Unica Hodge

I am interested in conducting research that, operationalizes, measures and explores intersectionality and the resulting impacts; makes explicit our implicit biases; encourages the promotion of prosocial behaviors; and, leads to change in inequitable workplace/institutional policies and practices.  Vulnerability, empathy, physiological response to, and behaviors born out of these are also desired focus areas for research.

Unica Hodge

The ability to foresee, anticipate, and plan for future desired outcomes is crucial for well-being, motivation, and behavior. However, theories in organizational psychology do not incorporate time-related constructs such as Future Time Perspective (FTP), and research on FTP remains disjointed and scattered, with different domains focusing on different aspects of the construct, using different measures, and assessing different antecedents and consequences. In this review and meta-analysis, we aim to clarify the FTP construct, advance its theoretical development, and demonstrate its importance by (a) integrating theory and empirical findings across different domains of research to identify major outcomes and antecedents of FTP, and (b) empirically examining whether and how these variables are moderated by FTP measures and dimensions. Results of a meta-analysis of k = 212 studies reveal significant relationships between FTP and major classes of consequences (i.e., those related to achievement, well-being, health behavior, risk behavior, and retirement planning), and between antecedents and FTP, as well as moderating effects of different FTP measures and dimensions. Highlighting the importance of FTP for organizational psychology theories, our findings demonstrate that FTP predicts these outcomes over and above the big five personality traits and mediates the associations between these personality traits and outcomes.

Future time perspective: A systematic review and meta-analysis

The current study integrates ideas from the successful aging at work paradigm with theory and research on retirement motivation with a sample of midlife workers (N = 397; Mage = 52.34; SD = 5.87) over a 16 month period. We conceptualized successful motivational aging at work as a typology of successful, usual, and unsuccessful motivational aging at work and provide empirical support for the validity of this typology. Motivation to work was defined as retirement age and post-retirement work intentions. We found that promotion-focused trait orientation and person–job fit were predictive of successful aging classification and that work centrality and retirement-related attitudes were related to motivation to work outcomes. Successful aging at work classification, however, did not predict motivation to work outcomes, operationalized as intended retirement age and post-retirement work intentions. Our findings provide support for the dynamic process of motivational aging at work and provide evidence that trait and contextual variables can predict this process. Furthermore, we show that retirement decisions are complex and influenced by an array of work and nonwork attitudes.

Successful motivational aging at work: Antecedents and retirement-related outcomes

Population aging across the globe has focused increasing attention on work motivation and employment goals among older adults. This chapter examines the psychological foundations of work motivation and lifespan theories of motivation as they affect older adults. Measurement issues, motives, and the psychological mechanisms by which older adults address age-related changes in competencies and life circumstances are reviewed, and a distinction is made between determinants of motivation at work (job engagement) and motivational factors and processes that contribute to employment decision-making (to continue to work, to retire, to seek post-retirement work). Organizational strategies to enhance motivation at work and future research directions are discussed.

Work motivation and employment goals in later adulthood

Work has long been recognized as an integral feature of human life. Formost people, identities and aspirations related to employment begin early inlife and are continuously shaped by community, family, schooling, health,job opportunities, and economic realities. In early adulthood, people typicallyfocus on learning new competencies, choosing an occupation, and managingthe school-to-work transition. During midlife, goals and concerns often shiftto improving the work experience, career development, and managing peri-ods of unemployment.

Lifespan perspectives on work motivation

The chapters in this volume reflect one of the most consequential issues of the day—namely, how advances in technology and automation will affect the nature of working and employment in the 21st century. Obviously, this is an ongoing process and there is no definitive answer, but there is growing agreement among scholars and practitioners that recent advances in technology and automation herald the early stage of another “revolution” with respect to the organization, execution, and human experience of work.

Prospects and pitfalls in building the future workforce

I graduated with a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin before coming to Georgia Tech and the GT Park Lab as an I/O Psychology graduate student. My research interests are divided primarily into two areas: a) investigating overlap between ability and non-ability trait measures that predict knowledge and skill acquisition in realistic contexts, and b) understanding the motivations and experiences of mid-career adults who use online education to update their skillsets.

Corey Tatel

I graduated from the University of Georgia in May 2018 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology, and joined the PARK lab as a graduate student in I-O Psychology in Fall 2018. My current research interests include self-regulated learning in working adults, as well as the broader application of motivational theory to reskilling, workforce development, and lifelong learning.

