Previous studies have examined how personality models (e.g., Big Five, HEXACO) relate to vocational interests. We adopt a novel approach by testing the associations between personality and vocational interests from the perspective of the general factor of personality (GFP). One interpretation of the GFP is that it reflects social effectiveness. Based on this interpretation, we predicted that the GFP is particularly related to interest in social jobs because people generally tend to be attracted to activities in which they perform well. To test this, we used four large data sets: the Professional Worker Career Experience Survey (study 1a; N = 752), OpenPsychometrics.org (study 1b, N = 108,209), Project Talent (study 2; N = 81,130), and the National Merit Twin Study (study 3: N = 1536 in 768 twin pairs). In each sample, we presented the direct associations as well as the results after using control variables (gender and cognitive ability). In study 1a and 1b, the GFP particularly related to interest in social and enterprising occupations. In study 2, the GFP related to interest in working with people and was also associated with a range of occupational scales involving social aspects. In study 3, the GFP only showed a consistent relation with social interests. This association was present at the phenotypical as well as genetic level. Notwithstanding some variation in findings across the different studies, the overall pattern seems to be in line with the notion that the GFP is positively associated with the preference for more socially laden jobs.
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