subscale sensation seeking scored higher than impulsivity across surgical and consulting groups. The surgical group scored lower than the consulting group in neuroticism-anxiety, with anaesthesiology scoring the highest (42.1%) and orthopaedic surgery scoring the lowest (15.8%). Orthopaedic surgery scored the highest (50.0%) in aggressionhostility, sociability (52.9%), parties and friends (44.4%) and isolation intolerance (65.5%). The surgical group scored significantly higher than the consulting group for activity (p < 0.01). Conclusion: In exploring the personality types of specialists, the orthopaedic surgeons in specialist departments in Bloemfontein seem unique in their sociability and aggression-hostility traits, anaesthesiologists scored strongly on the sensation seeking and neuroticism-anxiety scales, while the obstetricians and gynaecologists did not manifest either of these traits strongly. This data contributes to a growing discussion on personality choice and job satisfaction.
... There is a sizable body of evidence conceptualizing personality characteristics as trait-like variables (Mõttus & Allerhand, 2017), and studies have shown relative stability of personality over time (Geukes et al., 2018;Roberts et al., 2006). With this conceptualization, personality is considered a stable predictor of work-related states and behaviours (e.g., Thoresen et al., 2004;Woods et al., 2016). Recent personality research has focused on intra-individual variability in inter-individual differences (Fleeson, 2004;Geukes et al., 2017;Woods et al., 2013). ...
Article
This study examines predictors and outcomes of intra‐individual mood variability in the workplace. During a 3‐month weekly study, we collected data on personality (extraversion and neuroticism), positive and negative workplace mood, and job performance from 357 participants. Path analysis revealed a positive relationship between neuroticism and intra‐individual variability in negative mood, which in turn predicted intra‐individual variability in performance. Results contribute to understanding between‐person differences in intra‐individual mood variability, and they suggest expanding the mood – performance relationship from a static perspective to an intra‐individual dispersion perspective. From a practical point of view, our results identify neuroticism as a potential risk factor for unstable performance, but they also give room for fostering predictable performance. Individuals with higher neuroticism may be prone to fluctuations in negative mood at work and indirectly to inconsistent performance – this highlights the necessity of personality assessment in both personnel selection and development. Interventions aimed at stabilizing mood can be an effective lever for stabilizing work performance.
... Why do they matter in STEM fields?The FFM can affect STEM choices by influencing the FUMIF. For instance, a study that investigated doctors' FFM scores with their occupations' demands according to the RIASEC model that will be seen further found that doctors with high A opted for Social features whereas doctors with high N did not opt for Realistic or Enterprising features of a career(Woods, Patterson, Koczwara & Wille, 2016). An interesting study found A to negatively influence STEM academical performance (measured with GPA) for individuals with high (+1 SD) cognitive abilities(Fagan, Hull, Gray & Bolen, 2020). ...
... The interests of young people are currently being studied through personal profiles on different platforms [53]. Students' interests are also analyzed using the Holland Test, validated for different cultures [54][55][56][57][58]. ...
Article
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Sustainable use of resources is an act of social responsibility, in which all the factors that benefit or exploit that resource are involved. Education, with its most important goal—finding a place in the labor market in the form of a career—is a process that involves multiple financial, human, and institutional resources. The present study analyzes to what extent the careers that young people in Romania build correlate with their personal interests. Using the Holland Test, the interests of a group of engineering students were identified. It was observed that there are three typologies of people: those who have chosen their field of study according to their interests, those who are interested in interdisciplinary fields of which engineering is a part, and the third category, who have no interest in the field of engineering. The percentages of the three categories are approximately equal, which should determine the change of educational policies in Romania, in the sense of promoting and practicing career guidance for the early discovery of young people’s interests and the sustainable convergence of all resources towards them.
... Person orientation is less consequential for STEM career choices, although interests in people appear to drive sub-field selections. For instance, a medical professional who has low interest in people is more likely to become a pathologist than a pediatrician (Borges et al., 2004;Woods et al., 2016). ...
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Interests are an essential part of the learning process, yet no previous work has examined the relationship between learning and individual differences in domain-general interests. Across a pilot study and a confirmatory follow-up study, we tested whether the broad interest traits of person orientation and thing orientation predict memory for STEM-related topics. In both studies (total N = 624), college student participants read brief educational texts on a randomly assigned STEM topic. The topics included artificial limb design, self-driving automobiles, and the anatomy of vision. Recall performance was measured using open-ended factual questions from the readings. Participants with stronger thing-oriented interests recalled more information from the texts, while person orientation was unrelated to recall. Thing orientation also predicted performance beyond the variance explained by gender and previous knowledge. The findings from these studies highlight the cognitive consequences of interests and present implications for STEM education.
