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How People Differ?

Prof. Rajiv Kumar
IIM Calcutta
Meaning of Personality
• Definition:
– “Personality refers to an individual’s characteristic
pattern of thought, emotion, and behavior,
together with the psychological mechanisms—
hidden or not—behind these patterns” (Funder,
1997: 1–2).
– Two views:
• Snapshot view, with the assumption that snapshots
remain by and large stable
• How personality evolves
Snapshot View
• Evolution of big-five: OCEAN
– Cluster of traits, but they hang together
• Dark triad: To be discussed later in detail
• There are some other traits, but their impact
on work outcomes is
– Either less researched,
– Or, less significant,
– Or, more controversial
• Generally traits are normally distributed.
OCEAN of Personality
Extraversion Agreeableness Conscientiousness Neuroticism Openness
Energetic, Modest, Controls impulses, Anxious, Original,
Assertive, tender-minded, Orderly, nervous, sad complex in one’s
Gregarious Generous, Industrious, and tense, mental life,
Trusting Reliable Insecure Creative
• Approaches • Highlights • Arrives early or • Finds hard • Watches
strangers at the good in in time for to cope documentari
party and others meetings. with the es to
introduces • Lends things • Works ups and understand
oneself to people meticulously downs things
• Takes lead in who are • Worries a • Is artistically
organizing a known lot inclined
project • Consoles
• Doesn’t friends who
remain quiet are upset
with others
Measurement of Personality
• Self-report
– Social desirability
– Impression management
• Others’ rating
– A combination of self and other rating better
• Unobtrusive measures
Change in Traits
• Early periods vs. adulthood
• Change in personality:
– Rank order remains the same.
Some Important Points
• What determines personality:
– Heredity
– Environment
• Personality a better predictor in weak
• Personality can change, but not very quickly.
• Theories of evolution:
– Views of Rogers
– Views of Erikson