The Interactive Effects of Personality and General Mental Ability on Performance: Revisiting Theory and Methodology
Harris, Alexandra M
MetadataShow full item record
Researchers have increasingly investigated qualifiers of the personality-performance relationship. However, very little research to date has considered how general mental ability (GMA) interacts with personality in predicting performance. This paper reviews recent personality research consistent with a personality-GMA interaction—namely situational specificity, trait by trait interactions, and distinguishing performance dimensions—to hypothesize that the personality-performance relationship is strongest among low-GMA individuals. Additionally, this paper reviews earlier work on the topic and argues that methodological limitations (e.g., limited personality scope, FFM-based measurement, and performance operationalization) led to a premature dismissal. The current studies update prior methodology to investigate the role of personality-GMA interactions in task performance (Study 1) and extra-role performance (Study 2). Results support interactions consistent with hypotheses for conscientiousness in predicting task performance and conscientiousness, openness, and extraversion in predicting counterproductive work behavior. Implications for the theoretical relationship between personality, GMA, and performance are discussed.