... The relation between the big five factors of personality and academic motivation Personality is a predictor in terms of academic success, but also direct student motivation to achieve good results during their studies. The main features that define the personality profile of a medical student / aspirant to a medical career represent important attributes needed in learning and acquiring knowledge during college, and choice of specialties / medical careers and further development in this career (11)(12)(13)(14). High levels of personality dimensions Openness and Conscientiousness and low neuroticism (= for Emotional Stability), is the personality profile that can predict most accurately the efficiency and performance in academia (15)(16). ...
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Objective: The research assumes that there is a correlation between personality dimensions Extraversion and Conscientiousness which mean autonomy, ambition and consistency of purpose, self-efficacy and determination for young people who want to aspire to a medical career. Methods: In this study’s target group were included 130 students aspiring to a medical career, that participated in the summer school organized by UMF Tirgu-Mures in 2016, of which 25 (19%) male and 106 (81%) female, average overall age group being 17.23. Results: Within the female group, the Pearson cross-correlation coefficient of Openness and Conscientiousness is r. Pearson (105) = – .20, p <0.05. The Pearson coefficient of cross-correlation between Extraversion and Conscientiousness is = – .20, p <0.05. The Pearson coefficient of cross-correlation between emotional stability and conscientiousness is r. Pearson (105) = .36, p <.001. In the male group, the Pearson cross-correlation coefficient between the Extraversion and Conscientiousness personality dimensions is r. Pearson (N = 25) = -.39 where p <0.05. Conclusions: The Extraversion dimension of personality is a dynamic factor and motivator only when it is correlated with the Conscientiousness personality dimension. This indicates dynamism and autonomy, persistence in achieving goals, ambition, high motivation, interpersonal social intelligence and emotional stability, resulting a personality profile that matches one of the aspirants to a medical career.
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We welcome the comments on our article “Motivations and Intentions to practise in Underserved areas”.1,2 We concur with our colleagues that identifying motivational factors closely linked with intention to practice in underserved areas is a complicated task. It is challenging to disentangle the concurrent effect of practice type and specialty career choice. In our study design, we proposed anticipated practise type and anticipated specialty career choice as separate preferences.
Thesis
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Vocation, which is one of the factors affecting personality, takes a large part of life according to the working conditions of today. The life of an individual is shaped according to the vocation he/she prefers. Due to the different aims and qualifications of the vocations, the expectations of the employees vary. Employees with different personality traits reflect these characteristics to the vocation. Therefore, an interaction occurs between the vocation and the employee. The aim of this study is to determine the reflections of the vocation on personality traits and to conceptualize them by defining the reasons of these reflections. The study was conducted with Grounded Theory, one of the qualitative research techniques. Within the scope of the study, in-depth interviews were conducted with semi-structured interview form that was formed after the pilot interviews, with a total of 25 participants, including 9 intensive care nurses, 9 primary school teachers and 7 soldiers. The recordings of the interviews recorded with the voice recorder were decoded and documented. In accordance with the requirements of Grounded Theory, the data were coded, analyzed and interpreted with the observations of the researcher. As a result of the study, it was seen that those performing the vocations included in the scope of the study, showed changes depending on their vocations and had different reflections of the vocation on the personality traits. It was ascertained that vocation had such reflections on primary school teachers as; fair, prescriptive, neat, egalitarian, childlike, affectionate and resentful, as for soldiers it had reflections as; disciplined, self-confident, distanced, clear and proud. On the other hand, it was seen that, intensive care nurses, have gained a rational point of view, but they have also gained practical, self-sacrificing, meticulous, cold-blooded and solution-oriented features. The phenomenon, which is thought to be at the basis of the reasons of change performing the vocations in the scope of the research, is conceptualized as the “Vocation Member Exchange.”
