Tuesday, 25th November, 2014,

Speakers: Dr Nigel Guenole, Professor Dave Bartram, Dr Paul Flaxman and Dr Tom Hopton

The annual New Frontiers in Psychometrics seminar seeks to present contributions which cohere around the Big Five personality dimensions. In this 2014 session we looked at research and developments directly related to the Big Five model, or for those which centre on different personality or behavioural constructs which can be related to one or other of the Big Five dimensions and, so, give us fresh insights.

Ben Thornton

Dr Nigel Guenole

Goldsmiths, University of London

Maladaptive Personality at Work

In the first talk, Dr Guenole looked at recent developments in construing maladaptive personalities. Until now such constructs have derived from clinical judgements, but some associations with the Big Five dimensions had been subsequently discovered. Nigel told us how the most recent clinical diagnostic manual (DSM5) (American Psychiatric Association, 2013) had included an alternative method for differentiating personality disorders actually based on the Big Five model, but taking it beyond the range covered by measures of normal personality. He reported that the use of such extended measures could add value in the prediction of work performance. Nigel is currently developing such an extended measure, G-60-F, and experimenting with forced choice and Item Response Theory (IRT) features. He is working with several organisations to test alternative models and would be like to hear from other potentially interested parties. (From Psyche Review 73 Spring 2015)

Ben Thornton

Prof Dave Bartram,

CEB/SHL Talent Management

This was Professor Bartram’s third appearance as a New Frontiers presenter. He explored the relationships with personality dimensions, as measured by Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ) variants, and (1) countries and (2) organisations. Mapping extraversion (E) and emotional stability (N-) scores by country: Scandinavian nations tended to be high on both dimensions, Middle- and Far-Eastern states low and the UK occupied the middle ground. With regard to organisations, Dave reported The Attraction-Selection-Attrition (ASA) Model (Holland, 1997) concluding that, over time, people with similar personalities would tend to congregate in organizations with similar others producing relative homogeneity of personality in organizations. Of the Big Five dimensions, Tales from the frontier 2014 Write-up from 25 November 2014 TPF event Dr. Hugh McCredie, Vice-chair The Psychometrics Forum Dr. Hugh McCredie variation in agreeableness (A) was the most strongly related to both country and organisation. The relationship of country, but not organisation, was even higher with N. A key conclusion of the research was that A had the greatest, beneficial, relationship with both national well-being and organisational performance/reputation. This finding was somewhat at odds with studies of factors contributing to individual success measures. (From Psyche Review 73 Spring 2015)

Ben Thornton

Dr. Paul Flaxman,

City University

Dr Flaxman shared his work on perfectionism and work-related worry and rumination. He offered us Johnny Wilkinson, of Rugby fame, as a model of extreme perfectionism followed by two scales for measuring the construct and its facets. He suggested that perfectionism to avoid the disapproval of others, motivated by self-doubt, was related to neuroticism (N) and was a source of distress, whilst self-motivated perfectionist strivings to obtain positive consequences associated with high conscientiousness (C). Paul then demonstrated how self-doubt perfectionism was related to the non-reduction of stress levels following a period of respite from demanding work. This was due to the self-doubter’s proneness to negative ruminations during and after the respite period. Such ruminations were a cause of sleep deprivation and burnout. Finally, self-doubt-inspired perfectionism was characterised by Avoidant coping (behavioural disengagement/suppressive coping) whilst self-motivated perfectionism led to Active coping involving planning. (From Psyche Review 73 Spring 2015)

Ben Thornton

Tom Hopton, C.Psychol

Saville Consulting

This talk was a further demonstration of the WAVE Questionnaire’s range of convenience; earlier TPF presentations had related WAVE to the Big Five dimensions, Team Roles and the Great 8 competencies. Tom demonstrated how the 108 Wave Professional Styles facets yielded 24 Leadership Styles cohering around six broader measures of general leadership which could be conceptually grouped into three areas – Professional, People and Pioneering. In the 360 degree validation study, the 3Ps were found to correlate with hypothesised workplace criteria (four measures of overall performance and the Great Eight competencies). Tom concluded by hinting there was empirical evidence to suggest that the Professional aspect of leadership may be more amenable to development than the People dimension.