Sibley Lyndgaard

USA Today article Losing a Job in Midlife: How to Prepare and Bounce Back when Downsized Near Retirement cites Dr. Kanfer’s research about age and job loss.

USA Today article cites Dr. Kanfer’s research

Co Teacher, Circle City Prep
B.S. 2018

Carley Taronji

Ryan Krepps

Catherine Liu

M.S. University of Georgia 2020
B.S., 2020

Sara Brockmeier

This chapter integrates existing theoretical and empirical work, and proposes a model of lifespan changes in individuals’ work lives, their motivational challenges, and how individuals can master these challenges. In the first edition of the Handbook of Competence and Motivation, the chapter “Competence and Motivation in Adulthood and Old Age” addressed competence development and motivation during adulthood generally, and applied the motivational theory of lifespan development to conceptualize the motivational challenges and adaptive responses to age-related changes in competence (Heckhausen, 2005). This new chapter has a similar agenda but focuses more closely on what this means for competence development and motivation in the work domain. Throughout the chapter we pay greater attention to the challenges people encounter at different ages and stages of their careers, and how they master these challenges, than to trait-based individual differences in motivational processes involved in work (e.g., interests in work area, implicit achievement motive; for trait-based research, see Kanfer & Ackerman, 2005).

Competence and motivation at work throughout adulthood. Making the most of changing capacities and opportunities.

Ph.D., 1994
Former Executive Consultant, Korn Ferry (retired)

Maynard Goff

Work motivation is a topic of crucial importance to the success of organizations and societies and the well-being of individuals. We organize the work motivation literature over the last century using a meta-framework that clusters theories, findings, and advances in the field according to their primary focus on (a) motives, traits, and motivation orientations (content); (b) features of the job, work role, and broader environment (context); or (c) the mechanisms and processes involved in choice and striving (process). Our integrative review reveals major achievements in the field, including more precise mapping of the psychological inputs and operations involved in motivation and broadened conceptions of the work environment. Cross-cutting trends over the last century include the primacy of goals, the importance of goal striving processes, and a more nuanced conceptualization of work motivation as a dynamic, goal-directed, resource allocation process that unfolds over the related variables of time, experience, and place. Across the field, advances in methodology and measurement have improved the match between theory and research. Ten promising directions for future research are described and field experiments are suggested as a useful means of bridging the research–practice gap.

Motivation Related to Work: A Century of Progress

In this article we selectively review major advances in research on motivation in work and organizational behavior since the founding of Organizational Behavior and Human Performance (now Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes) 50 years ago. Using a goal-based organizing rubric, we highlight the most impactful articles and summarize research progress over time related to understanding the why, where, how, what, and when of motivation during goal choice and goal enactment. We also note macro-level trends in motivation research published in this journal, including the shift away from publishing new, core theories of work motivation in favor of using new approaches published elsewhere to examine key micro-regulatory processes involved in goal decisions and goal pursuit. We conclude with discussion of promising future research directions.

Motivation in organizational behavior: History, advances, and prospects

Brian Welle

Senior UX Designer, Sourcing Commons Services – Home Depot

Anat Fintzi

Justin Sabree

Chantrea Anna Kreus

Chelsi Battle

Despite widespread popular concern about what it means to be over 40 and unemployed, little attention has been paid in the literature to clarifying the role of age within the job seeking experience. Extending theory, we propose mechanisms by which chronological age affects job search and reemployment outcomes after job loss. Through a meta-analysis and examination of 2 supplemental datasets, we examine 5 questions: (a) How strong is the relationship between age and reemployment speed? (b) Does age disadvantage individuals with respect to other reemployment outcomes? (c) Is the relationship between age and reemployment outcomes mediated by job search activities? (d) Are these relationships generalizable? and (e) Are these relationships linear or curvilinear? Our findings provide evidence for a negative relationship between age and reemployment status and speed across job search decade, world region, and unemployment rate, with the strength of the negative relationship becoming stronger over age 50. Job search self-efficacy and job search intensity partially mediate the relationship between age and both reemployment status and speed.

Age and reemployment success after job loss: An integrative model and meta-analysis

This chapter aims to increase our understanding of older workers as job crafters by drawing upon literature on lifespan development and aging at work to propose specific activities and forms Of job crafting relevant for Older workers. The chapter is organized as follows. In the next section, we introduce the concept of job crafting, with an emphasis on the different forms of job crafting. Next, we discuss why job crafting is important for successful aging at work. We then elaborate on important lifespan theories that help to understand how work motives and abilities change with age and which crafting strategies older people use to deal with age-related

losses. Based on this literature and the literature 011 (successful) aging at work, we conclude by proposing specific forms of job crafting that are likely to be most relevant for older workers.

