Extroverts Vs. Introverts: New Study Examines their Perceived Value in the Workplace

work partners

A recent study by researchers from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management suggests that although extroverts are initially held in higher esteem in the workplace, self-described neurotics and those who are socially withdrawn tend to gain respect over time while their outwardly confident co-workers lose status. As time passes, neurotics tend to exceed expectations and are perceived as hard workers, while extroverts are seen to coast—and this is the case even if the two groups make similar contributions. In a recent New York Times article, lead author Corinne Bendersky describes her findings and suggests that the patterns she found reflect the value of creating low expectations.

Bendersky’s study included two parts. In the first part, graduate students completed a survey about their own personalities and how they viewed others in their work groups. Initially, the more confident students were perceived as being stronger contributors. But when the survey was repeated ten weeks later, the perception of the introverts had improved, while the extroverts lost status.

In the second part of the study, students were presented with a hypothetical situation: a co-worker named John was assigned to help them finish a project. John was described to half of the students as neurotic and to the other half as extroverted. As predicted, students initially expected that extroverted John would be a more effective contributor. Next, some students were told that even though he was busy, John had agreed to work late; others were told that John was too busy and had to leave early. In both cases, students were less critical of neurotic John’s contributions, while extroverted John was seen as disappointing—even when he was generous with his time.

The findings may also suggest that people perceive the values of personality and contribution differently. Extroverted personalities are overvalued but their contributions can be undervalued; introverted personalities tend not to be valued, but their contributions are sometimes overvalued—they seem to be given the benefit of the doubt.

What are the implications of this research for hiring managers and team leaders? In a recent interview with Forbes magazine, Bendersky cautions against hiring too many extroverts. “The core of an extroverted personality is to be attention-seeking,” she says. “It turns out they just keep talking, they don’t listen very well, and they’re not very receptive to other people’s input. They don’t contribute as much as people think they will.”

What do you think? What combinations of personality traits make up the most effective teams where you work? PAR wants to hear from you, so leave a comment and join the conversation!

 

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Understanding Workplace Personality: New Assessment Helps Job Seekers and Employers Find the Right Match

applicantBeyond the technical requirements of the job, what are the workplace personality traits that lead to success in a specific work environment? Understanding the personality traits needed for a particular job or workplace can be the key to a good career choice—a match that works for both employee and employer.

The new Working Styles Assessment™ (WSA™) from PAR is a measure of work-related personality traits such as initiative, persistence, concern for others, self-control, conscientiousness, and analytical thinking. By measuring these traits, career counselors can help their clients find jobs they love—and employers can find workers who have what it takes for success on the job.

The WSA is the only workplace personality assessment that uses the current Occupational Information Network (O*NET) terminology, which means that the personality traits measured by the WSA can be compared to the traits associated with hundreds of current occupations listed in the O*NET database.

The WSA helps create a win-win situation for job seekers and employers:

  • Career counselors can help their clients use the WSA to identify their own strengths and explore the career options that are most likely to be a good fit.
  • HR professionals can decide which traits are most important for a given job and then use the WSA to identify candidates who have those traits.
  • Job seekers can look up interesting jobs on the O*NET and compare the working styles required by those jobs to their own working styles.

The WSA is a useful complement to the recently released 5th Edition of the Self-Directed Search® (SDS®), John Holland’s gold standard career interest inventory. The WSA will also soon be available on PARiConnect, PAR’s online assessment platform.

To learn more about the WSA and other career products from PAR, visit www.parinc.com or call Customer Support at 1.800.331.8378.

You’ve Got (E)-Mail

123982208Can’t stop checking your e-mail? Feel phantom vibrations even when your phone isn’t in your pocket? You aren’t alone. Occupational psychologist Emma Russell has released new research that indicates workers obsessed with checking e-mail may actually be damaging their mental health.

Dr. Russell, of London’s Kingston University, analyzed the e-mail of employees across many different types of companies to see which habits had positive or negative influences on their work lives. Many of the habits were thought to be positive traits by the employees, yet had negative effects, as well.

“This research reminds us that even though we think we are using strategies for dealing with our e-mail at work, many of them can be detrimental to other goals and the people we work with,” said Dr. Russell, who presented her Seven Deadly E-mail Sins at the British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference. According to Dr. Russell, the Seven Deadly E-mail Sins, when used in moderation, are fine, but can have a negative impact if they are not handled correctly. For example, while workers may check e-mail outside of business hours to stay on top of work, it may also mean they have trouble switching between work and home life. While responding immediately to e-mails may show concern and interest, it may take the sender away from other tasks needing concentration.

