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Workshop 8: Glimpses of Personality Everywhere: Looking beyond Self-Report Assessments


Eric D. Heggestad, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Lynn A. McFarland, Human Capital Solutions, Inc.
Maynard Goff, Korn Ferry Institute


Stephen Stark, University of South Florida


Although self-report remains the most common method for assessing personality in applied contexts, there is growing interest among researchers and practitioners about other methods of assessing personality. We consider the evidence for the viability of several of these other assessment methods, including peer-reports, resumes, interviews, assessment centers, and social media.

Full Description:

Organizations have long recognized the value of personality traits for predicting important workplace behaviors. Although the most common approach to assessing personality is via self-report questionnaire measures, other approaches of assessing these important traits are gaining prevalence because they address limitations of traditional measures. The purpose of this workshop is to review these alternative approaches. Specifically, we talk about the use of peer assessments, resume screening, interviews, assessment centers, and social media as means of assessing personality. We will describe how each approach has been used to assess personality, evidence regarding the reliability and validity of the approach, and recommendations regarding their appropriate use. 

Intended Audience:

Intermediate: General audience at the post graduate level. The workshop is intended for I-O professionals and HR practitioners who are interested in using assessments of personality as part of talent assessment, primarily talent acquisition. Some working knowledge of personality trait perspectives (e.g., Big Five) would be helpful. A solid, working understanding of the concepts of reliability and validity is essential

Learning Objectives:

  • Define personality and how it has typically been conceptualized in organizational science and practice
  • Describe and analyze how personality has typically been assessed and the resulting scores have been used.
  • List alternative approaches to assessing personality in organizations.
  • Compare the pros and cons associated with each alternative personality assessment.

Presenter Biographies:

Dr. Eric Heggestad is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Organizational Science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and is currently serving as the Interim Chair of the Department of Psychological Sciences. He earned his Ph.D. in Psychology (the Personality Research Program) at the University of Minnesota in 1997 under the mentorship of Drs. Ruth Kanfer and Phil Ackerman. Eric is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Business and Psychology andhasserved on the editorial boards of Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management and Human Performance. His research, which focuses on talent acquisition and assessment, issues and applications of personality assessments in applied contexts, and issues related to research methods and psychometrics, has been published in journals such as Journal of Applied Psychology, Psychological Bulletin, Personnel Psychology, and Organizational Research Methods. In addition to his scholarly work, Eric has consulted with a number of organizations and currently sits on Science Advisory panels for The National Center for State Courts and Insight Venture Partners.

Dr. Lynn McFarland earned her Ph.D. at Michigan State University in 2000. She received her doctorate in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and worked in a psychology department as a professor, early in her career. She left academics in 2005 to be the president and co-founder of Human Capital Solutions, Inc., an HR consulting firm specializing in staffing and performance management. She has worked with clients in both the public and private sector. Lynn has published in several leading management journals such as the Journal of Applied PsychologyPersonnel Psychology, and the Journal of Management, and has presented over 50 papers at national conferences. She is a recognized expert in the areas of staffing, training, and performance management, and has received numerous awards, including Best Paper Awards from the Academy of Management and the Walter G. Klopfer Award for Distinguished Contributions.


Dr. Maynard Goff is Senior Scientist at Korn Ferry Institute. In this role, he is responsible for development of assessment intellectual property, support of consulting processes in people measurement, and research projects with clients. His primary area of research has been application of individual differences measures in business. He designs and implements research efforts to investigate a wide range of measurement and talent management questions. He has worked in the talent assessment research space for over twenty years, helping global clients in many industries to answer talent-related questions, assuring that sound research provides data appropriate to the need. Prior to his work in talent research, he acquired a range of operations experience in a variety of HR, line, and executive positions. He has published in Personnel Psychology, Journal of Educational Psychology, Journal of Applied Psychology, and International Journal of Selection and Assessment. He earned his master’s and doctoral degree in industrial-organizational psychology from the University of Minnesota, a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Iowa, and his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Northern Iowa.

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