CONSCIENTIOUSNESS, EXTRAVERSION AND NEUROTICISM AS CORRELATES OF WORK ATTITUDE OF CIVIL SERVANTS IN RIVERS STATE, NIGERIA

CONSCIENTIOUSNESS, EXTRAVERSION AND NEUROTICISM AS CORRELATES OF WORK ATTITUDE OF CIVIL SERVANTS IN RIVERS STATE, NIGERIA

CONSCIENTIOUSNESS, EXTRAVERSION AND NEUROTICISM AS CORRELATES OF WORK ATTITUDE OF CIVIL SERVANTS IN RIVERS STATE, NIGERIA

BY

ADIMONYE IJEOMA AKUBATA

07030725319

Department of Educational Psychology Guidance and Counselling, Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt

And

ABANGOWE TEMPLE

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

07038611400

Department of Educational Psychology Guidance and Counselling, University of Port Harcourt

 

Abstract

This study investigated conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism traits and work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State, Nigeria. Using the correlational research design, the study was guided by three research questions and their corresponding null hypotheses. The population of the study is 5,041 civil servants in Rivers State. A sample of 372 civil servants was drawn using stratified proportionate random sampling technique. For data collection two instruments were adapted for the study the instruments are The Conscientiousness, Extraversion and Neuroticism Inventory (CENI) and Workers Attitude Scale (WAS). The two instruments are non-cognitive assessment tools. The validity of the instrument was done by the two test experts. Reliability of the instrument was done using Cronbach Alpha. The following reliability coefficients were obtained: conscientiousness = 0.84, extraversion = 0.89 and neuroticism = 0.87. In the case of the work attitude instrument, the reliability coefficient was found to be 0.96. Research questions were analyzed and answered with Pearson Product Moment Correlation In the instance of the hypotheses, all hypotheses were tested using p-value of Pearson Product Moment Correlation. The findings of the study showed that personality traits of conscientiousness, extraversion and neuroticism had a significant relationship with work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State. Based on the findings it was recommended that ministry of labour and employment should take into consideration the need to motivate civil servants in order to improve their work attitude.

Keyword: conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism traits and work attitude.

 

Introduction

Civil servants play an important role in the realization of the goals of any government. Before a worker can be said to have work positively or negatively towards improving his/ her attitude to work there must be some form of stimuli. The stimuli in this context are those motivating factors available to a worker in his place of work. These human elements depending on their application will make a worker respond either positively or negatively (Isiwu, 2019). Civil servant behavior at work often depends on how they feel about being there. Therefore, making sense of how people behave depends on understanding their work attitudes. Civil servants attitude refers to our opinions, beliefs, and feelings about aspects of their working environment. At work, two particular job attitudes have the greatest potential to influence how civil servants behave. These are job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Job satisfaction refers to the feelings people have toward their job. Organizations believe that these attitudes are worth tracking because they are often associated with important outcomes such as performance, helping others, absenteeism, and turnover.

The civil service is the main instrument through which the government carries out its business. The civil servants are exposed to render loyal service and professional advice to tenure (Mumuja 2012).   The role of the civil service has been influence by the   social economic and political dynamics in Nigeria. Before independence the civil service is concerned with the maintenance of law and order and fostering social and economic development, but after independence, the Nigeria civil service was faced with the issues of adjustment and consolidation. Also during this period was the change that was going on in the regional administration so their attitude to work matters a lot.

One’s personality is the product of both heredity and environment, and includes habits, disposition, tendencies, attitudes among other things of & individual (Unachukwu & Ebenebe, 2014). Ogwudire (2019) defines personality as the unique characteristics of an individual or the totality of an individual’s way of life. This definition is observing the total difference in an individual that distinguishes him or her from others. Agbo & Iwundu (2015) sees personality as the total sum of characteristics or qualities or traits that make up the individual. He further, explain that every individual has attributes & qualities for which he is being recognized. Personality depends on the impression the society has generally about a person or the individual (Agbo & Iwundu, 2015). This definition is suggesting that personality is the quality and attribute that make up a person. Personality is the quality and attributes that make up a person. This means that there are specific things or criteron that separate one from another .Moreso, Endwell (2009) observed that personality is the value of wholeness, adjustment & distinctiveness of human difference. This simply implies that personality is the dynamic organization within the individual whose psychophysical system that determine his unique adjustment to his environment. To this end, Ikediasha (2014), agreed to this assertion as he further put that personality is the sum total of a biological innate disposition, impulses, tendencies, appetites and instincts of the individual, and the acquired disposition and tendencies acquired experience.