Chapter
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Determining the relationships between five-factor model (FFM) personality dimensions and Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional (RIASEC) types is important for counselors and clients during the career choice process. There have been mixed findings regarding this relationship, necessitating this research. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between the FFM and RIASEC interest types employing a multivariate meta-regression meta-analysis. Thirty-four studies with 43 independent samples comprising 19,872 participants were employed. Moderator variables included mean age, country of sample, publication year, and FFM and RIASEC Measurement Scales. Estimated correlations between FFM and RIASEC scores ranged from −.08 to .36 suggesting that personality and interests are more distinct constructs than previously thought. FFM Measurement Scales and RIASEC scores by country of sample are important moderating variables in the FFM-RIASEC relationship. The findings have important implications for counseling and research.
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We examined whether physicians' personality traits moderate the association between medical specialty and well-being at work. Nationally representative sample of Finnish physicians (n = 2,815; 65% women; aged 25 to 72 years in 2015) was used. Personality was assessed with the shortened Big Five Inventory. Indicators of well-being at work were measured with scales from Work Ability Index, General Health Questionnaire, Jenkins' Sleep Problems Scale and Suicidal Ideation. Higher extraversion, openness to experience and agreeableness showed as personality traits beneficial for higher well-being at work among person-oriented specialties whereas higher conscientiousness but lower openness and agreeableness showed as personality traits beneficial for higher well-being at work among technique-oriented specialties. The role of neuroticism remains minor in general. Physicians' personality traits may moderate the association between medical specialty and well-being at work.
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This report focuses on the effort to generate vocational interest information included in the Worker Characteristics domain of the O*NET Content Model. The report describes how Holland's (1997) RIASEC work environments have been applied to the development of Occupational Interest Profiles (OIPs) for the occupations included in O*NET.
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This paper focuses on the role of personality at different stages of people's working lives. We begin by reviewing the research in industrial, work, and organizational (IWO) psychology regarding the longitudinal and dynamic influences of personality as an independent variable at different career stages, structuring our review around a framework of people's working lives and careers over time. Next, we review recent studies in the personality and developmental psychology domain regarding the influence of changing life roles on personality. In this domain, personality also serves as a dependent variable. By blending these two domains, it becomes clear that the study of reciprocal effects of work and personality might open a new angle in IWO psychology's long-standing tradition of personality research. To this end, we outline various implications for conceptual development (e.g., trait stability) and empirical research (e.g., personality and work incongruence). Finally, we discuss some methodological and statistical considerations for research in this new research domain. In the end, our review should enrich the way that IWO psychologists understand personality at work, focusing away from its unidirectional predictivist influence on job performance toward a more complex longitudinal reciprocal interplay of personality and working life. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Although work is a core part of life, the direction of influence from personality to work has typically been conceived as only unidirectional. The present study aims to contribute to the literature by considering reciprocal relations between personality and occupational characteristics, drawing on current perspectives from personality psychology (i.e., the social investment principle) and using a well-established framework to conceptualize career development (i.e., Holland's RIASEC theory). For this purpose, a longitudinal cohort of college alumni (N = 266) was tracked across a substantial and significant period in their professional career. Big Five personality traits and RIASEC occupational characteristics were assessed at the career start and 15 years later when their careers had unfolded. A combination of observed and latent variable analyses were used to disentangle the longitudinal and reciprocal relations between traits and occupational characteristics. Our results indicate that personality shapes and is shaped by our vocational experiences, suggesting that work can be a source of identity. The implications for theory and research on personality in the industrial and organizational literature are discussed alongside a number of practical implications for organizational and counseling settings. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
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This article presents a social cognitive framework for understanding three intricately linked aspects of career development: (a) the formation and elaboration of career-relevant interests, (b) selection of academic and career choice options, and (c) performance and persistence in educational and occupational pursuits. The framework, derived primarily from Bandura's (1986) general social cognitive theory, emphasizes the means by which individuals exercise personal agency in the career development process, as well as extra-personal factors that enhance or constrain agency. In particular, we focus on self-efficacy, expected outcome, and goal mechanisms and how they may interrelate with other person (e.g., gender), contextual (e.g., support system), and experiential/learning factors. Twelve sets of propositions are offered to organize existing findings and guide future research on the theory. We also present a meta-analysis of relevant findings and suggest specific directions for future empirical and theory-extension activity.
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In this study Holland's RIASEC Model of vocational personalities and the Five-Factor Model of personality are used (i) to assess individual differences among study majors and (ii) to predict educational achievement. A sample of 934 last-year students who enrolled in different academic majors filled out Dutch/Flemish adaptations of the NEO-PI-R (Costa and McCrae, 1992) and the Self-Directed Search (Holland, 1977; 1979). The results show that both models are useful to describe differences among different majors. Conscientiousness proves to be a general predictor of grades and study career. For the other Big Five dimensions, except for Agreeableness, major and/or gender specific relationships with educational outcomes are observed. Holland's interest dimensions are not related to educational achievement, except for some moderate gender or major specific correlations with the Investigative and the Artistic scales. Suggestions for future research regarding educational streaming and counselling are discussed.
