ادغام شخصیت ساخت: نقش صفات و انگیزش در تمایل به تلاش در حوزه های تحصیلی و زندگی اجتماعی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|30022||2014||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Research in Personality, Volume 48, February 2014, Pages 98–106
There has been growing interest in recent years in exploring different types of personality constructs and the nature of inter-relationships between personality variables in predicting outcomes in different life domains. The present study explores how personality traits and autonomous goal motivation predict the willingness to invest effort in academic and social life domains. Using a sample of 4133 upper secondary school students in Germany, multilevel regression analyses yielded three main results. First, both personality traits and motivation were substantially related to the willingness to exert effort. Second, the mediation effect compared to the direct effect was relatively small. Third, the pattern of predictive effects of both autonomous motivation and personality traits showed substantial domain specificity.
The willingness to exert effort in pursuing important life goals enhances goal attainment and achievement (e.g., Locke and Latham, 2002 and Sheldon and Elliot, 1998). Individuals invest effort in a number of arenas. As such, they need to make choices and decisions about how much effort to put into a particular goal and consider how to divide their “effort budgets” across multiple life domains (Heckhausen et al., 2010 and Salmela-Aro, 2009). During the transition to adulthood, appropriate engagement in academic and in social domains, in particular, is known to be critical for successful development (see for a review Dietrich, Parker, & Salmela-Aro, 2012; Parker, Ludtke, Trautwein, & Roberts, 2012; Zarrett & Eccles, 2006). The choice of how much effort to channel into these key life goals is affected not only by opportunities and constraints in an adolescent’s social environment but also by personal resources (Arnett, 2000, Nurmi, 2004 and Roberts et al., 2004). Both personality traits and motivation have been identified as key predictors of human behavior in a variety of settings (Fleeson, 2001, Little, 2007, McAdams and Olson, 2010, McAdams and Pals, 2006 and McCrae and Costa, 2008) and with variables associated with effortful striving to meet long-term life goals (Trautwein et al., 2009 and Turban et al., 2007). Although recent theoretical work has considered the inter-relationship between different groups of personality variables (e.g., Bleidorn, 2009, Little, 2007, McCabe and Fleeson, 2012 and McAdams and Pals, 2006; McCrae & Costa, 2008), personality trait and motivation research have largely progressed in isolation. Personality trait research has typically focused on constructing traits as domain-general predictors of behavior (Cantor, 1990, McAdams and Pals, 2006 and McCrae and Costa, 2008), whereas motivation research has progressed by exploring goals and goal motivation within particular domains of human interest (Little, 2007, McAdams and Pals, 2006 and Nurmi, 2004). Both sets of constructs are part of a spectrum of personality constructs that have been found to be important predictors of outcomes, including effort and goal striving (e.g., Trautwein et al., 2009). Many of the assumptions of integrative models of personality are poorly tested with empirical research. The current study considered several assumptions about the role of traits and motivational personality variables in predicting willingness to exert effort in academic and social life domains. It explored the juxtaposition of these variables in predicting willingness to exert effort to obtain important goals and clarified whether basic personality traits and motivation are independent (independent effects model) predictors of willingness to exert effort or whether motivation mediates the effects of personality traits on effort (the mediated effects model). It also compared and contrasted the domain specificity of personality traits and motivation constructs as predictors of willingness to exert effort in different life domains to clarify the nature of their predictive effect. 