Assessors' use of personality traits in descriptions of assessment centre candidates

A five-factor model perspective

F. Lievens, F. de Fruyt, K. van Dam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

In assessment centres assessors are typically taught to note down behavioural observations. However, previous studies have shown that about 20% of assessor notes contain trait descriptors. Instead of regarding these descriptors as errors, this study examines their position in a personality descriptive taxonomy (i.e. the AB5C taxonomy, see Hofstee, De Raad, & Goldberg, 1992) and relates them to employment recommendations. To this end, assessor notes of 403 assessees (214 men, 189 women; mean age 33 years) were scrutinized for personality descriptors. Results show that assessors, as a group, use descriptors referring to all five personality domains with a preference for positive Conscientiousness and Emotional Stability terms. The distribution of the Big Five categories differs across assessors and particularly across assessment centre exercises. Finally, three of the Big Five factors, namely Extraversion, Conscientiousness, and Openness, are related to the final employment recommendation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-636
JournalJournal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology
Volume74
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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Exercise
Five-factor model
Personality traits
Assessment center
Big Five
Taxonomy
Conscientiousness
Emotion
Openness
Factors
Extraversion
Extraversion (Psychology)

Cite this

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title = "Assessors' use of personality traits in descriptions of assessment centre candidates: A five-factor model perspective",
abstract = "In assessment centres assessors are typically taught to note down behavioural observations. However, previous studies have shown that about 20{\%} of assessor notes contain trait descriptors. Instead of regarding these descriptors as errors, this study examines their position in a personality descriptive taxonomy (i.e. the AB5C taxonomy, see Hofstee, De Raad, & Goldberg, 1992) and relates them to employment recommendations. To this end, assessor notes of 403 assessees (214 men, 189 women; mean age 33 years) were scrutinized for personality descriptors. Results show that assessors, as a group, use descriptors referring to all five personality domains with a preference for positive Conscientiousness and Emotional Stability terms. The distribution of the Big Five categories differs across assessors and particularly across assessment centre exercises. Finally, three of the Big Five factors, namely Extraversion, Conscientiousness, and Openness, are related to the final employment recommendation.",
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Assessors' use of personality traits in descriptions of assessment centre candidates : A five-factor model perspective. / Lievens, F.; de Fruyt, F.; van Dam, K.

In: Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, Vol. 74, No. 5, 2001, p. 623-636.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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