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Title: Contextualising personality assessment : using meta-perceptions of the Big Five to improve the prediction of work performance
Author: Woods, Stephen A.
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2004
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This thesis examined the effects of contextualising assessments of the Big Five personality factors through the use of meta-perceptions. Meta-perceptions are judgements about how an individual thinks others see them, and are therefore an interpersonal approach to contextualising personality assessments. Eight research questions were set, related to three areas. The first was the nature of meta-perceptive ratings. Two questions were posed to examine patterns of high and low ratings among sets of meta-perceptions. The second related to the prediction of work performance. Three questions were identified which addressed the potential for meta-perceptions to increase prediction over decontextualised and social role based ratings of the Big Five, and the potential for meta-perceptions to identify negative- and non-linear relationships between personality and performance. A fourth question was set in this area regarding the design of a brief measure of the Big Five in order to concisely measure meta-perceptions. The third area related to incongruence (differentiation) across meta-perceptive ratings. Two questions were posed to identify the relationship between incongruence and well being, and to explore the effects of incongruence for different Big Five factors and across specific meta-perceptive rating pairs. The thesis reports findings from seven studies, which address the research questions. Study 1 reduced an existing Big Five instrument for subsequent use in Studies 2 and 3. Study 2 (N = 56) examined incongruence across meta-perceptive ratings of the Big Five. Incongruence was calculated through factor analysis of the ratings, and was found to correlate positively with perceived stress and neuroticism. Study 3 (N = 178) reported systematic variation in mean Big Five scores across meta-perceptive ratings, and further evidence for the negative relationship between incongruence and well being. Study 4 reported findings from 21 expert judges' perceptions of the likelihood that traits would be expressed in behaviour in 5 interpersonal interactions. It was concluded that the Big Five are linked to particular `critical' interpersonal domains. Study 5 (N = 79) applied polynomial regression analyses to data from Study 2, and indicated that incongruence effects were not consistently predictive of negative well being across the Big Five. Study 6 (N = 791) reported the design and validation of the single-item measures of personality for use in concisely measuring meta-perceptions. Study 7 examined the prediction of assessment centre competency performance from meta-perceptive ratings of the Big Five, compared with decontextualised ratings in a sample of 111 local government managers. Meta-perceptions were found to be more predictive than the decontextualised assessments, and most predictive when rated from the critical interpersonal perspectives identified in Study 4. In general discussion of the findings, it was concluded that meta-perceptive ratings of the Big Five have applied implications for both improving the predictive validity of personality assessmentsa nd understanding the effects of incongruence on individual well being.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available