Besides, Panda and Mohanty (2013) agreed that the success and failure of civil service depend on the attitude and performance of civil servants. The attitude and performance of civil servants are emphatic for the improvement of civil service. Civil servants job can be seen as the duty performed by a civil servant at a particular period in the civil service system in achieving organization goals. Moreso, civil servants attitude to work is a very crucial in the attainment of organizational goal. This is because it marks the beginning of success or failure of any organization. Attitude is a sense of fidelity adherence and collection of feelings and beliefs that employees have about their organization (Erdheim, Wang & Zicker, 2016). Altitude to work is an essential element of successful works. Altitudes are uniquely organized in each person and the organization itself is the product its own reactions to his own experiences. Attitude considerably influences one’s behaviour, accordingly, the individuals, attitudes may be positive (favorable) or negative (unfavorable).

Work altitude according to Albrarracin, Johnson, kumkale and Zanna (2009) is generally approach that a person has to work as a result of accepting or rejecting certain values. These values are reward system, training and development, motivation, leadership style. These values which are listed above, can affect the Work Attitude of worker (civil servants) either positively or negatively.

Meanwhile, Onyemerekeya (2018) noted that personality is the characteristic pattern of thought, emotion and behaviour that define an individual’s personal style and influence his or her interactions with the environment. This definition further expresses that personality is a construct consisting of conditions of heredity, early environmental experiences and psychological maturation. To this end, personality is perceived as the total quality and trait that make up an individual which consist of his environment, genetic and personal being.

Studies indicated that the conscientiousness, extraversion and neuroticism traits are not almost as influential in forecasting and describing actual behaviour as are the more several facets or primary traits (Paunonen & Ashton, 2011). Each of the traits qualities has two separate, but interrelated, facets revealing a stage conscientiousness, extraversion and neuroticism traits below the broad domains but above the many part scales that are also part of the conscientiousness, extraversion and neuroticism traits (DeYoung, et al, 2007). 

Underneath each projected global factor, there are various connected and more particular primary factors. For instance, extraversion is believed to consist of such related characters as excitement seeking, warmth gregariousness, assertiveness, positive emotions and activity (Matthews, et al 2003).

Conscientiousness is a propensity to display willpower, strive for achievement against measures or outside expectations and act dutifully. It is connected to the manner in which individuals regulate, direct and control their impulses. High scores on meticulousness indicate a fondness for planned against spur-of-the-moment behaviour. Surgency from external activity/situations, and energy creation from external means Extraversion is exemplified by breadth of activities (as opposed to depth). (Laney, 2002). This does not mean that they are or unsociable or unfriendly; rather, they are preserved in social situations (Rothmann & Coetzer, 2003). By and large, individuals are a blend of introversion and extraversion, with personality psychologist Eysenck proposing that these traits are linked somehow to our central nervous system (Friedman, et al, 2016).

Neuroticism is a standard temperament trait that has been carefully studied in temperament research for over a decade, before it was adapted by the FFM (Kagan & Snidman, 2009).  Neuroticism is linked to a negative approach toward work, apparent anxiety linked with work and confidence that work impedes personal relationships (Fiske, Gilbert, & Lindzey, 2009). In addition, people who score high on neuroticism may exhibit more skin conductance reactivity than those who score low on neuroticism (Norris, et al, 2007; Reynaud, et al, 2012; Jeronimus, et al, 2014). This therefore, implies that for civil servants to put their best into function government need to properly motivate and arouse their interest and boast their consciousness. Though, in Nigeria the desired result is not met as a result of many factors ranging from government to the individual themselves. From the foregoing, it is important to examine conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism traits and work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State.

