Friday, October 12, 2012

Behavioral and Personality Typing Essay

Essay on Behavioral and Personality Typing

Behavioral and Personality Typing has raised its importance with increasing concern over motivation in management (Ebster 2006). After understanding the definitions of behavior and personality, different tests are being made in order to categorize personality into types. The most popular are projective tests and self-report personality tests. Both are based on different factors, the most common of which are the so-called “Big Five personality factors” and the outcomes of the tests result come to different personality types (Bernardin 2007, 146).

There is a direct link between behavior and personality: in fact, behavior is an exhibit of personality as it is the reactions of an individual in relation to the factors of the self and the environment (Ellis-Christensen 2010). Personality can be defined intraindividual organization of a person based on experience, behavior and traits (Asendorpf 2002). Hence, personality is an individual’s consistent pattern of behavior.

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The better understanding of personality leads to a better understanding of behavior and, in the end, performance. Performance is based not only on skills and knowledge, but also on motivation. There are countless cases in class and in work, where a fully-qualified individual shows poor performance. The reason for that, very often, is the lack of motivation, which is based on personality (Irwin 1961). In order to understand personality better, it has to be classified into types.

One of the most famous classifications of personality is based on the “Big Five” personality factors: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism. Based on that there could be the following examples of personality types, for example, openness – artistic in contrast to cautious (Gosling 2003).
The types of personality are identified through tests; there are two types of tests – projective tests and self-report personality inventories. The first refer to tests, where the purpose and the procedure of the test are hidden from the test-taker. An example for such a test is the Miner Sentence Completion Scale, where the test-takers are asked to complete 40 sentences like “Playing golf…”. It is commonly used to measure how applicants deal with authority, perform day-to-day tasks or manage others (Brief 1977). Self-report personality inventories measure personality and or motivation with the respondent being aware of the procedure, purpose and criteria of the test and are much more popular. They are used in many organizations to identify the types of personality of individuals and predict their job effectiveness. One such example is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, where respondents are asked to fill out a test, which via trained professionals is used to identify the personality structure and psychopathology. The results do not show how “well” or how “bad” the respondents have done on the test, but rather the proper analysis shows relative elevation of factors compared to the various groups that have been studied  Butcher 2010).

Whether through projective tests or self-report personality inventories, the understanding and identifying of personality types leads to a better understanding and prediction of motivation and performance, which can be a great aid to any organization.

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