The Big Five Revisited

May 27, 2018 Psychology

In fact, Schmitt et al. (1984) found that personality tests were among the least valid types of selection tests, with an overall mean sample-size weighted correlation of . 21 for predicting job performance, and concluded that “personality tests have low validity”. In recent years, researchers have suggested that the true predictive validity of personality was obscured in earlier research by the lack of a common personality framework for organizing the traits being used as predictors  Donovan, Department of Psychol- ogy, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. A version of this study was presented at the 13th Annual Conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Dallas, Texas, April 1998. We thank Kevin Williams, Stephen Dwight, and Jesfs Salgado for their helpful comments and suggestions. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Gregory M. Hurtz, Department of Psychology, Social Sciences 112, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York 12222.

Elec- tronic mail may be sent to [email protected] albany. edu. at enhancing the validity of personality predictors 1990), researchers in the early 1990s began to adopt this Big Five framework for selection research (Barrick & Mount, 1991; Tett, Jackson, & Rothstein, 1991). Early meta-analytic work by Barrick and Mount (1991) and Tett et al. (1991) provided evidence suggesting that the Big Five might have some degree of utility for selecting employees into a variety of jobs.

In both of these reviews, the researchers used studies that provided correlations between any type of personality variable and job performance, categorizing the various personality variables into one of the Big Five dimensions to estimate the strength of these variables’ correlation with job performance. Although their results were not altogether consistent (see Ones et al. , 1994, and Tett, Jackson, Rothstein, ; Reddon, 1994, for a discussion of reasons), the general consensus drawn by researchers and practi- tioners was that personality does in fact hold some utility as a predictor of job performance.

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The impact of these studies on raising the status of personality tests in employee selection has been felt throughout the 1990s. Subsequent meta-analyses by Mount and Barrick (1995) and Salgado (1997) have seemed to solidify this newfound status granted to personality, particularly to Conscientiousness. Behling (1998), for example, recently claimed Conscientiousness as one of the most valid predictors of perfor- mance for most jobs, second only to general intelligence.


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