1.1. Personality: Conscientiousness and agreeableness as predictors of effort The Big Five framework is the most widely used taxonomy of personality (Digman, 1990 and Goldberg, 1993). The framework organizes broad individual dispositions in social and emotional life into five factor analytically derived traits, most commonly labeled extroversion, conscientiousness, neuroticism, agreeableness, and openness to experience (McAdams and Olson, 2010, McAdams and Pals, 2006, McCrae and Costa, 2008 and McCrae and John, 1992). In some personality theories, traits have been described as basic tendencies, which describe broad dispositional patterns of behaviors, cognitions, and emotions across a range of life domains (e.g., McCrae & Costa, 2008), whereas in other theories they have defined as concepts that can change by context (e.g., Roberts & DelVecchio, 2000). Conscientiousness and agreeableness are of specific relevance to academic and social life domains, respectively. Conscientiousness is known to be associated with task completion and goal-directed behavioral tendencies, such as thinking before acting, following norms and rules, planning, organizing, and prioritizing tasks (John et al., 2008 and Roberts et al., 2009). As such, conscientiousness is often used as a predictor of greater effort and success in school and work life domains (Barrick and Mount, 1991, Bleidorn, 2012, Corker et al., 2012, Digman, 1989, Noftle and Robins, 2007 and Shiner, 2000). Conscientiousness has been shown, for example, to foster effort investment in class and homework (Trautwein and Lüdtke, 2007 and Trautwein et al., 2006), facilitate high academic achievement (Digman, 1989, Marsh et al., 2006, Mervielde et al., 1995 and Noftle and Robins, 2007), and predict job performance (Barrick & Mount, 1991). Agreeableness includes tendencies such as altruism and trust (John et al., 2008). As such, it is often used as a predictor of outcomes in social relationships (Digman, 1989, Little et al., 1992, McCrae and Costa, 1989 and Parker et al., 2012). It has been shown, for example, to foster intimate relationships (Hogan, 1996) and to facilitate family relationships and parental investment (MacDonald, 1995). 1.2. Motivation: Do reasons for pursuing goals predict effort? Personality traits are potent predictors of behavior, but they may not fully address the complexity of human goal striving. To better understand personality and behavior, motivational research over the past two decades has studied so-called goal units (Pervin, 1989). These units, conceptualized, for example, as personal action constructs ( Little, 1989) are associated with what people do in their daily lives ( Cantor, 1990) and are believed to signify human agency through an individual’s choices. Relative to traits, goal units have been conceptualized as middle-level units of analysis ( Little, 1989 and Little, 2007) or part of characteristic adaptations ( McAdams and Olson, 2010 and McAdams and Pals, 2006), which are thought to be narrower than personality traits and are hypothesized to be more sensitive to contextual features than traits ( Little, 2007 and McAdams and Pals, 2006). Goal units are often conceptualized as consisting of two aspects (Cantor et al., 1987 and Nuttin, 1984). The first is the goal content or the objectives people mention as their personal goals (Cantor et al., 1987 and Little, 1983). This focuses on the “what” aspect of goal setting (i.e., what does this specific person consider an important goal?). Young adults’ goals are often focused on life domains, such as education, employment, family, or peer relationships (e.g., Blais et al., 1990 and Salmela-Aro and Nurmi, 1997). The second involves appraisals of the goal and characteristics of goal striving (see Little, 1983). This focuses on the “how” aspect of goal setting (i.e., how do people work cognitively, emotionally, and behaviorally toward their goals?). These approaches typically investigate the appraisals people make concerning goals within different life domains, such as those focusing on career and education (Harlow and Cantor, 1994 and Nurmi et al., 2002) or social relationships (Cantor et al., 1992 and Salmela-Aro and Nurmi, 1996). In one of the most influential motivation theories, self-determination theory (SDT), Deci and Ryan, 1985 and Deci and Ryan, 2000 emphasized the importance of inner resources for working toward important life goals in domains such as academic life (Black & Deci, 2000) and in social relationships (Kim, Carver, Deci, & Kasser, 2008). According to SDT, individuals have their own reasons for specific goals (i.e., the perceived locus of causality), and these have implications for the type, quality, and quantity of effort someone is likely to invest in meeting those goals (Ryan and Deci, 2000 and Sheldon and Elliot, 1998). More autonomously motivated goals are pursued as a result of the expression of personal choices (Sheldon & Elliot, 1999). In contrast, goals that are motivated by control (i.e., controlled motivation) are pursued because of the person feels controlled by external pressures or contingencies ( Deci and Ryan, 1985 and Sheldon and Kasser, 1998) or is stimulated by guilt, anxiety, or ego (e.g., pride) ( Ryan & Deci, 2000). This type of controlled motivation produces pressure to think, feel, or behave in a particular way ( Deci & Ryan, 2000). Previous studies have suggested that those whose goals are autonomously motivated not only invest more sustained effort into achieving those goals but