University of Twente Student Theses


The Relationship Between Personality Traits and Task Performance as a Function of Complexity

Maharani, Asri (2023) The Relationship Between Personality Traits and Task Performance as a Function of Complexity.

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Abstract:The personality theory have been widely used to investigate personality in various fields such as job and academic performance. The existing literature on the relationship between personality and job performance mainly relied on data from workplace settings such as questionnaires, supervisor ratings, and training performance. Despite the widespread use of personality as a pre-employment evaluation tool also a long history of personality and performance research, it has yet to be investigated whether the relationship between personality and task performance is moderated by the complexity of the task at hand. The purpose of this study was firstly as an attempt to explain unique variance in task performance using personality, secondly to find out whether there was a difference in task performance at different levels of task complexity and, thirdly, to find out whether complexity moderates the relationship between personality and task performance. The study was conducted as experimental research with a quantitative method. The data was collected from 56 participants who performed asphalt compaction tasks in a VR simulation. None of the participants had experience with asphalt compacting. The asphalt compaction simulation included two types of weather situations: sunny-warm and rainy-cold. Compacting asphalt in sunny-warm weather is a low complexity task given that the road roller operator does not have to deal with the asphalt mixture’s heat loss as quickly as in rainy-cold weather. In rainy-cold weather, heat loss occurs more rapidly, which causes the asphalt mixture to solidify and settle before the road roller operator can finish the compaction process. This time pressure adds an additional level of difficulty. Prior to the experiment, the participants filled out questionnaire about personality based on the Big Five personality traits theory. The study found that there was a significant association between neuroticism and task performance, and conscientiousness and task performance, which might explain unique variance of ‘quality performance’ in the sunny-warm scenario (low complexity). However, the study found no difference in performance results (neither ‘quality’ nor ‘quantity’) under different levels of task complexity. Overall, complexity did not moderate the relationship between personality and task performance in the VR simulation. This study provided new insight into the relationship between personality and performance in the context of the construction industry by conducting research in a controlled environment, which is distinct from previous studies on personality and performance that generally only relied on workplace data. It suggested that personality can be used to aid in the selection and design of task allocation to optimize performance in accordance with individual differences.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:81 education, teaching
Programme:Educational Science and Technology MSc (60023)
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