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Holland’s [Holland, J. L. (1959). A theory of occupational choice. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 6, 35–45; Holland, J. L. (1997). Making vocational choices: A theory of vocational personalities and work environments (3rd ed.). Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc.] RIASEC types were initially developed using a restricted range of occupational titles. Holland’s type classification system has been extended to encompass the full range of occupations in the US, using both statistical and expert rating methods. However, the extent that Holland’s classification model is sufficient to represent the full range of occupational interests has not been examined. Multidimensional scaling (MDS) was used to analyze college students’ (266 men, 572 women) interests in occupations representing approximately 85% of the US labor market. A two-dimensional MDS solution of the full set of occupations did not fit Holland’s model, but limiting the analysis to occupations used in Holland-based measures produced the expected RIASEC structure. In comparison, a three-dimensional solution included Prediger’s [Prediger, D. J. (1982). Dimensions underlying Holland’s hexagon: Missing link between interests and occupations? Journal of Vocational Behavior, 21, 259–287] dimensions (Things/People and Data/Ideas) consistent with Holland’s model, but also included prestige and sex-type dimensions that were not orthogonal to Prediger’s dimensions. These results demonstrate that the RIASEC types are not sufficient to represent the full range of occupational interests and are confounded with prestige and sex-type.
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This longitudinal study provides an analysis of the relationship between personality traits and work experiences with a special focus on the relationship between changes in personality and work experiences in young adulthood. Longitudinal analyses uncovered 3 findings. First, measures of personality taken at age 18 predicted both objective and subjective work experiences at age 26. Second, work experiences were related to changes in personality traits from age 18 to 26. Third, the predictive and change relations between personality traits and work experiences were corresponsive: Traits that "selected" people into specific work experiences were the same traits that changed in response to those same work experiences. The relevance of the findings to theories of personality development is discussed.
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The medical specialities chosen by doctors for their careers play an important part in the workforce planning of health-care services. However, there is little theoretical understanding of how different medical specialities are perceived or how choices are made, despite there being much work in general on this topic in occupational psychology, which is influenced by Holland's RIASEC (Realistic-Investigative-Artistic-Social-Enterprising-Conventional) typology of careers, and Gottfredson's model of circumscription and compromise. In this study, we use three large-scale cohorts of medical students to produce maps of medical careers. Information on between 24 and 28 specialities was collected in three UK cohorts of medical students (1981, 1986 and 1991 entry), in applicants (1981 and 1986 cohorts, N = 1135 and 2032) or entrants (1991 cohort, N = 2973) and in final-year students (N = 330, 376, and 1437). Mapping used Individual Differences Scaling (INDSCAL) on sub-groups broken down by age and sex. The method was validated in a population sample using a full range of careers, and demonstrating that the RIASEC structure could be extracted. Medical specialities in each cohort, at application and in the final-year, were well represented by a two-dimensional space. The representations showed a close similarity to Holland's RIASEC typology, with the main orthogonal dimensions appearing similar to Prediger's derived orthogonal dimensions of 'Things-People' and 'Data-Ideas'. There are close parallels between Holland's general typology of careers, and the structure we have found in medical careers. Medical specialities typical of Holland's six RIASEC categories are Surgery (Realistic), Hospital Medicine (Investigative), Psychiatry (Artistic), Public Health (Social), Administrative Medicine (Enterprising), and Laboratory Medicine (Conventional). The homology between medical careers and RIASEC may mean that the map can be used as the basis for understanding career choice, and for providing career counselling.
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This longitudinal study provides an analysis of the relationship between personality traits and work experiences with a special focus on the relationship between changes in personality and work experiences in young adulthood. Longitudinal analyses uncovered 3 findings. First, measures of personality taken at age 18 predicted both objective and subjective work experiences at age 26. Second, work experiences were related to changes in personality traits from age 18 to 26. Third, the predictive and change relations between personality traits and work experiences were corresponsive: Traits that "selected" people into specific work experiences were the same traits that changed in response to those same work experiences. The relevance of the findings to theories of personality development is discussed.