The seven sins include: ping pong (constant e-mails back and forth, creating long chains), e-mailing outside of work hours, e-mailing around others, ignoring e-mails, requesting read receipts, responding immediately to an e-mail alert, and sending automated replies.

The Vocabulary Assessment Scales: Meet Author Rebecca Gerhardstein-Nader, PhD

Among PAR’s newest and most innovative products, the Vocabulary Assessment Scales (VAS) present highly realistic, full-color digital photographs to measure the breadth of an individual’s vocabulary and oral language development. This complementary pair of assessments measure both expressive (VAS-E) and receptive (VAS-R) vocabulary.  Norm-referenced and designed for simple administration and scoring, the VAS-E and VAS-R can be used individually or in combination throughout an individual’s life span.

Click the video link above to view a short interview with VAS author Rebecca Gerhardstein-Nader, PhD, and learn more about the features and benefits of this exciting new product!

New Treatment Options for Seasonal Affective Disorder

Sad Winter

It’s that time of year….

During the winter months, people are more likely to report feeling tired, depressed, or sad. For many of us, these feelings are a normal response to less sunlight, and an occasional case of the “winter blues” is mild and manageable. Others, however, are struggling with the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a clinical form of depression. What is the difference between the two?

In a recent interview published by the American Psychological Association, SAD expert Kelly Rohan, PhD, explains the signs of the disorder and potential treatments. Rohan is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Vermont who specializes in cognitive-behavioral therapy, theory of depression, and SAD.

According to Rohan, SAD is a pattern of major depressive episodes during the fall and winter months, with periods of full improvement in the winter and spring. “The symptoms of SAD are exactly the same as non-seasonal depression symptoms, which can include a loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyed activities, excessive fatigue, difficulty concentrating, a significant change in sleep length and thoughts about death or suicide. The only difference with SAD is the seasonal pattern it follows,” says Rohan in the APA interview.

Widely used treatments for SAD include light therapy, that is, daily exposure to bright artificial light during the months when depressive episodes occur; anti-depressant medications are sometimes prescribed, as well. In recent years, however, Rohan’s lab has been researching the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for SAD. “CBT is a type of talk therapy used and researched extensively for non-seasonal depression since the 1960s, but we are the first group to apply the treatment to SAD,” Rowan says. “The CBT for SAD treatment we have been testing includes 12 structured sessions, delivered two times per week over six weeks in the winter. The sessions focus on developing skills to improve coping with the seasons. The therapist works with the patient to foster two types of skills: behavioral (doing) skills and cognitive (thinking) skills. The behavioral skills involve identifying, scheduling and doing pleasurable, engaging activities every day in the winter. Over time, these proactive behaviors are meant to counteract the down, lethargic mood and the tendency to give in to ‘hibernation’ urges that are so common in SAD. The cognitive skills involve learning to identify and challenge negative thoughts when experiencing SAD symptoms.”

In Rohan’s clinical trial, patients who had been treated with CBT generally had better outcomes than those who had been treated with light therapy alone. “These results suggest that treating someone initially with just CBT may be more effective in the long term,” says Rohan. “My lab is completing a study to find out if these results hold in a larger, more definitive study funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health.”

What do you think? Could CBT be a promising treatment option for clients with SAD? PAR wants to hear from you, so leave a comment and join the conversation!

PAR Author Lisa Firestone Presents CE Workshop at Esalen Institute

Lisa-Professional HeadshotsJoin Lisa Firestone for a continuing education workshop titled “Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice,” January 24-26 at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California.

This workshop will help you learn to deal effectively with a critical “inner voice” in all aspects of life, teaching participants how to overcome destructive inner thoughts and cope more effectively.

Lisa Firestone is the coauthor of the Firestone Assessment of Self-Destructive Thoughts and Firestone Assessment of Suicide Intent (FAST-FASI), the Firestone Assessment of Violent Thoughts™ (FAVT™), and the Firestone Assessment of Violent Thoughts-Adolescent (FAVT-A).

 

Click here for more information or to register for the workshop.

Lisa Firestone Presents CE Workshops

Firestone_LisaPAR author Lisa Firestone will be presenting two continuing education workshops in Boston, Massachusetts in December.

The workshops are sponsored by the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology and highlight the topics of suicide treatment and prevention and working with high conflict couples.

“The War Within: Working with Suicidal Individuals” will be held December 6, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This course focuses on giving more extensive training to practitioners in the treatment of suicidal clients.

“Transforming War Between Intimates: Working with High Conflict Couples” will be held December 7, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Focusing on Gottman’s research on the predictors of longevity in a relationship, this course will discuss styles of relating and how couples can challenge behaviors that interfere with closeness and longevity.

For more information or to register, click on the course descriptions above.