Successful aging at work: The role of job crafting.

This chapter reviews social-cognitive and self-regulatory perspectives on involuntary job loss and subsequent job search. We begin by organizing different social-cognitive and self-regulatory perspectives along the temporal continuum of job loss and job search, and discuss the experience of job loss and its impact on the individual during subsequent job search. Using a motivational/self-regulatory frame, we then review findings related to goal generation and goal striving and outline important considerations for research design, including temporal, social, and measurement issues. Finally, we highlight the successes that have been made in the field thus far, and provide suggestions for promising future research avenues.

Job loss and job search: A social-cognitive and self-regulatory perspective

Work motivation: From processes to purpose

Demographic trends, macroeconomic conditions, and changes in the nature of work have spurred interest in the older worker. Increasing population longevity and reduced birth rates have led policymakers to delay or eliminate fixed-age mandatory retirement as a means of stabilizing workforce size. At the same time, organizations concerned with talent shortages and organizational knowledge transfer have explored the use of exit strategies that extend the employee retirement process over time (e.g., bridge retirement). In theory, such trends are expected to provide support for sustained employability and a longer working life, and there is growing evidence that older individuals are increasingly delaying retirement or reentering the workforce. In practice, however, it is unclear how labor policy changes and organizational practices affect the worker transition process, sustain employability, and promote worker well-being following labor force exit. Although organizations may offer bridge employment options, human resource management practices are often slow to change (see de Lange, Kooij, & van der Heijden, this volume), leading to older worker feelings of disenfranchisement and work dissatisfaction. Organizations have often taken a reactive rather than proactive approach to the development of programs and practices that promote sustained employability (such as older worker socialization, training, and development), mitigate disruptive intergenerational conflict in increasingly age-diverse work teams, and support the hire of qualified older workers. Taken together, these local work experiences may encourage older worker exit from the job and/or the workforce despite broader organizational goals to attract, train, and retain such workers. In summary, while there is wide consensus on the desirability of a longer high-quality working life for many people in developed countries, the development of effective, coordinated strategies for accomplishing such a goal remains largely elusive. This volume seeks to address this issue from a person-centric perspective, namely by examining the impact of work on older worker experiences, goals, attitudes, and behaviors.

Employment Transitions in Late Adulthood

Work motivation refers to the psychological processes and strategies that govern the direction, intensity, and persistence of discretionary actions in the workplace or related to work. This article summarizes key tenets in work motivation theory and practice, historical trends in work motivation research, and modern approaches to work motivation that emphasize the importance of an employee’s work goals and the self‐regulatory processes by which employees strive to accomplish his/her objectives. It also reviews research findings on the differential influence of universal motives (e.g., justice and task enjoyment), individual differences (e.g., achievement motivation and intrinsic rewards), and contextual factors (e.g., task demands and the social environment) on goal setting and self‐regulation in the context of work. Future directions in work motivation research and practice that view employee motivation as a resource are described.


The goal of this volume is setting an agenda for industrial-organizational (I-O) research to address the coming age-related changes to the workforce. Specifically, our primary goal is not to review past research on age at work, but rather to identify what research we should be doing to address age in the workplace. In this chapter, we set the stage for this book, describing the demographic, economic, societal, and technological changes most relevant to the aging workforce; age-related changes that can affect the workplace; and how a use-inspired approach to I-O research can address these issues.

An introduction to facing the challenges of a multi-age workforce

One of the most robust findings in all of industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology is that, when enacted properly, goal setting improves performance. This simple idea is supported by decades of theory and thousands of empirical articles covering diverse work settings, cultures, and outcomes (Locke & Latham, 2002). Despite the validity of this general claim, however, few studies have examined the effects of goal setting in underdeveloped societies. Further, the effects of team-based goals are less well understood than the effects of goals on individuals (DeMatteo, Eby, & Sundstrom, 1998). The present chapter represents the intersection of these ideas by describing how a team-based goals and incentives (TBGI) program was used in remote areas of the Indian state of Bihar to improve the motivation and performance of three types of Frontline Healthcare Workers (FLWs) as they worked to reduce child mortality rates (MDG4) and imporve maternal health (MDG5)

