Original Research

Criterion validity of the 10 personality aspects for performance in South Africa

Xander van Lill, Cobi Hayes
African Journal of Psychological Assessment | Vol 6 | a129 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajopa.v6i0.129 | © 2024 Xander van Lill, Cobi Hayes | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 November 2022 | Published: 16 April 2024

About the author(s)

Xander van Lill, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa; and, Department of Product and Research, JVR Africa Group, Johannesburg, South Africa
Cobi Hayes, Derivco, Durban, South Africa


Recent evidence suggests that personality could play just as important a role in the prediction of important work-related outcomes as cognitive ability. However, it might be meaningful to adjust the level at which personality is measured and reported, depending on the narrowness of the scope of the criteria of interest. This study firstly explored the inter-factor correlations of the 10 personality aspects of the Work Personality Index (WPI) from an archival dataset of 4759 South African employees. An oblique lower-order model was specified to investigate the inter-factor correlations between personality aspects. Secondly, a dominance analysis was performed using a sequentially collected cross-sectional sample of 197 South African employees, to determine the relative weight that each of the 10 aspects carries when predicting five narrower dimensions of performance. The 10 aspects exhibited unique patterns in predicting narrower performance dimensions. Scientists and practitioners might, therefore, benefit from modelling relationships between personality aspects and narrower performance areas. In accordance, more nuanced selection decisions or development recommendations can be made that are specific to the work behaviours of interest.

Contribution: The present study is the first to explore the criterion validity of the 10 personality aspects against five performance areas in the South African context. The study underscores the importance of a more nuanced understanding of the work-related implications of narrower personality characteristics, which have practical implications for both selection decisions and developmental recommendations within organisational settings.


personality; 10 aspects; work performance; criterion validity; dominance analysis

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Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure


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