Dr. Rajesh Kamath
Department of Public Health,
• Personality: The sum total of ways in which an
individual reacts to and interacts with others.
• It is important for us to describe it in terms of
the measurable traits a person exhibits,
because research has shown personality tests
are useful in hiring decisions and help
managers forecast who is best for a job.
• Personality tests:
1.Self report surveys in which individuals
evaluate themselves on a series of factors
2.Observer ratings surveys – co worker or
other observer - with or without the subject’s
knowledge. Better predictor of success on the
• Personality Determinants: Which is more
influential – Heredity or Environment?
• Research suggests Heredity wins.
• Twins raised apart have much in common. One
set of twins – seperated for 39 years – raised 45
miles apart – same model and color car – chain
smoked same brand of cigarette – owned dogs
with the same name – regularly vacationed at the
same beach 1,500 miles away.
• Researchers say Genetics accounts for 50% of
the personality similarities between twins and
more than 30% of the similarities in
occupational and leisure interests.
• The personalities of identical twins raised in
different households are more similar to each
other than to the personalities of siblings with
whom the twins were raised.
• Personality may very well change over time.
• People’s scores on measures of dependability
tend to increase over time, as when young
adults take on roles that require greater
responsibility like starting a family and/or
establishing a career.
• Frameworks for identifying and classifying
• MYERS BRIGGS TYPE INDICATOR (MBTI)
• THE BIG 5 MODEL
• MYERS BRIGGS TYPE INDICATOR (MBTI)
• Most widely used personality assessment
instrument in the world.
• It is a 100 question personality test that asks
people how they usually feel or act in
• On the basis of their answers, individuals are
classified as: (Every Indian Should Not Think and Feel for Japanese People)
EXTRAVERTED ( E )- Outgoing, Social,
INTROVERTED ( I )- Quiet, Shy
SENSING ( S ) – Practical,Prefer Routine
and Order. Focus on Details.
INTUITIVE ( N )- Rely on Unconscious
processes and look at the “Big Picture”
THINKING ( T ) – Use Reason and Logic
to handle problems.
FEELING ( F ) - Rely on their personal
values and emotions.
JUDGING ( J ) – Want control and prefer
their world to be structured and ordered.
PERCEIVING ( P ) - Flexible and
• These classifications together describe 16
• INTJs (Introverted/Intuitive/Thinking/Judging)
are Visionaries - Original minds – Great drive for
their own ideas and purposes – Skeptical, critical,
independent, determined, stubborn.
• ESTJs (Extraverted/Sensing/Thinking/Judging) are
Organisers – Realistic, Logical, Analytical, Decisive
– Natural head for Business or Mechanics – Like
to organise and run activities.
• ENTPs(Extraverted/Intuitive/Thinking/Perceiving) A book
profiling 13 contemporary business people who created
super successful firms like APPLE, FEDEX, HONDA,
MICROSOFT AND SONY found that all were NTs (Intuitive
Thinkers). Interesting because NTs represent only about 5 %
of the population.
• The MBTI is widely used by many organisations including
GE, Citigroup, many hospitals and educational institutions
and even the U.S. armed forces.
• Evidence about it’s validity is mixed.
• It can be a valuable tool for increasing self awareness and
providing career guidance.
• THE BIG 5 PERSONALITY MODEL.
• An impressive body of research supports this model.
• The Big 5 Factors are:
• 1. EXTRAVERSION – Captures our comfort level with
Extraverts – assertive, sociable.
Introverts – Quiet, shy.
• 2. AGREEABLENESS – An individual’s propensity to DEFER to
(not DIFFER with) others. ( How does DEFER DIFFER FROM
High - Cooperative, warm, trusting.
Low - cold, antagonisitic.
• 3. CONSCIENTIOUSNESS : This dimension is a measure of
High – Responsible, Organised, Dependable and Persistent.
Low - Easily distracted, disorganised and unreliable.