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This review examines the literature on personality and medical specialty choice. First, it describes studies categorized by medical specialties that to date have used the same measures: Adjective Check List, California Psychological Inventory, Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Then it integrates these results using the framework provided by the Five-Factor Model of personality. This model provides a method to organize the personality descriptors associated with medical specialties and to summarize information in an understandable and meaningful way. Conclusions drawn from the review suggest a loose association between a few personality factors and particular medical specialties. Recommendations for further research on personality and medical specialties encourage shifting from the “variable” to the “person” approach and studying how different personalities succeed in the same specialty.
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The interpretive ease and intuitive appeal of the Holland RIASEC typology have made it nearly ubiquitous in vocational guidance settings. Its incorporation into the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) has moved it another step closer to reification. This research investigated the rates of agreement between Holland code classifications from three major sources. The Holland code classifications from the O*NET were compared with those from the Strong Interest Inventory and the Dictionary of Holland Occupational Types using six different methods. The mean pairwise rate of agreement for the first Holland code letter was 70.6%, with a three-way rate of agreement of 60.21%. The mean pairwise rate of agreement for the first and second Holland code letters was 32.33%, with a three-way rate of agreement of 15.71%. The mean pairwise rate of agreement for the first, second, and third Holland code letters was 12.56%, with a three-way rate of agreement of 2.62%. The implications of these findings for research and counseling practice are discussed.
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This study examined the relationships of vocational interests and self-efficacy expectations, or confidence, to personality, as measured by the Personal Styles scales of the Strong Interest Inventory. The study also examined the extent to which confidence and personality measures contributed incrementally to the prediction of occupational group membership. In a sample of 1,103 adults employed in 21 occupations representing the complete Holland hexagon, confidence–personality relationships were very similar to interest–personality relationships found in previous research. Discriminant analyses indicated that both personality and confidence contributed incrementally to the prediction of occupational group membership, although the most powerful single predictor set was 14 basic confidence dimensions (e.g., science, public speaking, and writing) extracted through principal components analysis. There were substantial differences across the 21 occupations in their predictability and in the extent to which they were differentiated by personality variables versus confidence dimensions. Implications for further work on the intersections of vocational interests, confidence, and personality are discussed.
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The present study tested the hypothesis that medical specialties classified as technique oriented or patient oriented would be distinguished by RIASEC code, with technique-oriented specialists resembling Investigative-Realistic types and patientoriented specialists resembling Investigative-Social types. Using longitudinal data obtained from 447 college students who aspired to become physicians, the authors found that the predominant RIASEC code was the same in both groups of specialties, namely, Investigative-Social. The data suggested that most medical students could fit equally well in several different medical specialties. Thus, they should use Holland’s model to explore how well their personalities can be expressed in different specialties and practice environments, not use RIASEC codes to match themselves to particular specialties.
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Interests, personality, and values figure prominently in work motivation, yet little research has examined the combined influence of these factors on vocational behavior. The present study therefore examined relationships among these variables in a sample of 282 medical students (169 women, 113 men) who responded to the Strong Interest Inventory, NEO Personality Inventory—Revised, and the Physician Values in Practice Scale. Supporting prior research, results indicated significant relationships between openness and artistic interests and between extraversion and enterprising interests, social interests, and management work values. Regression analyses indicated that personality and vocational interests predicted between 2% and 14% of the variance in each of six work values measured. Personality traits and vocational interests appear to play a meaningful, albeit limited, role in determining work values.
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Two different theoretical models have been used to explain relationships between the personality dimensions of extraversion and neuroticism and the affect dimensions of positive and negative mood. Eysenck's model predicts that extraversion should relate to positive affect, but not negative affect, and that neuroticism should relate to negative affect, but not positive affect. The model proposed by Gray and Newman asserts that there should be an interaction between extraversion and neuroticism in predicting positive and negative affect, such that the relationship between neuroticism and affect depends on one's position on the extraversion dimension. The purpose of the present study is to test these two theoretical models (Eysenck or Gray/Newman) in relation to positive and negative affect susceptibility. Results best fit predictions derived from Eysenck's model. Extraversion was positively related to positive affect following a pleasant mood induction, and neuroticism was positively related to negative affect following a negative mood induction. There was no evidence for an extraversion × neuroticism interaction in predicting emotional reactions, as would be expected from the Gray/Newman model.