also the quality of their effort is higher (Sheldon, 2002, Sheldon and Elliot, 1998, Sheldon and Elliot, 1999, Trautwein et al., 2006, Turban et al., 2007 and Vasalampi et al., 2009). For example, Turban et al. (2007) showed that the perceived locus of causality (i.e., autonomous motivation) of students with respect to school courses strongly influenced the effort they put into their studies. Controlled motivation is often considered problematic because it leads to individuals not satisfying their own psychological needs (Deci and Ryan, 2000 and Sheldon, 2002) and disengaging (i.e., reducing effort) when confronted with obstacles (Judge et al., 2005, Sheldon and Elliot, 1998, Sheldon and Elliot, 1999 and Sheldon and Houser-Marko, 2001). 1.3. Associations among personality traits, goal motivation, and invested effort There is an abundance of theoretical models that delineate personality traits and personal goal relationships, and studies have shown that both personality traits and goal motivation are associated with invested effort. However, few studies (e.g., Corker et al., 2012 and Trautwein et al., 2009) have explored these factors simultaneously. The current paper extends previous research by testing two competing hypotheses (mediated and independent effects) by which personality traits and autonomous goal regulation affect effort expenditure in two domains (academic and social). In both the mediated effects model and the independent effects model, basic traits and intermediate constructs, such as motivation, are conceptualized as a hierarchy of personality. However, the two models differ in their expectations about how these traits and intermediate constructs predict outcomes, such as effort. 1.3.1. Mediated effects hypothesis The best-known paradigm, referred to by Trautwein et al. (2009) as the mediated effects hypothesis, has been used by a number of authors in integrative models of personality (e.g., Buss and Cantor, 1989, McAdams and Pals, 2006 and McCrae and Costa, 2008). This model suggests that traits like conscientiousness or agreeableness are domain-general predictors, whereas characteristic adaptations like goal motivation are context (or life domain-specific) intermediate constructs (e.g., McAdams & Pals, 2006). Typically, the research has suggested (e.g., Little, 2007, McAdams and Pals, 2006 and McCrae and Costa, 2008) that constructs, such as goal motivation, are situated between general traits and specific behavior and that they act as mediators. Cantor (1990) distinguished between “having” or “doing” aspects of personality. The first level of the dispositional construct refers to the person as an actor (McAdams & Olson, 2010) and describes the “having” side of the personality (e.g., Cantor, 1990). The second level, on the other hand, relates to the person as an agent (McAdams & Olson, 2010) and the “doing” side of the personality that is in a dynamic relationship with the person’s environment (e.g., Cantor, 1990 and Little, 2007). Indeed, the “doing” side of personality or resulting adaptations, such as motivation, give concrete and contextual form to abstract individual dispositions. The “having” side and associated personality traits are the result, at least in part, of the genetic background and the early life experiences of the individual. 1.3.2. Independent effects hypothesis Roberts and Wood (2006) suggested a competing model referred to by Trautwein et al. (2009) as the independent effects model. This model agrees with the distinction between basic personality traits and characteristic adaptations but suggests there is a relationship between them. The model proposes that motivation and personality traits represent different groups of variables that are largely distinct from each other in their influence on life outcomes, such as invested effort. Little research is available that directly compares these models: Trautwein et al. (2009) explicitly compared these models and found support for the independent effects model. Corker et al. (2012) found that the effect of personality traits was generally independent from the effect of motivation but that a small portion of the effect was mediated through motivation. However, these studies focused only on the academic domain and included only the personality trait of conscientiousness. By including the domain-specific goal motivation and the domain-general personality traits conscientiousness and agreeableness, the current research provides a broader test of the mediated effects versus the independent effects models across both academic and social life domains. 