Send to

Choose Destination
J Soc Psychol. 2001 Dec;141(6):752-63.

Personality attributes of volunteers and paid workers engaged in similar occupational tasks.

Author information

School of Psychology, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia.


The authors' primary aim was to determine whether Australian volunteers and paid workers who were engaged in similar activities differed on aspects of a 5-factor model of personality. Their secondary aim was to determine whether personality attributes were similar between volunteers involved in different activities. The participants were 36 volunteer food preparers, 38 paid food preparers, and 31 volunteer firefighters. Each participant completed a personality inventory (P. T. Costa & R. R. McCrae, 1992) and a brief demographic questionnaire. As predicted, the volunteer food preparers were more agreeable and extraverted than were their paid counterparts. The two volunteer groups differed only on the personality facet of assertiveness. The results support the existence of a constellation of traits that constitute a volunteering disposition; such traits may be relatively stable across time and situations. These results have scientific and practical implications for the literature on volunteering.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center