Individual Differences

Kevin R. Murphy

in The Oxford Handbook of Personnel Assessment and Selection

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199732579
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Individual Differences

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  • Psychology
  • Organizational Psychology
  • Research Methods in Psychology


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Individual differences in cognitive and physical abilities, personality, interests, and core self-concepts are all relevant for understanding behavior in organizations. Cognitive abilities are hierarchically organized, which implies that general cognitive ability predicts performance on most tasks that involves active information processing. Physical abilities show a less well-defined structure; these abilities tend to be relevant to more narrowly defined tasks. Personality traits (especially the Big-Five—Neuroticism, Extroversion, Openness to Experience, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness) are most relevant to understanding interpersonal interactions. They are related to job performance, but this relationship is surprisingly weak. Interests are related to vocational choice, motivation, and satisfaction. Individual differences in core self-evaluations predict a willingness to take the initiative, to persevere, and to attempt to achieve challenging goals.

Keywords: cognitive ability; personality; interests; core self-concepts; temperament; big-five; physical ability

Article.  11998 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology ; Research Methods in Psychology

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