Improving motivation and performance among Frontline Healthcare Workers

Costanza and Finkelstein (2015) are correct to highlight the dangers of using generationally based stereotypes in organizations. Although popular, these stereotypes are related to a stigmatization based on group membership that can be pernicious and discriminatory. Costanza and Finkelstein are also correct in their assessment of the state of the literature on generational effects: theory and research is woefully lacking. Indeed, a recent review of research on generations at work characterized this research as descriptive and neither theoretical nor empirical (Lyons & Kuron, 2014). Yet, as pointed out by Costanza and Finkelstein, the idea of a generational identity is salient and even appealing to many people. Why would this be if it were completely devoid of psychological import? People seem to resonate with the idea that, to some extent at least, they are a product of their generation.

Generations at work: Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater

This project concerns attempts to ‘triangulate’ individual levels of ability, task performance, self-reports of effort and fatigue, and physiological indicators of cognitive and affective reactions to task demands. Studies being conducted for this project focus on performance under different cognitive and motivational demands, such as when an individual acquires skills on a complex air traffic control task, or attempts to reach difficult performance goals.

Integrating trait, subjective judgment and physiological measures

This project is devoted to developing a selection battery for Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) pilots, and a set of classification tools to maximize person-job fit for this job.  The project involves development and refinement of assessments of abilities, and non-ability traits (e.g., personality, motivation, interests, self-concept, background experiences); pilot testing and in-lab criterion-based validity assessment.

Selection and Classification of UAS pilots

Jen Chandler-Adesegun

D.O. Student in University of South Florida
B.S., 2015

Sushma Sudhi

Chen Zuo

Software Engineer, Amazon Web Services
B.S., 2017

Vicki Shaw

Mike Morrison

Forbes article The 3 Strikes Against Older Job Hunters discusses Dr. Kanfer’s research on age and job loss.

Forbes article discusses Dr. Kanfer’s research on job loss, age, and reemployment.

The years since World War II have seen remarkable progress in the field of cognitive fatigue. Many fascinating and encouraging lines of research have been explored, including performance effects associated with cognitive fatigue; task characteristics leading to fatigue; feelings, motivational determinants, biological, and neuropsychological aspects of cognitive fatigue; and drug effects on cognitive fatigue. However, in all this time there has been no book-length treatment of cognitive fatigue, and little effort to bring together these diverse research strands into an integrated whole. In this long-awaited book, editor Phillip L. Ackerman has gathered a group of leading experts to assess both basic research and future applications relevant to cognitive fatigue.

Broad in scope, the book covers:
• human factors and ergonomics
• clinical and applied differential psychology
• applications in industrial, military, and non-work domains

A balance of theoretical and empirical research, reviewed from several different countries, makes this a truly multinational and interdisciplinary collection. Each chapter concludes with a lively discussion among authors, and the book itself concludes with a provocative open panel discussion regarding promising avenues for research and application. The result is a book that displays the breadth and the emerging unity of the field of cognitive fatigue today.
2011. 360 pages. Hardcover.

Cognitive Fatigue

This book is the first to bring together recent findings in one place and present a solid industrial/organizational research perspective on this complex area of inquiry. Emotions in the Workplace offers a concise, scholarly introduction to new developments and an overview of how basic theory and research in affect and emotions has influenced the science and practice of industrial/organizational psychology. It examines emotional regulation in organizations on a number of different levels, integrating research on individual, dyadic, group, and organizational-level phenomena. In one convenient volume, the book addresses a wide range of key topics, including aggression at work, emotional labor, the work-family interface, and more.

Emotions in the Workplace

“Learning and Individual Differences” spans a diverse range of topics, focusing on those research areas that facilitate the exchange of ideas across different approaches. Research areas covered include experimental, differential, developmental, and instructional/educational psychology as well as the integration of cognitive and differential approaches. Research in each area is placed in its proper historical perspective, giving readers a feel for the processes that lead to scientific advances.

Learning and Individual Differences

Diverse developments in ability and motivation research, and in the derivations of new methodological techniques have often run on parallel courses. The editors of this volume felt that communication across domains could be vastly improved through intensive interaction between researchers. This interaction was realized in The Minnesota Symposium on Learning and Individual Differences, which directly addressed ability, motivation and methodology concerns. This book, compiled as a result of the Symposium, unites theoretical and empirical advances in learning and individual differences.

