Sample Psychology Paper on Influence of Personality and Intelligence on Work

There exists a notion that intelligence and personality influences a person’s workplace
behavior and performance. Most organizations hire people who can demonstrate some degree of
intelligence in logical terms. Intelligent people are perceived to be more knowledgeable with
excellent reasoning abilities. Good personalities also contribute to exceptional performance and
adorable workplace behavior. For this reason, organizations consider individual personalities
when recruiting. According to Crant, Hu, &Jiang (2016), proactive characters have high
performances at the workplace. This paper provides an evaluation of how an individual’s
personality and intelligence influence workplace behavior and performance.
Intelligence can be described as an individual’s ability to learn and apply knowledge in
different fields. An individual’s intellectual capacity cannot be predicted, and they vary
significantly from one person to another (Lowenthal 2019). In a workplace, intelligent
individuals are considered reliable with the ability to learn and integrate new skills into their
work quickly. Various theories have been advanced to explain intelligence.
A general model of intelligence by Charles Spearman defined intelligence as an
individual’s mental abilities, which can be evaluated and expressed in numerical terms (Eysenck
2018). According to the theory, psychometrics can be used to measure intelligence (Protzko
2017). But then how reliable are psychometric tests in determining an individual’s mental
capacity? In an ideal workplace, cognitive tests are exemplified by given responsibilities and
duties that require one to think and solve critically. Intelligence can hence be categorized in
different levels depending on the different abilities people exhibit in undertaking given roles.
Triarchic theory of intelligence, as advanced by Robert Sternberg, provides a distinction
between there different aspects of intelligence, which are considered when measuring an
individual’s intelligence. These are experimental, contextual, and componential intelligence

(Christopher, Prasath & Vanga, 2018). Innovative intelligence constitutes an individual’s ability
to get used to new environments and develop new concepts. Contextual intelligence refers to the
skills of people to successfully remain functional in the environment (Kutz 2017). It also
represents an individual’s ability to advance solutions to problems they encounter in the external
environment (Sternberg 2018). Challenges are a common feature in the daily workplace
environment, and according to the theory, contextually intelligent people will be able to find
solutions. However, not all problems would require a smart person to solve.
Louis Thurstone developed a theory of intelligence that emphasized primary mental
abilities and their roles in determining an individual’s intelligence capacity (Sternberg 2018).
These abilities are; verbal comprehension (individual’s ability to learn and recognize oral
resources), verbal fluency (the ability of an individual to fluently produce verbal resources like
words and sentences), number (the ability to compute given arithmetic problems), perceptual
speed (the ability to rapidly recognize numerics and words), inductive reasoning (the ability to
generalize ideas), relating memory and spatial visualization. All these aspects are independent of
one another, and they individually determine one’s intelligence capacity. It is possible that a
person may be intelligent in number facility but lack the inductive reasoning intelligence. This
hence introduces different types of intelligence at the workplace, thus different behaviors.
Personality can be defined as how people think, feel, and behave. Personality
development is an essential psychological area that explains how people change in perceptions
and attitudes as they grow (Cattell 2019). Personality develops from within an individual and
defines who people are (Hampson 2019). Moods, views, and perceptions rely on personality
traits. Several psychological theories explain personality from both innate and acquired points of

Freud’s theory of psychodynamics explains personality as a resultant of personal instincts
and environmental interactions during the early stages of life. Parental experiences have an
implication on an individual’s personality during adulthood (Pennington 2018). A good
relationship with parents during the first years is critical for the development of a better
character. Children are much influenced by what they observe from their parents and the
surrounding environment while very young. Positive observations are hence associated with
positive personalities, depicted through attitudes and perceptions towards other people.
Eysenck’s personality theory proposes that individuals inherit a given set of skills (Boyle
et al., 2016) that influence the way they interact in the environment. These affect the
development of personality traits. How these inherited skills can be quantified and related to a
personality remains questionable. People may not necessarily have the same likings as their
parents. It emphasizes the role of biological factors in the development of a personality.
However, the approach appreciates the role of surroundings in the early years of a personality
trait development.
Allport’s trait theory emphasizes that personality depends on the individual’s internal
processes of cognitive and motivation (Scheffer & Heckhausen, 2018). People have different
internal motivation processes. We may also observe two people having the same internal
process, for example, the need to achieve or be successful; but still; have different personalities
in the workplace. Like Freud’s theory, Allport includes the role of environmental interactions
after birth in the development of individual personality traits.
Behavior is hugely reliant on personality. An individual brought up in a harsh
environment with critical parents will tend to develop an authoritarian practice. As such, these
individuals will be more prejudicial before others. They will have the desire to exercise power

and control over their colleagues. As postulated in the personality theories, environmental
interactions during the early stages of life dictate the personality an individual develops.
According to Freud’s theory, socialization and environmental conditions are critical in
the development of a personality (Aransiola, 2016). Children who are not exposed to social
environments when young develop will develop into introverts. Such individuals are reliable at
work and can maintain concentration while undertaking their roles. They are also not too
emotional and will act in a reserved manner while at work. Introverts register high performance
in tasks that require concentration and individual inputs. Their performance is, however, much
reduced in undertaking group tasks (Lewis 2017), which require social skills. Unlike extroverts,
working in a noisy environment may also be a hindrance to the performance of introverts
(Moradi et al., 2019).
Innovatively intelligent people can learn and integrate new skills into their work
efficiently. These people are hence easy to attain high performances in their work (Vel, Park
&Liu, 2018). Smart people are also versatile with the ability to undertake different roles in the
organization. For example, many organizations are continuously advancing new technologies in
their business activities. An intelligent employee in such an organization will be able to learn and
adjust to the latest technologies quickly. Such will improve performance. Their ability to use
their mental skills to solve environmental issues makes them more suitable in influencing others
Emotionally intelligent people can register high work performance (Khokar &Kush,
2009). Emotionally intelligent people can recognize and appreciate the feelings of colleagues,
and this enhances improved work behavior. Good workplace behavior is critical in improving

performance. Smart people are also able to maintain a positive attitude towards the work they are
doing (Carmeli & Josman 2006); hence, they will be able to keep high work performances.
Proactive personalities are naturally speculative. For example, people in an organization
will prioritize their work, plan adequately, and will always have personal goals. They are
triggered by job satisfaction and hence will be able to maintain a positive relationship with
supervisors and mates (Li, Liang & Crant 2010). The personality is thus able to create a
productive workplace behavior with a favorable implication on work performance (Buil,
Martinez & Matute, 2019). Conflict-prone upbringings are more likely to influence the character
of a person negatively. Such individuals will generally register poor performance. Such people
feel disconnected from others, hence bearing a negative impact on workplace behavior.
Personality traits depend on the kind of upbringing one receives; hence, Environmental
interactions are critical in the development of personality traits like attitudes. Intelligence
represents the ability of a person to interact in an environment. Intelligent people are hence more
productive at work with the possibility of positively influencing the workplace behavior of
colleagues. Good workplace relations are determined to some extent by the emotional
intelligence of the workers. Positive personalities can maintain a positive attitude towards the
work, hence influencing the performance. Both character and intelligence are significant
determinants of workplace behavior and performance.


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