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Date revised - 20050822, Language of summary - English, Number of references - 3, Pages - 1-3, ProQuest ID - 620842998, SubjectsTermNotLitGenreText - 5603; 5611 6359; 6480, Last updated - 2012-09-10, Corporate institution author - Hartung, Paul J.; Leong, Frederick T. L., DOI - PSIN-2005-08322-001; 2005-08322-001; 0001-8791, Edwin L Herr. The future of career counseling as an instrument of public policy. The Career Development Quarterly 52:1 Sep 2003: 8-17, Holland, J. L. (1997). Making vocational choices: A theory of vocational personalities and work environments (3rd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall., Zachar, P., & Leong, F. T. L. (1997). General versus specific predictors of specialty choice in psychology: Holland codes and theoretical orientations. Journal of Career Assessment, 5(3), 333-341.1997-06874-00610.1177/106907279700500306
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Proposes a system for vocational guidance that matches characteristics of counselees with those of a broad sample of people in the working world. Both workers who are enthusiastic about their work and a smaller number of workers who are dissatisfied with their chosen careers are included in the sample. (1 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This article presents a comprehensive definition and conceptual model of person-organization fit that incorporates supplementary as well as complementary perspectives on fit. To increase the precision of the construct's definition, it is also distinguished from other forms of environmental compatibility, silch as person-group and person-vocation fit. Once defined, commensurate measurement as it relates to supplementary and complementary fit is discussed and recommendations are offered regarding the necessity of its use. A distinction is made between the direct measurement of perceived fit and the indirect measurement of actual person-organization fit, using both cross- and individual-level techniques, and the debate regarding differences scores is reviewed. These definitional and measurement issues frame a review of the existing literature, as well as provide the basis for specific research propositions and suggestions for managerial applications.
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Core self-evaluations (CSE) represent a new personality construct that, despite an accumulation of evidence regarding its predictive validity, provokes debate regarding the fundamental approach or avoidance nature of the construct. This set of studies sought to clarify the approach/avoidance nature of CSE by examining its relation with approach/avoidance personality traits and motivation constructs (Study 1); we subsequently examined approach/avoidance motivational mechanisms as mediators of the relation between CSE and job performance (Study 2). Overall, the studies demonstrate that CSE is best conceptualized as representing both (high) approach tendencies and (low) avoidance tendencies; implications of these findings for CSE theory are discussed.
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A framework for understanding the etiology of organizational behavior is presented. The framework is based on theory and research from interactional psychology, vocational psychology, I/O psychology, and organizational theory. The framework proposes that organizations are functions of the kinds of people they contain and, further, that the people there are functions of an attraction-selection-attrition (ASA) cycle. The ASA cycle is proposed as an alternative model for understanding organizations and the causes of the structures, processes, and technology of organizations. First, the ASA framework is developed through a series of propositions. Then some implications of the model are outlined, including (1) the difficulty of bringing about change in organizations, (2) the utility of personality and interest measures for understanding organizational behavior, (3) the genesis of organizational climate and culture, (4) the importance of recruitment, and (5) the need for person-based theories of leadership and job attitudes. It is concluded that contemporary I/O psychology is overly dominated by situationist theories of the behavior of organizations and the people in them.
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The present research examined the relationship between within-occupational congruence and satisfaction, and attempted to integrate hypotheses and Wndings of prior studies with the conceptual implications of occupational specialty congruence. Correspondence between voca-tional interests within occupations and specialty choice has shown higher correlations with sat-isfaction than with congruence (Assouline & Meir, 1987). Occupational specialty congruence was derived by comparing preferred functions with the actual functions characterizing a given occupational specialty. In the present study, involving 120 computer software professionals, occupational specialty congruence correlated approximately .45 with satisfaction, using core job function dimensions. Specialty change within occupation, rather than occupational change, may help in cases of poor occupational choice, burnout, or a change in health. Further research should explore the generalizability of the function dimensions employed herein. Iden-tifying core dimensions can aid in designing both career tracks and certiWcation exams.
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Although the dispositional approach to job satisfaction has garnered considerable research attention in recent years, this perspective often has lacked theoretical concepts that explain how dispositions affect job satisfaction. Because job satisfaction is an affective experience formed through a process of evaluation, an especially promising theoretical approach is to focus on individuals&apos; fundamental (metaphysical) value judgments or &apos;&apos;core evaluations.&apos;&apos; We propose a dispositional model based on core evaluations individuals make about themselves, the world. and other people. We also show how this model helps integrate the dispositional perspective with more traditional models of job satisfaction.
