Identification Problems in Personality Psychology
University of Maastricht - Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
Maastricht University - Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Stockholm University - Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI)
James J. Heckman
University of Chicago - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); American Bar Foundation; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)
John Eric Humphries
affiliation not provided to SSRN
NBER Working Paper No. w16917
This paper discusses and illustrates identification problems in personality psychology. The measures used by psychologists to infer traits are based on behaviors, broadly defined. These behaviors are produced from multiple traits interacting with incentives in situations. In general, measures are determined by these multiple traits and do not identify any particular trait unless incentives and other traits are controlled for. Using two data sets, we show, as an example, that substantial portions of the variance in achievement test scores and grades, which are often used as measures of cognition, are explained by personality variables.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 21working papers series
Date posted: April 4, 2011
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