Course description

Research on individual differences in organizations


Individual differences are important for individual, group, and organizational effectiveness. This has been extensively documented in research. For example, human intelligence is one of the best predictors of job performance across most types of jobs and human personality is one of the best predictors of leader effectiveness.
This course aims to provide a comprehensive, critical and up-to-date review of differential psychology. It looks specifically at individual differences at work and the primary aim is to help doctoral candidates understand why, when and how individual differences occur in the workplace.
The course starts with a historical and theoretical background but soon moves onto state-of-the-art theory and research in the area. More importantly students will have the opportunity to do a number of tests and, during the course, test others. The focus of the latter part of the course will be on individual differences in motivation, productivity and leadership. It will also examine psychiatric contributions to understanding derailment at work. The central aim is to enable students from different backgrounds and disciplines to have a good understanding of how, when, and why ability, personality and motivational facets of people have an impact.

Course content

The History of Research in Intelligence and Personality

The Major traits theories

  • Introduction to Psychometrics

Intelligence and ability at work

  • The Social Intelligence
  • Personality Disorders at Work
  • Integrity and Dishonesty at Work

Creativity in the workplace

  • Styles at the workplace

Learning outcome knowledge

  1. Participants should become acquainted with central perspectives in past and present research on individual differences.
  2. Participants should develop knowledge on ability, personality and motivation theories and tests
  3. Participants should develop knowledge about advances in contemporary theories, debates and controversies both within differential psychology and between differential psychology and other areas (i.e. clinical, social psychology)
  4. Participants should develop in depth knowledge about psychometric tests: how they are constructed and evaluated
  5. Participants should become able to design, analyse and evaluate studies that focus on individual differences

Exam organisation

  • Written assignment: 100%