Statement of the Problem.

The global economy is on competitive spree, that only the strong economy can survive. The National Gross Profit Index is grossly generated through tax, foreign trade, tourism, transportation, agriculture, and education among others. The civil service commission manages these. Therefore, sustainable economy can boast of effective civil servants who have a better work attitude towards his/her job and are committed to the requirements placed on them by their positions. This can only take place when the right staff are assign the right job depending on individual personality traits. Civil servants are key players in the achievement of national goals in any country, and to achieve this goal, their attitude to work is important and need to be addressed.

     It have being observed very closely how some civil servants were begged, and in some cases threatened by their senior colleagues before they perform their official duties. Obviously, you can tell that such behavioural disposition is majorly caused by poor attitude to work, upon which is research is hinged on.

Generally, civil service in Nigeria has a diverse workforce, and an organizational culture that clearly influences how they function as organizations. Given that the workforce dimensions in terms of better attitude to work shape organizational performance, either collectively or individually, there is a need to profile the actual dimensions at play, in terms of personality traits, to see whether this particular dimension influences the individual job performance of an organization. These employees individually possess diverse personality traits that may influence negatively or positively the perception of their job, thus, determines work attitude. With this kind of heterogeneous personality traits at the civil service sector, there is a need to establish how personality trait influences work attitude.

Even when these things are put into consideration by the government, individuals also exhibit their personal trait by being late to work. Therefore, could these blames be on workers (civil servants)?  If this is so what are the contributing factors to civil servants poor attributes to work. Could these problems be inherent or within them civil servants (their trait) or outside themselves or both (as regards their motivation) it is on this note that problem of this study is focused on the personality traits, job motivation and work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State.

Aim and Objective of the Study

This study investigated conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism traits and work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State, Nigeria. Specifically, the study is designed to realize the following objectives:

  1. find out the relationship between conscientiousness personality trait and work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State, Nigeria.
  2. investigate the relationship between extraversion and work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State, Nigeria.
  3. find out the relationship between neuroticism and work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State, Nigeria.

Research Questions

The following research questions guided the study:

What is the relationship between conscientiousness and work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State, Nigeria?

  1. What is the relationship between extraversion and work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State, Nigeria?
  2. What is the relationship between neuroticism and work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State, Nigeria?

Hypotheses

 The following null hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance.

  1. There is no significant relationship between conscientiousness and work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State.
  2. There is no significant relationship between extraversion and work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State.
  3. There is no significant relationship between neuroticism and work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State.

Significance of the Study

The outcome of this study would be of great importance to ministry of education, civil servants, school administrators, directors, teachers, head of personnel management (HPM) permanent secretaries, educational psychologists and future researchers.

The ministry of education may use the outcome of this study to plan for the education improvement in implementing the education Development Blue print. Through systematic professional development civil servants can grow and develop to acquire new knowledge, skills and attitudes which in turn promote or improve their working performance at different stages of their careers. It means that the good integrated between government’s efforts with achievement of the ministry’s goal.

The civil servants may know themselves and how to integrate their personality strength to make their working techniques become effective which is needed in achieving the ministry development blue print as well as achieving the national objectives. Every civil servant has their own working styles or method. However, the knowledge derived from this study  shows that, if civil servants are adequately motivated with good condition of service, they can improve considerably in terms of their level of performance and their output might increase greatly; the implication of such improvement in performance level and increase in output is that workers have greater chances of achieving greater height in their ministries and the best would be brought out of the workers.

The finding of this study would be of immense help to teachers in secondary schools as it will explore to them to be the role expected of them in achieving better academic performance for the students. The study would give a lime light to education stake holders on the various characteristics/ personality of the teacher that influence their motivation and attitude to work in secondary schools.

Understanding an individual’s personality is very consequential to head of personnel management, permanent secretaries and administrators since this understanding will help assign people into jobs as well as give them clues about how employee (workers) are likely to behave in different situations.

To the educational psychologists, the study would guide them towards finding out the various traits of civil servants (teachers) and the likes of workers in them, thus identifying means/ techniques of handling negative civil servants personality traits.