1.4. Domain specificity of personality traits and goals By utilizing multiple life domains, the current research provides an important opportunity to further clarify the means by which personality traits and motivation predict outcomes, such as willingness to invest effort. In particular, this research allows us to consider the relative domain specificity of personality traits and motivation and their associations with domain-specific effort outcomes. Goal motivation, unlike personality traits, is thought to be developed and oriented toward specific content or life domains (Matthews and Deary, 1998 and McAdams and Pals, 2006). Research has shown that goal appraisals differ depending on the focus of the goal, namely, the goal content (Nurmi, Salmela-Aro, & Aunola, 2009). The social ecological model posits that personal projects reflect the negotiation between personal and contextual features (Little, 2007). For example, individuals can be autonomously motivated in investing effort to get into college but externally motivated to get married and start a family (Vallerand, 2000). Put simply, it would be expected that goal motivation in one life domain would have an effect on outcomes within that domain but would have a nonsignificant effect on other domains. In this case, we expect goal motivation associated with academic domains to be associated with effort in this domain but to be unrelated to effort invested in social relationships. In relation to the domain-general nature of personality, there are two positions in the literature. The strict theoretical position holds that basic personality traits are clearly domain general and as such can be expected to have relatively similar outcomes across life domains (McAdams and Pals, 2006 and McCrae and Costa, 2008). However, this tends not to be supported in the empirical literature, with some personality traits consisting of patterns of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors having greater implications for outcomes in some domains than others (McCrae & Costa, 1989). For example, although conscientiousness is an important predictor of success in academic outcomes, it is not as strong a predictor of outcomes in other life domains, such as in social life (e.g., McCrae and Costa, 1989 and Roberts and Robins, 2000). Likewise, agreeableness is an important predictor of success in relationship domains, but it is not an important predictor of academic effort (Shiner, 2000) or job performance (Barrick & Mount, 1991). Thus, although personality traits are theorized to be important in all domains, some differential patterns of relationships across life domains are expected. However, it is important to note that these different patterns of relationships are not expected to be as strong as those seen in domain-specific goal motivation where measures are often designed to be domain specific. 1.5. Current research The current research sought to answer three questions, which test some of the assumptions underlying models of personality, and to help clarify how different personality variables, such as basic traits and motivation, predict domain-specific willingness to invest effort. First, we examined the degree to which basic personality traits and goal motivation predict intention to exert effort in academic and social life domains. We predicted that traits and goals will be significant predictors of willingness to invest effort in both academic and social life domains. Second, we explored the level of empirical support for the independent versus the mediated effects model. Significant indirect effects of substantial magnitude would support the mediated effects model. Finally, the study examined the degree to which basic personality traits display domain-general versus domain-specific patterns in predicting outcomes in different key life domains. We expected that conscientiousness would be a strong predictor of willingness to invest effort in the academic domain (Barrick and Mount, 1991, Corker et al., 2012, Digman, 1989 and Shiner, 2000) but not in the social domain (McCrae and Costa, 1989 and Roberts and Robins, 2000), with the opposite pattern expected for the social domain (McCrae and Costa, 1989 and Roberts and Robins, 2000). However, we also hypothesized that domain-specific patterns would be more prominent in goal motivation than in personality traits, consistent with personality theory (McAdams and Pals, 2006 and McCrae and Costa, 2008).
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
To conclude, the present study extends prior research on integrative models of personality by showing that conscientiousness and agreeableness and autonomous motivation represent generally independent predictors of the willingness to invest effort. In addition, although some evidence of domain-general effects was observed for personality traits and motivation, both groups of personality constructs displayed strong differential patterns of relationships with variables in the different life domains, raising important questions about the nature of domain specificity in personality trait constructs.