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The purpose of this study is to examine the nature and magnitude of the relationship between 2 widely accepted models for classifying individual differences–the 5-factor model of personality and Holland's RI-ASEC occupational types. Based on extensive meta-analyses, our results illustrate that there are meaningful relations between some FFM personality dimensions and some RIASEC types. The strongest relationships were obtained between the RIASEC types of enterprising and artistic with the FFM personality dimensions of Extraversion and Openness to Experience, p= .41 and .39, respectively. Three other RIASEC types had moderate correlations with at least 1 FFM personality trait. In contrast, the realistic type was not related to any FFM personality traits. Multiple regression analyses in which each RIASEC type is regressed on the FFM scores (based on meta-analytic estimates), revealed a multiple R of .11 for realistic, .26 for investigative, .42 for artistic, .31 for social, .47 for enterprising, and .27 for conventional types. The overall conclusion from the study is that although FFM personality traits and RIASEC types are related, they are not merely substitutes for each other.
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The present study investigated the relationship of traits from the 5-factor model of personality (often termed the “Big Five”) and general mental ability with career success. Career success was argued to be comprised of intrinsic success (job satisfaction) and extrinsic success (income and occupational status) dimensions. Data were obtained from the Intergenerational Studies, a set of 3 studies that followed participants from early childhood to retirement. The most general findings were that conscientiousness positively predicted intrinsic and extrinsic career success, neuroticism negatively predicted extrinsic success, and general mental ability positively predicted extrinsic career success. Personality was related to career success controlling for general mental ability and, though adulthood measures of the Big Five traits were more strongly related to career success than were childhood measures, both contributed unique variance in explaining career success.
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This article presents a series of meta-analyses examining the 24 samples to date that have revealed the overlap of the three most widely used measures of Holland's Big Six domains of vocational interest, namely the Self-Directed Search (Holland, 1985a), the Strong Interest Inventory (Hansen & Campbell, 1985; Harmon, Hansen, Borgen, & Hammer, 1994), and the Vocational Preference Inventory (Holland, 1985b), with the most widely accepted measure of the Big Five personality factors, namely the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (Costa & McCrae, 1992). The meta-analyses showed the mean effect sizes for each of the 30 correlations between the six interest dimensions and the five personality dimensions. Of the 30 correlations, 5 appeared to be substantial for both women and men and across the interest measures. They are Artistic–Openness (r=.48), Enterprising–Extraversion (r=.41), Social–Extraversion (r=.31), Investigative–Openness (r=.28), and Social–Agreeableness (r=.19).
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The present study investigated a conceptual framework for relating medical specialty choice to personality. The model was tested by examining personality differences among general surgeons, anesthesiologists, and family practice physicians. The 16 Personality Factor questionnaire was administered to 161 physicians (52 general surgeons, 51 anesthesiologists, and 58 family practitioners). Significant differences between group means for medical specialty groups existed for three personality factors and one global factor: Rule-Consciousness, Abstractedness, Vigilance, and Tough-Mindedness. A stepwise discriminant analysis showed that, of the 16 personality factors, Rule-Consciousness and Abstractedness had the greatest power to discriminate among general surgeons, anesthesiologists, and family practitioners. The global factor of Tough-Mindedness had the greatest power to discriminate among general surgeons, anesthesiologists, and family practitioners. These findings coincided with using differences between person-orientation and technique-orientation to map medical specialties.
Article
The purpose of the present study was to examine the hypothesis that the relationship between congruent specialty choice within occupations on the one hand and satisfaction on the other exceeds the relationship between congruent occupational choice and satisfaction. Altogether 324 subjects (engineers, physicians, nurses, teachers, policemen, biologists, lawyers, and psychologists) responded to appropriate within-occupation interest inventories and to a satisfaction inventory (reliabilities .87 and .91, respectively). The study is an extension and standard cross-validation of several unreported earlier studies. The hypothesis was contirmed by correlations of .41 vs .30 (p < .05). The findings are in accord with findings in the earlier studies, all of which are incorporated in the present report. Several theoretical and practical implications are discussed, including data on the specific breakdown by specialty of the eight occupations investigated.
