chapter  1
22 Pages

Personality Psychology for Organizational Researchers

WithRobert Hogan

Personality psychology concerns the nature of human nature-the basic operating characteristics of the human machine-and it is the only academic discipline devoted to this subject.Most business leaders understand the importance of personality; witness the current popularity of Emotional Intelligence in business seminars. But inside academia, personality psychology has an uncertain status. There are probably two reasons for this. On the onehand, themajority of those involvedwithAmericanpsychology have adopted, in a reflexive and unconscious way, behaviorism as amodel for understanding social behavior. Behaviorists believe that people’s actions depend on the circumstances they are in rather than on the kinds of people they are. Behaviorists have been attacking personality psychology concepts relentlessly since the 1930s; the attack reached a crescendo in the 1970s and largely put personality psychology out of business (Funder, 2001). The discipline remained alive but on life support during the 1980s. Over the past 10 years there has been a small resurgence, but the behaviorists have not let up-see Cervone and Shoda, 1999.