CORDIS - Résultats de la recherche de l’UE

Role-based personality: measurement, antecedents, and consequences

Final Activity Report Summary - ROLE IDENTITIES (Role-based personality: Measurement, Antecedents, and Consequences)

Is a mother who is also a CEO, the same 'person' at home and work? With the proliferation of social roles in the 21st Century, the study of these issues is becoming increasingly important in understanding how people manage their various roles (e.g. employee, spouse, or student). Successful negotiation of social roles, in turn, may have both important societal implications for promoting individuals' well-being, as well as for their successful performance of roles such as employee or romantic partner.

Drawing from state-of-the-art developments in both personality (i.e. diary studies) and social psychology (i.e. priming), we develop and validate three novel, and subtle, assessment procedures that involve obtaining participants' on-line reports of their personality as they are psychologically immersed in a role. Our findings indicate that our assessment procedures indeed capture systematic personality changes across social roles. For instance we found that, extraversion and agreeableness were higher in the home, compared to the work, role, whereas ratings of conscientiousness are higher in the work, relative to the home, role. In a series of four studies involving diverse samples we also demonstrated the predictive, convergent, and discriminant validities of these measures.

We further examined the antecedents and outcomes of role-based personality consistency. As predicted we found that integration preferences and work centrality are antecedents of greater personality convergence between roles. An intriguing differential pattern emerged for the effects of similarity between home and work personalities on satisfaction, indicating that for some traits it is best not to have a 'fragmented self', whereas for others a differentiated self is necessary for adapting to the multiple and often conflicting requirements of social life.

The final step of the project involves the examination of the generalisability of our assessment tools and findings to different cultures such as Canadian students and employees, most notably to recent Asian immigrants to Canada. This project provides psychologists, organisational scholars, as well as sociologists, with much-needed empirical tools for assessing role identities. It also provides the most comprehensive investigation to date of the nature of role-based variability in personality including its magnitude, sources, and consequences. From an applied perspective, this project also sheds light on the implications of role-based variability for employees' well-being.