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This study investigated differences in personality patterns between person-oriented and technique-oriented physicians. It tested an integrative framework by converting the scores on the Personality Research Form (PRF) to the Big-Five factors and built a predictive model of group membership in clinical specialty area. PRF scores from 238 physicians (153 person-oriented and 85 technique-oriented) were used for this retrospective study. Significant personality differences between group means existed for seven of the traits on the PRF and two Big-Five factors. Results of a stepwise discriminant analysis indicated that two PRF traits and one Big-Five factor had the greatest ability to discriminate between person-oriented and technique-oriented physicians. Findings of this study provide support for establishing personality profiles of physicians interested in person-oriented versus technique-oriented specialties. Examining personality differences among male and female physicians is discussed as an area for future research.
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This longitudinal study assessed the power of the Occupational Scales (OSs) of the Strong Interest Inventory to predict the participants’ occupations 12 years after Time 1 testing, 8 years after Time 2 testing, and concurrently at Time 3. Results indicated that OS scores predicted occupational membership at a level substantially higher than chance at all three points in time. Eight-year and concurrent prediction hit rates were not significantly different from each other but were significantly higher than 12-year hit rates. No significant gender differences were found, and OSs predicted membership equally well for occupations that corresponded directly to those represented on the SII profile and occupations indirectly represented on the inventory. These findings are important for informing counseling practice and providing validity evidence for SII scale scores.
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Person matching promotes career exploration and choice by linking persons to persons in occupations based on inventory profile score similarity. We examined the efficacy of the procedure for career specialty choice. Medical students (N = 196 women, 224 men) responded to the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF) in their first year of training. After graduating and selecting a medical residency, members of a reference subgroup (n = 62) of the total sample were matched with members of a criterion subgroup (n = 358) based on 16PF score equivalencies determined by the D2 statistic. Person matching predicted medical specialty choice 43–60% of the time. Using broader specialty group categories and adding criterion persons increased the number of specialty matches. Additional refinement and analysis should enhance the efficacy of this idiographic approach as an alternative to nomothetic P–E matching for career exploration. Future research should examine person matching in terms of consequential validity.
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This study examines the relationship between employees' perceptions of person–job (P-J) and person–organization (P-O) fit. Survey data collected from 231 employees (104 office personnel and 127 drivers) of a national trucking company show a low correlation (r=.18) between the two types of self-reported fit. Both P-J and P-O fit had a unique impact on job satisfaction and intent to quit. P-O fit was a better predictor of intentions to quit than was P-J fit, but there was little difference in their relative influence on job satisfaction. The predicted positive relationship between perceived P-O fit and contextual performance (extrarole behaviors an employee performs beyond those prescribed in their job description) was also supported. No relationship was found between perceived P-J fit and task performance. Taken as a whole, these results provide further evidence that employees' perceptions of P-J and P-O fit should be treated as distinct constructs.
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In this study, the authors used meta-analytical techniques to examine the relationship between personality and entrepreneurial status. Personality variables used in previous studies were categorized according to the five-factor model of personality. Results indicate significant differences between entrepreneurs and managers on 4 personality dimensions such that entrepreneurs scored higher on Conscientiousness and Openness to Experience and lower on Neuroticism and Agreeableness. No difference was found for Extraversion. Effect sizes for each personality dimension were small, although the multivariate relationship for the full set of personality variables was moderate (R = .37). Considerable heterogeneity existed for all of the personality variables except Agreeableness, suggesting that future research should explore possible moderators of the personality-entrepreneurial status relationship.
The State of Medical Education and Proactice in the UK
  • L Bruce
  • P Haward
  • R Hutchison
  • E Mcgrath
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  • A Perkins
  • T Poole
Bruce, L., Haward, P., Hutchison, R., McGrath, E., Hopper, E., Perkins, A. and Poole, T. (2011), The State of Medical Education and Proactice in the UK: 2011, General Medical Council, London.
Woods can be contacted at: s.a.woods@surrey.ac.uk For instructions on how to order reprints of this article, please visit our website: www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/licensing/reprints.htm Or contact us for further details: permissions@emeraldinsight
  • A Corresponding Author Stephen
Corresponding author Stephen A. Woods can be contacted at: s.a.woods@surrey.ac.uk For instructions on how to order reprints of this article, please visit our website: www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/licensing/reprints.htm Or contact us for further details: permissions@emeraldinsight.com
The O*NET 4.0 analyst database
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O*NET Resource Center (2003), "The O*NET 4.0 analyst database", available at: www.onetcenter.org/db_analyst.html (accessed September 30, 2015).