Lastly, the study would serve as a reference point to subsequent researchers who might be carrying out a related topic. This work would also reveal the areas of motivational factors that need to be improved for optimum performance of civil servants.

Scope of the Study

This study investigated conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism traits and work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State, Nigeria. The conscientiousness, extraversion and neuroticism traits were adopted for the study as the independent variables, while work attitude among civil servants were adopted as the dependent variable. This study was carried out in Rivers State.

METHODS

Research Design The design of this study was correlational intended to find out the relationship that exists between conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism traits and work attitude among civil servants.

Population for the study

The population of the study was made up of 5,041 civil servants in public offices in Rivers State. According to Rivers State head of Service there are about 5,041 civil servants who are directly paid from Rivers State treasury. And this number was make up the population of the study in which that finding of the research was generalized.

Sample and Sampling Technique

Stratified proportionate random sampling technique was used to determine the sample size and as well draw the participants, their ministry and department. The population of the study was divided into different strata based on their ministry. Thereafter the researcher chooses ministry of education and ministry of works to represent the sample of the study. After that the researcher was used simple random sampling technique to select the sample for the study. The sample of the study comprised of 372 civil servants from different ministries in Rivers State. This sample was drawn from the population of the study in which the findings of the study was generalized.

Instrumentation

The instruments for data gathering in this research are Conscientious, Extraversion and Neuroticism Inventory (CENI) and Workers Attitude Scale (WAS). The two instruments are non-cognitive assessment tools.

The Conscientious, Extraversion and Neuroticism Inventory (CENI) was adapted. The Workers Attitude Scale (WAS) is a researcher made instrument which contains 15 item scale designed to obtain civil servants’ work attitude. The response format for the is also a 4 point Likert type response format. The instrument were also be developed through the logical approach. The two instrument were validity by two test expert.  The reliability of the instruments was established using Cronbach Alpha statistic for a measure of their internal consistency. The instruments were administered to 30 civil servant who will not be part of the sample for the study. Thereafter, the data generated from the single administration of the instruments were subjected to Cronbach alpha statistic for a measure of the internal consistency of the instruments. The following reliability coefficients were obtained: conscientiousness = 0.84, extraversion = 0.89, neuroticism = 0.87) and work attitude instrument =0.96. These reliability indexes are high enough to guarantee the use of the instruments. 

 

Data Analysis

Data collected were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23.0. The hypotheses postulated for the study were tested with Pearson Product Moment Correlation Statistics at 0.05 alpha level.

Results and Discussion

Research Question One: What is the relationship between conscientiousness and work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State, Nigeria?

Hypothesis One: There is no significant relationship between conscientiousness and work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State.

For answering research question one, the data obtained from section on conscientiousness was correlated using Pearson Product Moment Correlation. Thereafter, the corresponding null hypothesis was tested using z-test associated with PPMC, the obtained result is displayed in table 1 below

Table 1: Pearson Correlation of Conscientiousness and Work Attitude of Workers

Variable

r

p

Α

Decision

Conscientiousness

 

0.219

 

0.000

 

0.05

 

Reject Ho1

Work attitude

According to the observed result shown in Table 1, it was revealed that Pearson Product Moment Correlation yielded an r-value of 0.219 This result therefore suggests that there is a strong moderate relationship between conscientiousness and work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State. In addition, when this result was subjected to z-test of PPMC, it was shown that a p-value of 0.000 was gotten, a value less than 0.05 level of significance guiding the study. This result therefore indicates that there is a moderate positive and significant relationship between conscientiousness and work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State. The null hypotheses were therefore rejected.

 

 

Research Question Two: What is the relationship between extraversion and work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State, Nigeria?

Hypothesis Two: There is no significant relationship between extraversion and work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State.

