The Wall Street Journal last week ran an interesting article that summarizes a study that aggregates personality data on a state by state basis. The research is based on a Five Factor approach to studying personality (Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Neuroticism/Stability, and Openness). Criteria's pre-employment testing solution features a personality inventory, the CPI, that is built on the same theoretical principles – and other employment personality tests that we offer also focus on a subset of these traits. Armed with over 600,000 internet surveys, the researchers showed that on average, respondents from North Dakota were the most agreeable in the country, and those in Alaska – by a huge margin – were the least agreeable. Alaska also ranked near the bottom on the other four personality dimensions too — but we'll have more on that in another blog post. But before we jump to any conclusions, let's stop to consider why small states seem to pop up a lot near the top and bottom of these lists.
We found this article on introversion and extraversion to be interesting. (Another article on the same topic by the same author is found here.) We agree that certain personality dimensions tend to be valued with a one-way function, (e.g. the author points out there are even self-help courses aimed at "curing" introversion and helping people discover their inner extrovert). The article is a good reminder that there are merits at both ends of the introvert-extravert spectrum. The discussion focuses largely on the subjective experience of an individual in accepting (and being accepted for) their orientation when it comes to crowds and interactions. The pictures, however, remind us of people who have achieved great public distinction despite a preference for plenty of alone time.
The US Open golf tournament is often called the “ultimate test” in championship golf and its goal is to crown the US champion. That got us thinking about viewing golf tournaments as a selection process. In a typical tournament, players play 4 rounds of golf. (There’s usually a cut after the second day where the field is reduced by half. This complicates the analysis below somewhat, but not enough to change the main point.) When all is said and done by Sunday afternoon, millions of dollars of prize money is distributed purely according to rank order from best to worst score.
Today's blog post is by Eric Loken, Criteria's Chief Research Scientist and a member of Criteria's Scientific Advisory Board. Eric plays a leading role in the development of Criteria's employment tests.