Abilities Motivation and Methodology

Work Motivation proposes that motivation must be seen as a multi-level phenomenon where individual, group,organizational and cultural variables must be considered to truly understand it. The book adopts an overall framework that encompasses “internal” – from the person – forces and “external” – from the immediate and more distant environment – forces. It is destined to challenge scholars of organizations to give renewed emphasis and attention to advancing our understanding of motivation in work situations.

Work Motivation

Researchers from the United States and seven other countries present leading-edge research and theory concerning the topic of learning and individual differences, which continues to be a vibrant area for multidisciplinary investigation. Developments in several areas, including cognitive, experimental, instructional, quantitative methodology, and differential psychology provide key insights for understanding both the characteristics of the learner and the characteristics of the learning situation. Of particular value is new research on information processing, ability traits, and knowledge as they pertain to adult learning and individual differences.

Learning and Individual Differences: Process, Trait, and Content Determinants

Facing the Challenges of a Multi-Age Workforce examines the shifting economic, cultural, and technological trends in the modern workplace that are taking place as a result of the aging global workforce. Taking an international perspective, contributors address workforce aging issues around the world, allowing for productive cross-cultural comparisons. Chapters adopt a use-inspired approach, with contributors proposing solutions to real problems faced by organizations, including global teamwork, unemployed youth, job obsolescence and over-qualification, heavy emotional labor and physically demanding jobs, and cross-age perceptions and communication. Additional commentaries from sociologists, gerontologists, economists, and scholars of labor and government round out the volume and demonstrate the interdisciplinary nature of this important topic.

Facing the Challenges of a Multi-Age Workforce: A Use-Inspired Approach

B.S., 2017
Engineer, Naval Undersea Warfare Center

Sarah Philpott

Jill Ellingson

Connie L. Vogt

Tracy Saloka

Senior Leadership Specialist, Russell Reynolds Associates
PhD, 2017

Trishna Patel

Robert J. Schneider

Robert E. Goska

Todd C. Murtha

Eric L. Rolfhus

Ph.D., 1997
Chair of the Department of Psychological Science at University of NC – Charlotte

Eric D. Heggestad

Kevin A. Field

Anna T. Cianciolo

M.S., 2001
Advisor, Press Ganey

Kristy (Bowen) Reeves

Mary O. Boyle

Margaret E. Beier

Ph.D., 2005
Chief Product Officer at PDRI

Tracy M. Kantrowitz

Stacey (Wolman) Shapiro

Erin (Page) Zolna

The goal of the current study was to test a scoring matrix for evaluating and quantifying the difficulty of use of consumer packaging for an older adult population. Scores range from 0 to 100; the lower the score, the less usable the packaging design. Twelve older adults (9 females, 3 males; Mage = 69.5) completed an online survey in which they evaluated 15 everyday packaging types on frequency of use and difficulty of the functional tasks required for use (e.g., pick up and carry, remove seal, open, dispense, close). Blister packaging scored the lowest (M = 71.5) and could benefit the most from redesign. Microwave meal packaging scored the highest (M = 85.8), but this was the only score computed without all participants; only five participants reported using microwave meals. Pull tab cans scored second highest with a mean score of 84.2. In this pilot study, we are laying the groundwork for creating a tool to systematically evaluate and quantify the usability of all packaging types.

Developing a Scoring Matrix to Evaluate the Usability of Consumer Packaging: A Pilot Study

The percentage of older adults using social media has increased substantially in recent years, yet little research has been done to understand the foundations underlying social media technology usage by older adults. Such an understanding is useful for developing intelligent user modeling and personalization techniques specific to this growing community. The current work first compared characteristics of Facebook users to non-users among adults age 51 to 91 and found that older adult Face-book users were significantly more satisfied with their current social roles than non-users. Second, we explored several characteristics of active older adult Facebook users, providing detailed data regarding the ways in which they access social media, the kinds of personal information they typically share, and information about their public versus private communication practices, preferences, and concerns. Finally, we examined specific relationships between older adults’ Facebook communication habits and their attitudes regarding perceived loneliness and social role satisfaction. Controlling for factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status (education and income), and marital status, we found that directed communications (as opposed to broadcast communications or passive consumption of content) was correlated with reduced loneliness as well as increased social role satisfaction among this distinct population.

Social media gerontology: understanding social media usage among older adults

2014 Congratulations in Order!! To Samuel Posnock for successfully proposing his doctoral thesis! To Victor Ellingsen for passing his prelim exams!

Welcome New NSF-REU Kathrina Robotham!

