What is it about?

This paper examines whether personal values impact performance. In particular, we look at achievement values. We found that achievement values were related to academic performance even after controlling for personality traits. Because many studies don't include both traits and values, it's interesting to find that they both have an impact on performance. We also find that traits and values impact performance through motivational processes. In particular, traits seem to have a stronger impact on the effort we put forth in goal pursuit, while values seem to have a stronger impact on the goals we choose to pursue.

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Why is it important?

This finding is important because it suggests that we may be able to predict performance better if we consider both personality traits and personal values in concert.

Perspectives

I am really interested in how we can enhance our understanding of workplace behaviors, and was disappointed, in my PhD program, to discover that personality traits didn't have a stronger impact on performance than what the research findings showed. Since then I've been trying to understand other individual differences that might be added to traits to increase our prediction of workplace outcomes, especially performance. Personal values are often dismissed by personality researchers, but this study shows that they may have some value in predicting performance in at least some situations.

Dr. Laura Parks-Leduc
James Madison University

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This page is a summary of: Can Personal Values Predict Performance? Evidence in an Academic Setting, Applied Psychology, June 2011, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/j.1464-0597.2011.00461.x.
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