CHAPTER 2 – PERSONALITY AND LEARNING
Personality: The relatively stable set of psychological characteristics that influences the
way an individual interacts with his or her environment.
Five-Factor Model of Personality (FFM)
1. Extraversion: Extent to which someone is outgoing vs. shy.
2. Emotional stability/Neuroticism: Degree to which someone had appropriate emotional
3. Agreeableness: Extent to which someone is friendly and approachable.
4. Conscientiousness: Degree to which someone is responsible and achievement
5. Openness to experience: Extent to which a person thinks flexibly and is receptive to
• All factors above are relatively independent of each other and hold up cross-
Locus of control: A set of beliefs about whether one’s behavior is controlled mainly by
internal or external forces.
Behavioral plasticity theory: People with low self-esteem tend to be more susceptible to
external and social influences than those who have high-self esteem.
Five personality variable important for OB:
1. Positive and negative affectivity (PA and NA)
• May have a genetic basis
• Positive affectivity: Propensity to view the world, including oneself and
other people, in a positive light.
• Negative affectivity: Propensity to view the world, including oneself and
other people, in a negative light.
• Can influence people’s job attitudes and behavior.
• People higher on PA report higher job satisfaction, are more creative at
work, and are less stressed.
2. Proactive personality
• Taking initiative to improve current circumstances or creating new ones.
3. General self-efficacy (GSE)
• A general trait that refers to an individual’s belief in his or her ability to
perform successfully in a variety of challenging situations.
• A motivational trait, not an affective trait.
• If you have experienced many successes, you probably have a higher
4. Core self-evaluations
• A broad personality concept that consists of more specific traits that
reflect the evaluations people hold about themselves and their self-worth. • Four traits that make up one’s core self-evaluation:
o General self-efficacy
o Locus of control
o Neuroticism (emotional stability)
Learning: A relatively permanent change in behavior potential that occurs due to practice
Operant Learning Theory
• B.F. Skinner.
• Rats learned to pull lever to get food.
• The subject learns to operate on the environment to achieve certain consequences.
• Operant learned behavior is controlled by the consequences that follow it.
• Can be used to increase probability of undesirable behaviors.
• Reinforcement: The process by which stimuli strengthen behavior.
• Positive reinforcement: The application or addition of a stimulus that increases or
maintains the probability of some behavior.
o Pellets were positive reinforcement.
• Negative reinforcement: The removal of a stimulus that, in turn, increases or
maintains the probability of some