For answering research question four, the data obtained from section on extraversion was correlated using Pearson Product Moment Correlation with work attitude. Thereafter, the corresponding null hypothesis was tested using z-test associated with PPMC, the obtained result is displayed in table 2 below

Table 42: Pearson Correlation of Extraversion and Work Attitude of Workers

Variable

r

p-value

α

Decision

Extraversion

 

0.177

 

0.007

 

0.05

 

Reject Ho4

Work attitude

According to the observed result shown in Table 2, it was revealed Pearson Product Moment Correlation yielded an r-value of 0.177. This result therefore suggests that there is a weak positive relationship between extraversion and work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State. Furthermore, when this result was subjected to z-test of PPMC, it was shown that a p-value of 0.007 was gotten, a value higher than 0.05 level of significance guiding the study. This result therefore indicates that there is a weak positive and significant relationship between extraversion and work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State. The null hypothesis was therefore rejected.

Research Question Five: What is the relationship between neuroticism and work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State, Nigeria?

Hypothesis Five: There is no significant relationship between neuroticism and work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State.

Research question five was answered by correlating data obtained from the section on neuroticism was correlated with the reported work attitude using Pearson Product Moment Correlation. Thereafter, the corresponding null hypothesis was tested using z-test associated with PPMC, the obtained result is displayed in table 3 below

Table 3: Pearson Correlation of Neuroticism and Work Attitude of Workers

Variable

R

p-value

Α

Decision

Neuroticism 

 

-0.68

 

0.189

 

0.05

 

Retain Ho5

Work attitude

Result shown in Table 3 indicated that Pearson Product Moment Correlation yielded an r-value of -0.68. This result therefore implies that there is a low negative relationship between neuroticism and work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State. In addition, when this result was subjected to z-test of PPMC, it was shown that a p-value of 0.189 was gotten, a value greater than 0.05 level of significance guiding the study. This result therefore indicates that there is a low negative and insignificant relationship between neuroticism and work attitude of civil servants in Rivers State. The null hypothesis was therefore retained.

Discussion of Findings

Relationship between Conscientiousness Personality Trait and Work Attitude

The study revealed in table 1 that there is a moderate positive and significant relationship between conscientiousness personality trait and work attitude. The relationship is statistically significant at 0.5 level of significance. This strong moderate relationship between conscientiousness personality trait and work attitude means that as the score on conscientiousness personality trait increases, there is corresponding increase in work attitude and vice versa. This result is similar to that obtained by Askarian and Eslami (2013) who examined the affiliation between job performance and personality traits in the education department of Kerman province. And they found out that there was a noteworthy connection between personality traits and job performance, such as personality traits are vital components of job performance. But despite the similarity in the findings of both studies, they differ in the area of the variables used as the present study used personality trait and work attitude, their study used personality traits and job performance.

Also this study is similar to that of Mount, Stewart and Barrick (2011) who found out that conscientiousness are positively associated with performance in occupations comprising interpersonal relations. This study differs with the present study in the sample used and the method of data analysis, as the present study used Pearson Product Moment Correlation, their study used Analysis of Variance

This present result means that workers whose scores are high on conscientiousness personality trait also earn a high score in their work attitude, while those who score low in conscientiousness personality trait also score low in their work attitude. This implies that workers who have conscientiousness personality will have better work attitude than others. Furthermore conscientious workers don’t actually engage themselves in activities that are anti in natures this made this result to be a surprise to the researcher. And conscientiousness is the personality trait of a person who shows an awareness of the impact that their own work behaviour has on those around them. Conscientious people are generally more goal-oriented in their motives, ambitious in their career efforts and at work, and feel more comfortable when they are well-prepared and organized

