Direction (Q. 1 - 10) : Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words/phrases are printed in bold to helpyou locate them while answering some of the questions.
Academic psychologists identify conscientiousness asone of the "Big Five" personality traits (the others being neurone ism, extroversion, openness to experience and agreeableness). Some psychologists equate conscientiousness with what, in the Gary Cooper era, was called "character". In the employment context, it is roughly synonymous with a strong work ethic — an insistence on being honest and dependable and a willingness to do whatever it takes to get thejob done properly. It is essentialia what Max Weber was talking about in his magisterial 1904 work The Protestant Ethicand the Spirit of Capitalism. Weber believed that Protestant northern Europe was far more committed to work tlian Catholic southern Europe and that this was the reason capitalism flourished tirst in the north.
We now have good. self-administered paper-and-pencil (or. sometimes. computer-based) personality tests that are extremely good at snifTing out conscientiousness or its absence. It is mtuitively hard to accept that the tests really work —that crooks and goof-offs and others who go through life tlbbing can be caught out by the evidence oftheir own pencils. but they can.
Several years ago, the US Department of Defence, whose personnel got a lot more tests than bayonet practice, put upthe money for an interesting experiment. It featured psychological researchers giving a battery of tests to two groups. 350 white-collar criminals imprisoned in federal penitentiaries and 330 white-collar employees whose Jobs roughly matched those the inmates had held. Of all the tests given. the one that best differentiated betvveen the crooks and the Square guys was a so-called employmentjnventory (El) developed by Personnel Decisions International (PDI), a Minneapolis- based Consulting firm. The EI measures conscientious work attitudes. and industrial psychologists 1 know and trust teil me it is the state-of-the-art test these days. Only 18% of the inmates passed it, compared with 88% of the employees.
PDI says the test is now given to about three million job applicants annually. and it offers up much fascinating data on the test's ability to predict what goes on in the workplace.
Psychologist Deniz Ones has assembled a prodigious database with results for over 720,000 recent test-takers. Her data feature several points of special interest. One is that thepredictive power of "general intelligence'", also known as "g", is increased enormously when you combine it with tests of workplace integrity. Besides, conscientiousness has a strong genetic component, with half or more of individuals' differences in this trait attributable to their genes. Also, women in the workplace are somewhat more conscientious than men.
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