• 4. EMOTIONAL STABILITY – A person’s ability to withstand
High- Calm, Confident, Secure.
Low –Nervous, Anxious, Depressed, Insecure.
• 5. OPENNESS TO EXPERIENCE: Addresses range of interests
and fascination with novelty.
High – Creative, Curious, Artistically sensitive.
Low – Conventional, Find comfort in the familiar.
BIG FIVE TRAITS WHY IS IT RELEVANT? WHAT DOES IT AFFECT?
•LESS NEGATIVE THINKING AND FEWER
•HIGHER JOB AND LIFE
•LOWER STRESS LEVELS
EXTRAVERSION •BETTER INTERPERSONAL SKILLS
•GREATER SOCIAL DOMINANCE
•MORE EMOTIONALLY EXPRESSIVE
•HIGHER JOB AND LIFE
OPENNESS •INCREASED LEARNING
•MORE FLEXIBLE AND AUTONOMOUS
•MORE ADAPTABLE TO CHANGE
AGREEABLENESS •BETTER LIKED
•MORE COMPLIANT AND CONFORMING
•LOWER LEVELS OF DEVIANT
•GREATER EFFORT AND PERSISTENCE
•MORE DRIVE AND DISCIPLINE
•BETTER ORGANISED AND PLANNING
• OTHER PERSONALITY TRAITS RELEVANT TO
1.CORE SELF EVALUATION
5. RISK TAKING
6. TYPE A PERSONALITY
7. PROACTIVE PERSONALITY
• 1. CORE SELF EVALUATION : The degree to which an
individual likes or dislikes herself, whether the person
sees herself as capable and effective, and whether the
person feels in control of his or her environment or
powerless over the environment.
• People with high Core self evaluation perform better at
jobs because they set more ambitious goals, are more
committed to their goals, and persist longer.
• Critical in professions like Sales and Life insurance. 90%
of life insurance sales calls end in rejection, so an agent
has to believe in herself to persist.
• 2. MACHIAVELLIANISM : The degree to which an individual is pragmatic,
maintains emotional distance, and believes that ends can justify means.
• “If it works, use it” – High Mach perspective.
• Eg. Anant is a young bank manager in Mumbai – 3 promotions in the past 4 years
– uses aggressive tactics – not apologetic for it – “I am prepared to do whatever I
have to do to get ahead”.
• High Machs manipulate more, win more, are persuaded less, and persuade
others more than do low Machs.
• High Machs like their jobs less, are more stressed by their work and engage In
more deviant work behaviours.
• High Machs flourish when 1. they interact face to face with others rather than
indirectly. 2. minimum number of rules and regulations, allowing for
improvisation 3. when low machs are distracted by emotional involvement with
details irrelevant to winning.
• Do well at Labour negotiations(bargaining skills) or commissioned
• 3. NARCISSISM : The tendency to be arrogant, have a grandiose
sense of self importance, require excessive admiration, and have a
sense of entitilement.
• Eg. Sameer likes to be the center of attraction. He looks at himself
in the mirror a lot, has extravagant dreams, and considers himself
a person of many talents.
• A study found that while narcissists thought they were better
leaders than their colleagues, their supervisors actually rated
them as worse.
• Eg. An Oracle executive described CEO Larry Ellison – “The
difference between God and Larry is that God does not believe he
• Treat others as if they were inferior.
• Tend to be selfish, exploitative.
• Rated as less effective at their jobs than others.
• 4. SELF MONITORING : A Personality trait that measures an
individual’s ability to adjust his or her behaviour to
external, situational factors.
• Eg. Sheela is competent, hard working, productive, but gets
very average appraisals. Her bosses are irritated with her.
• She is politically inept.
• She is unable to change her behaviour to fit changing
• She is a LOW SELF MONITOR.
• HIGH SELF MONITORS – Pay close attention to behaviour of
others, more capable of conforming. Receive better
performance ratings, more likely to become leaders, show
less commitment to organisation.
