The following is written by Dr Alex Fradera and is being cross-posted here and over at the new BPS Occupational Digest – a ‘child’ blog of the Research Digest with a focus on psychology at work.
How would you feel about having someone impulsive join your team? It’s possible you’d be concerned: all reckless decisions and blurting out sensitive information, they’ll hardly help. How about someone high in emotional intelligence (EI)? A better prospect, surely: mindful of others and pretty decent all round.
In a recent study, Doan Winkel of Illinois State University and his collaborators found a different picture. Impulsivity, the degree to which we act spontaneously, was found to lead to more organisational citizenship behaviours (OCBs), discretionary behaviours that promote the organisation. Meanwhile emotional intelligence, as measured using an ability-based assessment (a credible research strategy we’ve noted before), was associated with deviant behaviours that harm the organisation. These findings are based on 234 participants who rated themselves on a series of questionnaire instruments; the participants came from a range of industries, suggesting the effect may be fairly generalisable.
The findings actually aren’t so surprising. EI is a useful resource that helps develop networks, figure out hierarchy, and influence others. But the capacity for action that this provides can be put to many uses. The emotionally intelligent may figure out that they can get away with self-interested behaviours such as falsifying receipts, or calculate when a well-timed put-down will serve their interests. By rating items on these and other deviant behaviours, participants with higher EI reported more of these activities.
How can we make sense of the impulsivity finding? Well, OCBs are discretionary and can take time away from assigned responsibilities. “In an ideal world, sure I’d keep on top of organisational developments and help out my struggling colleagues, but now, with this deadline?” reasons the cautious employee. Meanwhile, the rating data suggests that their impulsive colleagues jump in to help more often, less mindful of downsides to doing the right thing. In a sense, impulsivity reflects a ‘can-do’ spirit, full of motivational energy to act.
The researchers expected to also find more intuitive effects of impulsivity being associated with deviant behaviours and EI relating to organisational citizenship. Surprisingly, these previously reported effects weren’t found here, leading the authors to call for a greater understanding of what is needed for them to arise.
This study is not the first to find these kinds of incongruous effects. There’s evidence that optimism and cognitive ability, both sought by employers everywhere, also predict deviant behaviour. These counter-intuitive findings are useful; they caution us against viewing individual qualities as forever good or bad, turning organisational people strategy into a game of Top Trumps where we try to collect the ‘best’.
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Statistical survey is a method used to collect in a systematic way information from a sample of individuals. Although most people are familiar with public opinion surveys that are reported in the press most surveys are not public opinion polls (such as political polling) but are used for scientific purposes. Surveys provide important information for all kinds of research fields e.g. marketing research psychology health professionals and sociology. A survey may focus on different topics such as preferences (e.g. for a presidential candidate) behavior (smoking and drinking behavior) or factual information(e.g. income) depending on its purpose. Since survey research is always based on a sample of the population the success of the research is dependent on the representativeness of the population of concern (see also sampling (statistics)).
Modes of Data Collection
There are several ways of administering a survey. The choice between administration modes is influenced by several factors including 1) costs 2) coverage of the target population 3) flexibility of asking questions 4) respondents willingness to participate and 5) response accuracy. Different methods create mode effects that change how respondents answer. The most common modes of administration are listed:
use of interviewers encourages sample persons to respond leading to higher response rates.
interviewers can increase comprehension of questions by answering respondents’ questions.
fairly cost efficient depending on local call charge structure
good for large national (or international) sampling frames
some potential for interviewer bias (e.g. some people may be more willing to discuss a sensitive issue with a female interviewer than with a male one)
cannot be used for non-audio information (graphics demonstrations taste/smell samples)
unreliable for consumer surveys in rural areas where telephone density is low
traditional telephone interviews
computer assisted telephone dialing
computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI)
the questionnaire may be handed to the respondents or mailed to them but in all cases they are returned to the researcher via mail.
James Mark Baldwin (January 12 1861 November 8 1934) was an American philosopher and psychologist who was educated at Princeton under the supervision of Scottish philosopher James McCosh and who was one of the founders of the Department of Psychology at the university. He made important contributions to early psychology psychiatry and to the theory of evolution.
Using the opportunity offered by the Green Fellowship in Mental Science awarded to him at Princeton he went to study in Germany with Wilhelm Wundt at Leipzig and with Friedrich Paulsen at Berlin. (18841934).
