Personality matters: Relevance and assessment of personality characteristics
Miloš Kankaraš ()
No 157, OECD Education Working Papers from OECD Publishing
Personality characteristics shape human behaviour and influence a wide range of life events and outcomes. They do so not only through their direct effects on life outcomes, but also through their indirect effects on other important personal factors and intermediate life events, such as the development of cognitive capacities, the attainment of educational qualifications and the formation of a family. As such, personality characteristics have a demonstrable relevance for a wide range of policy issues and represent an important, although often neglected, subject of policy interest.This paper reviews the scientific literature covering a wide range of personality characteristics, discussing their conceptualisations and main features, their relevance for important outcomes in life and work, and the chief ways they are measured. It aims to provide a comprehensive overview of various attributes of personality from the perspective of their potential importance for the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), taking into account their analytical potential and policy relevance. The paper also outlines and evaluates the most important measurement instruments for each personality characteristic, with a focus on short self-report scales as the most appropriate form for inclusion in large-scale international surveys. Finally, it presents some considerations related to the evaluation and promotion of personality characteristics and introduces the substantive and measurement criteria that could be used to select the personality attributes, and related measurement scales, to include in large-scale surveys.
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