Discrimination validity of the 'Big Five' personality traits in employment settings

John Rust1
1University of London, United Kingdom
Cite this article:  Rust, J. (1999). Discrimination validity of the 'Big Five' personality traits in employment settings. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 27, 99-108.

Volume 27 Issue 1 | e955 | Published: February 1999 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1999.27.1.99

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The ability of the Big Five personality traits to predict supervisors’ ratings of performance was investigated using the Orpheus personality questionnaire. Orpheus is a broad spectrum work-based personality questionnaire containing 190 items. It generates scores on 16 scales – 5 major scales, 7 minor scales, and 4 audit scales. The major scales are fellowship, authority, conformity, emotion, and detail and are based on the Big Five model of personality. The minor scales are proficiency, work-orientation, patience, fair-mindedness, loyalty, disclosure, and initiative, and are based on the Prudentius model of integrity. The 4 response audits are dis-simulation, ambivalence, despondency, and inattention, and are designed to screen for inappropriate responding. Supervisors’ ratings of 245 participants in a variety of occupations and employment settings were obtained from the Orpheus respondents. All of the Big Five traits were found to have significant correlations with appropriate supervisors’ ratings.


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