Existing popular literature on management, recruiting, etc., those is quite profound and informative, but a bit lop-sided. Given theories are being discussed and implemented over and over again. And, it seems like it is about time to add some fresh air to the popular theories of personality assessment in the workplace.
The article ‘Personality processes’ by William Revelle deals with the contemporary situation in psychological theory. The author intends to cover the vast scope of theories existing in the modern personality reviews in both personality psychology and related fields.
The article is excitingly interesting in terms of covering personality traits and studies that are being developed and covered by psychologists, and their systematization. It might also be helpful for those, who are looking for new theories to read about and new aspects of personality psychology to implement in the workplace.
William Revelle gives a comprehensive explanation of the present situation in personality research. The author provides most recent literature on personality findings in different spheres of science, and compares them to the classical literature on personality processes, traits and trends. Revelle classifies the vast variety of personality theories in terms of three dimensions: levels of generality, levels of explanation and levels of functioning. [Revelle, 2005]. Basically, this means that personality features are addressed from different points. For example, generality implies when studying personality characteristics, scientists focus on both all people and separately chosen individuals, and the range within. Levels of explanation include a wide variety of approaches, e.g. the analysis of genetic predisposition, biological substrates and constrains, learning and experience, cognitive affective structures, and the correspondence of life meaning and identity. Levels of functioning deal with the adaptability of human behavior.
Broad theories consider issues on all levels mentioned above but most theories focus on one range of levels in terms of one other level, e.g. phenomena that range across levels of generality at one level of explanation or vice versa – across levels of analysis at one level of generality [Revelle, 2005].
William Revelle analyses different theories present in psychological theories: the study of species-typical behavior, individual differences and similarities, and unique patterns of behavior. These aspects cover theories like: evolutionary personality psychology, causes of individual differences, sociology of generational effects, psychodynamic theory, etc. The comparison of cognitive abilities and affective-temperamental traits, descriptive taxonomies and causal theory, enables to get general ideas of the existing personality theories. Revelle provides recent trends in personality and related fields. The connection of personality theories and other sciences is deeper than it may seem at a glance. The constructs of personality can be found in literature of behavior genetics, physiological, social, developmental, evolutionary psychology, psychopathology [Revelle, 2005], and many others.
The author also describes the future promises and challenges in the field. He emphasizes that theorists and researches from all parts of psychological sciences are making impact in the development of the personality concept and its fundamental questions.
Although the article does not give personality assessment instructions or test that might be useful in the workplace, or their evaluation, it might be helpful in terms of realization that the standard schemes are only a small part of evaluation possibilities that might be used the modern business practices. The range of personality aspects under consideration include only basic features and characteristics that are being commonly accepted worldwide in the managerial and recruiting practices. The variety of new concepts and ideas being studied these days is really exciting. It is possible, that some of them might be implemented in the personality assessment processes. Enriching existing tests and evaluation approaches is a great beneficial opportunity psychologists should not miss. In particular, the theories of individual behavior and psychology should be taken into consideration when thinking of the improvement of the existing assessment theories. Nowadays, a lot of attention is being paid to genetics, biological systems, temperament and its development, traits and states, identity, levels of life satisfaction and much more. These aspects evaluate people from quite a different side and enable professionals to determine personality characteristics and chances of an individual to become a relevant and important part of the work team. New personality assessment approaches will give a scientific basis to recruiting, personnel management and evaluation, team building, and other aspects that are of vital importance for any business.
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