The Applied Relevance of the General Factor of Personality: Advancements in the Occupational and Clinical Context

Dimitri van der Linden, Curtis S. Dunkel, Peiqian Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

It has been proposed that the hierarchical structure of personality contains a general factor, representing the shared variance of lower-order personality traits, such as the Big Five. This general factor of personality (GFP) reflects a mix of socially desirable traits. There is a scientific debate on whether the GFP mere arises due to measurement artifact (e.g., social desirability bias), or whether it is largely substantive. In the substantive view of the GFP, the factor is proposed to be mainly social effectiveness or resilience. In the present article we focus on advancements on GFP research in two applied areas, namely occupational behavior and clinical psychology. We discuss research showing that, in the work domain, the GFP positively relates to supervisor-rated and objective job performance, and leadership. In line with the social-effectiveness account, the GFP also is associated with more interest in social jobs. In the clinical domains, low GFP scores have shown to be related to a wide range of psychopathologies and difficulties in dealing with everyday life. In conclusion, we argue that the GFP may have significant theoretical and practical implications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199–211
JournalJapanese Journsal of Personality
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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