Relationship between Extraversion and Work Attitude

From the analysis of research question four and the corresponding null hypothesis in table 2, it was revealed that there is weak positive and significant relationship between extraversion and work attitude. The relationship is statistically significant at 0.5 level of significance. This result implies that workers who scored highly on the section of extraversion are prone to score moderately in their work attitude. However, the reported moderate negative relationship indicates that all those who have extraversion personality also scored high in their work attitude. This result is dissimilar to that obtained by Mirabzadeh, Ardakani, Heidari and Sefidgaran (2017) who found out that extraversion has a strong relationship with job satisfaction among civil servants. The differences in the result obtained may be attributed to the sample used. This result is also similar to the findings of Johnson (2006) who investigated if personality traits will have both direct relationships with counterproductive work behaviours (CPBs) and indirect relationships to CPBs through the mediating effects of job satisfaction. And he found out that Agreeableness had a direct relationship with interpersonal counterproductive work behaviors (CPB-I); Conscientiousness had a direct relationship with organizational counterproductive work behaviors (CPB-O); and, job satisfaction had a direct relationship to both CPB-I and CPB-O. In addition, job satisfaction partially mediated the relationship between Agreeableness and both CPB-O and CPB-I. Overall results show that personality traits differentially predict CPBs and that employees' attitudes about their jobs explain in part these personality–behaviour associations. The both studies differs in the sample used.

Also this study is similar to the findings of McGoldrick (2014) who examined the relationship between personality type and job satisfaction amongst corporate employees in Ireland and found out that Big Five had a multiple correlation of .48, and using regression analysis, accounted for a total variance of 23% in job satisfaction amongst corporate employees in Ireland. Both study differs in the area of the method of data analysis used.

The result that extraversion is negatively related to work attitude is not surprising to this researcher. This is because workers who are high in extroversion tend to seek out social stimulation and opportunities to engage with others. These individuals are often described as being full of life, energy, and positivity. In group situations, extroverts (extraverts) are likely to talk often and assert themselves. Also these workers are not conscious of what they will achieve.

 Relationship between Neuroticism and Work Attitude

From the analysis of research question five and the corresponding null hypothesis in table 3, it was revealed that there is a negative but low positive and insignificant relationship between neuroticism and work attitude. The relationship is statistically significant at 0.5 level of significance. The meaning of this result is that individual or workers who have neuroticism personality will engage more in work attitude. Conversely those who score low on the section of neuroticism are most likely to score high in their work attitude. The findings of this result are a further confirmation of that obtained by Akenfa & Ebele (2013). In his study he found out that workers who were high on neuroticism have low work behaviour. However, this study differs in the instrument used as the present study used an adapted instrument, while their study used adopted instrument.

This result is also similar to that obtained by Askarian and Eslami (2013) who examined the affiliation between job performance and personality traits in the education department of Kerman province. And they found out that there was a noteworthy connection between personality traits and job performance, such as personality traits are vital components of job performance. But despite the similarity in the findings of both studies, they differ in the area of the variables used as the present study used personality trait and work attitude, their study used personality traits and job performance. This study is also similar to that obtained by Li IC, Lin and Chen (2007) who investigated the relationship between job involvement, job satisfaction, and personality traits among health volunteers in one Taiwan community. The findings showed that personality trait of neuroticism had a significant relationship with job satisfaction. The both studies differs in thye instrument used.

This result is not surprising to this researcher, because neuroticism is not a diagnosis, or even a concern in an otherwise well-balanced personality, having it can feed into different mental and physical health problems.

Conclusion

It is imperative to ensure that positive personality is been inculcated into civil servants in other to better their life and performance in work places, this study went ahead to review the relationship between personality traits and work attitude among civil servants in Rivers State, the findings show that civil servants personality traits have a strong relationship with their work attitude. With proper supervision, civil servants work attitude can be improved, which will in turn better their performance in their work places.

Recommendations

The results obtained from this research can certainly be used very effectively to improve the present scenario of civil servant’s worker attitude in our country. It will help to establish a firmer grip on not only public organizations but also in every working environment. Motivating your employees’ is a delicate and purposeful challenge, which requires more than an annual review or jotting a few notes in someone’s personnel. The following were recommended based on the research and survey conducted above.

  1. Based on the findings above, ministry of labour and employment should take into consideration the need to motivate civil servants in order to improve their work attitude.
  2. The study can also be used by administrators to bring clarity concerning how to implement different agreement between employers and employees in order to enhance employees’ performance at work.
  3. Government should always inspect the extent to which civil servants needs have been met in order to boast their expectation and enhance their work performance.
  4. The results can be used to compare present scenario regarding civil servant’s personality traits and the optimum rate of motivation should be applied to attain organizational goals most effectively.

 

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