What is it about?
This rapid evidence assessment examined empirical research on the performance-related effects of personality-feedback interventions (PFIs). A PFI is a workplace-related program that provides feedback to people who take a standardized, nonclinical, self-report personality assessment. Proponents claim that PFIs can help participants identify tendencies and areas for improvement and motivate changes to their behavior. The key finding was that research has not yet substantiated beneficial effects from PFIs.
Photo by Samuel Rios on Unsplash
Why is it important?
Every year, millions of people complete personality inventories as part of coaching, training, or other development programs. Proponents claim that such tools enhance self-awareness in beneficial ways. However, advocates of “type-based” instruments are often at odds with advocates of “trait-based” tools. Other critics pan the entire idea of using personality “tests.” Stories of negative PFI side-effects such as confining stereotypes (i.e., “pigeonholing”) have been shared, as have positive anecdotes from a given tool’s fervent followers. Psychometric critiques and defenses of instruments are common. The position taken in this article is that PFI research should focus directly on better understanding the (alleged) effects of this common practice. PFI research needs to move beyond anecdotes and psychometric reviews.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Using personality feedback for work-related development and performance improvement: A rapid evidence assessment., Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science/Revue canadienne des sciences du comportement, April 2021, American Psychological Association (APA),
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Personality-feedback interventions have ambiguous effects on performance
The present APA Showcase/Kudos summary is based on the August 2021 APA Article Spotlight summary of the Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science article.
Types, Traits, and Personality Feedback for Performance Improvement
A LinkedIn article about this research.
Personality Inventories as HR Development Tools
A piece for PROMPTU magazine for HR professionals that draws on Dr. Jelley's personality-feedback intervention review and Dr. Henriette Lundgren and colleagues' research on how HR development professionals use personality inventories in practice.
Personality Instruments and Personality Feedback Interventions with Prof Blake Jelley
Podcast interview: David Wilkinson of The Oxford Review's Organisational Success Academy interviews Dr. Jelley about his review of personality-feedback interventions.
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