Personality Scale Validities Increase Throughout Medical School

Department of Personnel Management and Work and Organizational Psychology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.
Journal of Applied Psychology (Impact Factor: 4.31). 11/2009; 94(6):1514-35. DOI: 10.1037/a0016137
Source: PubMed


Admissions and personnel decisions rely on stable predictor-criterion relationships. The authors studied the validity of Big Five personality factors and their facets for predicting academic performance in medical school across multiple years, investigating whether criterion-related validities change over time. In this longitudinal investigation, an entire European country's 1997 cohort of medical students was studied throughout their medical school career (Year 1, N = 627; Year 7, N = 306). Over time, extraversion, openness, and conscientiousness factor and facet scale scores showed increases in operational validity for predicting grade point averages. Although there may not be any advantages to being open and extraverted for early academic performance, these traits gain importance for later academic performance when applied practice increasingly plays a part in the curriculum. Conscientiousness, perhaps more than any other personality trait, appears to be an increasing asset for medical students: Operational validities of conscientiousness increased from .18 to .45. In assessing the utility of personality measures, relying on early criteria might underestimate the predictive value of personality variables. Implications for personality measures to predict work performance are discussed.

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Available from: Filip Lievens
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    • "This study has several limitations. First, we measured clerks' personality at the beginning of clerkship and assumed no change during the 2 years of clerkship; similar assumptions have been reported regarding the stability of personality[18,19,24]. However, studies on adult personality development have indicated that, despite no noticeable changes in the mean level of all Big Five factors from adolescence until approximately 30 years of age[72], neuroticism, extraversion, and openness decline thereafter, whereas agreeableness and consciousness improved . "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The clinical training of medical students in clerkship is crucial to their future practice in healthcare services. This study investigates burnout during a 2-year clerkship training period as well as the role of personality traits on burnout during training. Methods Ninety-four clerks at a tertiary medical centre who provided at least 10 responses to a routine survey on clinical rotation were included in this study, which spanned September 2013 to April 2015. Web-based, validated, structured, self-administered questionnaires were used to evaluate the clerks’ personalities at the beginning of the first clerkship year, and regular surveys were conducted to evaluate their burnout at each clinical specialty rotation throughout the 2-year clerkship period. Overall, 2230 responses were analysed, and linear mixed-effects models were used to examine the repeated measures of the clerks. Results Our findings revealed that medical student burnout scores were lower in the second year than they were in the first year of clerkships. Using the Big Five personality factors, all of the propensities, namely extroversion, agreeableness, consciousness, emotional stability, and openness were related to different extents of burnout reduction in the first clerkship year (P < .05). However, only emotional stability and openness were related to clerks’ reduced burnout in the second clerkship year. Furthermore, being female, older, and with accompanied living were more closely related to lower burnout compared with being male, younger, and living alone throughout the clerkship period. Conclusions The students in the first-year clerkship, particularly those with higher burnout levels, had tendencies in the Big Five personality characteristics, exhibiting higher levels of introversion, antagonism, lack of direction, neuroticism, and not open to new experiences. The students in the second-year clerkship who do not exhibit a high propensity for emotional stability and openness should be of particular concern. The findings can serve as a reference for clinical teachers and mentors to effectively prevent and reduce the burnout of medical students during clerkship training at clinical workplaces.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2016 · BMC Medical Education
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    • "Where such evidence does exist, results are mixed and paint a complex picture. For example, while Lievens et al. (2009) reported that conscientiousness is an increasing asset for medical students when examining GPA, Ferguson and colleagues (Ferguson et al. 2000, 2014) found that conscientiousness is a significant negative predictor of clinical performance in medical trainees. Thus, closer attention is needed to explore such differential results when exploring different outcome criteria. "

    Full-text · Dataset · Apr 2015
    • " They self - selected into the study , which could have led to bias in the results if only the more conscientious students volunteered to participate . However , there was a range in the conscientious - ness scores measured at both the domain and facet levels ( with comparable or slightly greater standard deviations than larger studies ; e . g . , Lievens et al . , 2009 ) as well as a range in the scores on the anatomy examination indicating this as unlikely to be the case . Only one of many available personality invento - ries was utilized ; however , it was selected because of appropri - ateness for the research questions and its proven reliability and validity . Future research could replicate the s"
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    ABSTRACT: There is increasing recognition in medicine of the importance of noncognitive factors, including personality, for performance, and for good medical practice. The personality domain of conscientiousness is a well-established predictor of performance in workplace and academic settings. This study investigates the relationships between the "Big Five" personality domains, the facets of conscientiousness and performance in a practical anatomy examination. First- and second-year undergraduate medical students (n = 85) completed a paper-based questionnaire, which included a 50-item measure of the Big Five personality domains (neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness) and a 60-item measure of the six conscientiousness facets (orderliness, dutifulness, achievement-striving, self-discipline, self-efficacy, and cautiousness) from the International Personality Item Pool (IPIP). In addition, routinely-collected academic performance scores from the end of semester anatomy practical examinations (spotters) were obtained. Anatomy examination performance correlated moderately with conscientiousness (r = 0.24, P = 0.03). Of the six facets of conscientiousness, a positive relationship was observed between anatomy examination performance and achievement striving (r = 0.22, P = 0.05). In conclusion, this study found that performance in an anatomy examination was related to higher levels of conscientiousness and, more specifically, to higher levels of achievement striving. The results have implications for selection and assessment in medicine. Anat Sci Educ. © 2015 American Association of Anatomists. © 2014 American Association of Anatomists.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Anatomical Sciences Education
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