In 1885 he became Instructor in French and German at the Princeton Theological Seminary. He translated Thodule-Armand Ribot’s “German Psychology of Today” and wrote his first paper “The Postulates of a Physiological Psychology”. Ribot’s work traced the origins of psychology from Immanuel Kant through Johann Friedrich Herbart Gustav Theodor Fechner Hermann Lotze to Wundt.
In 1887while working as a professor of philosophy at Lake Forest College he married Helen Hayes Green the daughter of the President of the Seminary. At Lake Forest he published the first part of his “Handbook of Psychology (Senses and Intellect)” in which he directed the attention to the new experimental psychology of Ernst Heinrich Weber Fechner and Wundt.
In 1889 he went to the University of Toronto as the Chair of Logic and Metaphysics. His creation of a laboratory of experimental psychology at Toronto (a first in North America) coincided with the birth of his daughters Helen (1889) and Elizabeth (1891) which inspired the quantitative and experimental research on infant development that was to make such a vivid impression on Jean Piaget and Lawrence Kohlberg through Baldwin’s “Mental Development in the Child and the Race. Methods and Processes” (1894) dedicated to the subject. A second part of “Handbook of Psychology (Feeling and Will)” appeared in 1891.
During this creative phase Baldwin travelled to France (1892) to visit the important psychologists Charcot (at the Salptrire) Hippolyte Bernheim (at Nancy) and Pierre Janet.
In 1893 he was called back to his alma mater Princeton University where he was offered the Stuart Chair in Psychology and the opportunity to establish a new psychology laboratory. He would stay at Princeton till 1903 working out the highlights of his career reflected in “Social and Ethical Interpretations in Mental Development. A Study in Social Psychology.” (1897) where he took his previous “Mental Development” to the critical stage in which it survived in the work of Lev Vygotsky through Vygotsky in the crucial work of Alexander Luria and in the synthesis of both by Aleksey Leontyev.
Social Interactions in MMORPGS are the virtual behaviors social interactions and relations that take place in massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). Interaction is typically integral with the mechanisms of these games. Through their interactions players may form relationships varying from simply a cohesive team or friendship to a romance.
In MMORPGs players can choose what type of character they want to play and design their appearance. One potential positive side effect of that is difficulty in stereotyping as all players have equal ability to design themselves regardless of their initial appearance. There is also the potential for “identity tourism”. The choice to enact oneself as a dark-skinned female elf say could allow a male white player to appropriately role-play his character in the desired fashion; without being rejected by the community. Anonymity may encourage aggression as most MMORPG players feel safe and immune to physical attack as users span the globe (Wallace 1999).. (Note: that the reference to this does not exist… )
MMORPGs function as communication platforms not unlike established social media like Facebook. As such the CIA expressed great worries about the use of MMORPGs as a secret communications channel for terrorists. On February 15 2008 the office of the Director of National Intelligence provided Congress with the Data Mining Report. In this report the existence of the so-called Reynard Project was disclosed. The aim of the Reynard Project is described as follows: “Reynard is a seedling effort to study the emerging phenomenon of social (particular terrorist) dynamics in virtual worlds and large-scale online games and their implications for the Intelligence Community. The cultural and behavioral norms of virtual worlds and gaming are generally unstudied. Therefore Reynard will seek to identify the emerging social behavioral and cultural norms in virtual worlds and gaming environments. The project would then apply the lessons learned to determine the feasibility of automatically detecting suspicious behavior and actions in the virtual World. If it shows early promise this small seedling effort may increase its scope to a full project.”
Virtual Relationships in MMORPGs
MMORPGs are primarily developed around two systems: one that is class-based and the other that is skill-points based.
I’m 23 and I studied Sociology during my undergrad. I want to pursue a post graduate and PhD program for clinical Psychology with University of Phoenix but I’m afraid of how employers might view my credentials.
I’m personally skeptical about any online degree. A PhD online? Didn’t even know it was possible. Try checking with potential employers to get their opinions. After all the people that hire are the ones that matter most anyway.
With a class-based system one’s chosen class determines his or her character’s strengths and weaknesses. While most users simply collaborate with others to form teams that balance out strengths and weaknesses in order to complete a mission some users have taken their relationships even further.
It’s clear instead that a characteristic represents both benefit and risk, is a potential rather than given, and that potential depends on many factors, including the workplace situation itself.
Winkel, D., Wyland, R., Shaffer, M., and Clason, P. (2011). A new perspective on psychological resources: Unanticipated consequences of impulsivity and emotional intelligence Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 84 (1), 78-94 DOI: 10.1348/2044-8325.002001
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