Studies in Personnel and Industrial Psychology

By Edwin A. Fleishman | Go to book overview

factories in various sections of the country, and comparing answers at the time of employment with later absences and with length of service. Results have been very consistent for age at time of employment, it being negatively related to absences and positively related to subsequent length of service up to the age of 45. Preference for regularity and lack of restlessness items predicted only absence rate, and only in the two studies in which the towns had populations of over 25,000. The satisfaction items predicted both absence and length of service in all situations, but to highly variable extents, possibly reflecting differences in the tendencies of applicants in various situations to fake such items. Even this degree of consistency is encouraging, however.

Other investigators have reported supporting evidence concerning the generality of the traits involved. Pierce,18 using college students, showed a relationship between poor scores on a modification of the home adjustment items and flexibility as measured by Luchins' Einstellung test. Bews19 similarly for college students showed a relationship of poor home adjustment scores to susceptibility to satiation in laboratory tasks. Heron's results are remarkably consistent.20 In addition to the negative finding concerning intelligence, he reported a positive relationship between job maladjustment and "Emotional Instability" (which included "many Worries"), but no relationship with "Neurotic Extraversion" ("Hysteric Tendency"). A fourth factor, "Speed of Approach," not directly comparable to any in the present study, showed low predictive value.

The picture which emerges from these studies of the personality of the person who is satisfied doing repetitive work is one of contentment with the existing state of affairs, placidity, and perhaps rigidity. His satisfaction would seem to be more a matter of close contact with and acceptance of reality than of stupidity or insensitivity.

Since the preference for uniformity in work extends into daily habits outside the work situation, is related to lack of conflict or rebellion in the home, and is correlated with contentment both in the factory and out, feelings of monotony seem to be symptomatic of other discontent and restlessness rather than specific to any particular task.


SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

Responses to questions concerning feelings of monotony and boredom on the job were compared, for a group of 72 women, with answers to other questions designed to test hypotheses derived primarily from accounts of previous writers concerning the personal characteristics as-

____________________
18
I. R. Pierce, "A Study of Rigid Behavior and Its Relationship to Concrete and Abstract Thinking" (unpublished doctor's dissertation, Cornell University, 1950).
19
B. Bews, "An Experimental Investigation of the Concept of Psychical Satiation" (unpublished master's thesis, Cornell University, 1951).
20
A. Heron, op. cit.

-488-

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