The Big Five Personality Constructs

Essay by Rainbow_GalUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, September 2008

download word file, 7 pages 4.0

Personality theories, or models, are metaphors for describing something which is intrinsically indescribable, the human personality. Currently, one of the most popular approaches among psychologists for studying personality theory is the Five-Factor Model (FFM) or Big Five dimensions of personality. This essay will explore the 'Big Five' personality constructs and seek to explain how useful they are to understanding how people are likely to perform in a work situation. In conclusion, this essay will also discuss some of the arguments against the relevance and accuracy of personality testing within the employment context.

The Five-Factor Model originated in an attempt to compile trait-related terms as researchers were dissatisfied with the trait like differences in adaptational styles. Instead they focused on situational based approaches that offered greater flexibility in explaining specific person-environment transactions (Goodstein & Lanyon, 1999), including those within the employment and the workplace.

Recruitment is the first part of the process of filling a vacancy.

It includes the examination of the vacancy, the consideration of sources of suitable candidates, making contact with those candidates and attracting applications from them. It is aimed at finding a pool of applicants with the abilities and personality desired by the organisation. Factoring personality into the employment process can result in lower turnover if applicants are selected for traits that are highly correlated with employees who have high longevity within a particular occupation or organisation.

Personality measures are used by many organisations in selecting employees and therefore it is important to properly define how personality fits in with employment and the workplace and how by utilising these factors or dimensions of personality, a small relationship between some of the factors and performance success can be found (Barrick and Mount, 1991).

McCrae & Costa (1996), who originally identified the five constructs of personality, maintain that personality...