• 5. RISK TAKING : Affects how much time and
information managers need to make a
• Work population differs in risk intensity.
• It makes sense to recognise these differences
and align them with specific job demands.
• High - Stock trader-because of the need for
rapid decision making
• Low – Accountant – Auditing activities
• 6. TYPE A PERSONALITY : Aggressive involvement in a chronic,
incessant struggle to achieve more and more in less and less time
and, if necessary, against the opposing efforts of other things or
other people. They exhibit the following characteristics:
• Are always moving, walking, eating rapidly
• Feel impatient with the rate at which most events take place.
• Strive to think or do 2 or more things at a time.
• Cannot cope with leisure time.
• Are obsessed with numbers, measuring their success in terms of
how many or how much of everything they acquire.
• Type B is the opposite.
• Type As do better than Type Bs in job interviews because they are
more likely to be judged as having desirable traits such as high
drive, competence and aggressiveness.
• 7. PROACTIVE PERSONALITY : People who
identify opportunities, show initiative, take
action, and persevere until meaningful change
• Overcome obstacles, constraints.
• Leaders, change agents.
• More likely than others to achieve career
• More likely to become Entrepreneurs.
• VALUES : Basic convictions that a certain mode of
conduct / end state of existence is personally or
socially preferable to an opposite mode of
conduct / end state of existence.
• Eg. Is capital punishment right or wrong?
• Values contain a judgement element.
• Values have content (important) and intensity
(how important) attributes
• VALUE SYSTEM : Ranking of an individual’s values
in terms of their intensity.
• Values tend to be relatively stable and
• Most values are established in the early years.
As children we are told certain
behaviours/outcomes are always
desirable/always undesirable, with few gray
areas. It is this “black-or-white” learning of
values that ensures their stability and
• Values influence Attitudes and Behaviours.Eg.:Suppose
your value system says that allocating pay on the basis
of performance is right, while allocating pay on the
basis of seniority is wrong. How will you react if you
find the organisation you have just joined rewards
seniority and not performance.
• You are likely to be disappointed
• This can lead to Job dissatisfaction and a decision to
not exert a high level of effort.
• Your attitude and behaviour would be different if your
values aligned with the organisation’s pay policies.
• Terminal vs Instrumental values.
• Terminal values: The goals a person would like
to achieve during her/his lifetime.
• Instrumental values: The means of achieving
one’s terminal values.
• Eg.: INSTRUMENTAL VALUE TERMINAL VALUE
AMBITIOUS A COMFORTABLE LIFE
DOMINANT WORK VALUES
SOCIALISTS 1950s – late
55+ Hardworking, Conservative,
Conforming, Loyal to the
organisation, Emphasis on a
comfortable and secure life.
LIBERALS Early 1990s
Mid 40s to Mid
ambition, dislike of authority,
loyalty to career.
Xers 2000 - 2005 Late 20s to
Work-life balance, dislike of
rules, confident, want financial
success, self-reliant, team
MILLENIALS 2005 to
Early 20s Comfortable with technology,
entrepreneurial, get rich quick,
high sense of entitlement.
PERSONALITY AND VALUES
• John Holland’s Personality - Job Fit Theory
identifies 6 personality types and proposes
that the fit between personality type and
occupational environment determines
satisfaction and turnover.
• Satisfaction is highest and Turnover lowest
when Personality and Occupations are in
TYPE PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS CONGRUENT OCCUPATIONS
REALISTIC Shy, genuine, persistent, stable,
Mechanic, drill press
operator, assembly line
INVESTIGATIVE Analytical, original, curious,
SOCIAL Sociable, friendly, cooperative,
Social worker, teacher,
CONVENTIONAL Conforming, efficient, practical,
manager, bank teller, file
ENTERPRISING Self-confident, ambitious,
Lawyer, real estate agent,
public relations specialist,
small business manager
ARTISTIC Imaginative, disorderly, idealistic,
Painter, Musician, Writer,
Relationships among occupational