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J Appl Psychol. 1995 Aug;80(4):500-9.

Relative importance of personality and general mental ability in managers' judgments of applicant qualifications.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Coe College, USA.


Eighty-four managers who make hiring decisions in 1 of 6 occupations representative of J. L. Holland's (1973) 6 job typologies (medical technologist, insurance sales agent, carpenter, licensed practical nurse, reporter, and secretary) rated 39 hypothetical job applicants on 2 dependent variables, hirability and counterproductivity. Applicants were described on the Big Five personality factors (Emotional Stability, Extraversion, Openness to Experience, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness) and on general mental ability. Results showed that general mental ability and conscientiousness were the most important attributes related to applicants' hirability and that Emotional Stability, Conscientiousness, and Agreeableness were the most important attributes related to counterproductivity. In most respects, these results mirror meta-analytic reviews of validity studies, thereby confirming hypotheses.

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