In the near future, workforces will increasingly consist of older workers. At the same time, research has demonstrated that work-related growth motives decrease with age. Although this finding is consistent with life span theories, such as the selection optimization and compensation (SOC) model, we know relatively little about the process variables that bring about this change in work motivation. Therefore, we use a 4-wave study design to examine the mediating role of future time perspective and promotion focus in the negative association between age and work-related growth motives. Consistent with the SOC model, we found that future time perspective was negatively associated with age, which, in turn, was associated with lower promotion focus, lower work-related growth motive strength, and lower motivation to continue working. These findings have important theoretical implications for the literature on aging and work motivation, and practical implications for how to motivate older workers.

Future time perspective and promotion focus as determinants of intraindividual change in work motivation

Research on how to manage and retain older workers is expanding. In this literature, older workers are often viewed as passive recipients or products of their work environment. However, findings in the lifespan literature indicate that people are not passive responders to the aging process, but rather frequently exercise agency in dealing with the biological, psychological, and social changes that occur across the lifespan. In addition, multiple studies demonstrated that employees also exercise agency at work and behave proactively. Job crafting is a specific form of proactive work behavior defined as the self-initiated changes individuals make in the task or relational boundaries of their work. Since job crafting is aimed at improving or restoring person-job fit, it offers older workers a means to continuously adjust their job to intrapersonal changes that are part of the aging process, thereby increasing their ability and motivation to continue working. In this chapter, we apply the concept of job crafting to older worker adjustment. Building upon lifespan theories and the literature on aging at work, we explain why job crafting is important for successful aging at work and we propose specific activities and forms of job crafting relevant for older workers.

Successful Aging at Work: The Role of Job Crafting

Space limitations do not allow me to fully address Ericsson’s comments. Instead, I limit mydiscussion to five of the most salient issues upon which there are significant differences in theevaluation of the existing theory, methodological issues, and data. These relate to Ericsson’suse of the construct “innate talent;” his misapplication of Ackerman’s (1987, 1988) theoryof individual differences during skill acquisition; inadequate attention to selection of testsand consideration of Brunswik Symmetry; oversights and misinterpretations in evaluatingthe results from Masunaga and Horn (2001); and differences in interpretations of several otherstudies. In the final analysis, although there has not been a definitive longitudinal study ofdeliberate practicewith randomselection/assignment and a control group, there is ample evidencefromover 100 years of research supporting the conclusion that abilities are significantly related toindividual differences in the attainment of expert performance.

Facts are stubborn things

Controversies surrounding nature and nurture determinants of expert/elite performance havearisen many times since antiquity, and remain sources of concern in the present day. Extremepositions on this controversy are fundamentally silly — both nature and nurture are necessarydeterminants of expert/elite performance, but neither alone represents a sufficient causalfactor. The central issues surrounding the so-called “talent myth” and the “deliberate practicetheory (also referred to as the “10,000 h rule”) are reviewed. Also provided is a discussion ofthe science of individual differences related to talent, the fundamental characteristics of talentand the role of talent in predicting individual differences in expert/elite performance. Finally, areview of the critical psychometric and statistical considerations for the prediction ofindividual differences in the acquisition of expert/elite performance is presented. Conclusionsfocus on how these various issues fit together, to provide an integrated view of the importanceof talent, but also the limitations of talent identification procedures for discovering whichindividuals will ultimately develop expert/elite levels of performance.

Nonsense, common sense, and science of expert performance: Talent and individual differences

Extant measures that purport to assess overclaiming of an individual’s knowledge provide checklistsof real and bogus items, and typically assess overclaiming on the basis of the number of bogus itemsendorsed by the respondents. Such measures have two salient shortcomings. First, the procedurefor selecting foils (e.g., that may sound familiar to respondents) may influence the likelihood ofendorsement — such as the use of ‘attractive distractors.’ Second, real items endorsed by therespondents are not necessarily ‘true’ indicators of the individual’s knowledge, but confoundknowledge with self-enhancement, because there is no assessment of the individual’s actualknowledge. We present a study of overclaiming of vocabulary knowledge that provides a signaldetection theory assessment, including self-claimed knowledge and an objective test of knowledge.Ability, personality, self-concept and other predictorswere assessed, alongwith gender. Self-claimedvocabulary knowledge was highly correlated with objectively assessed knowledge. In contrast toinvestigations without explicit checks on actual knowledge, current results indicated that higherability individuals evidenced slightly greater overclaiming than lower ability individuals.

Vocabulary overclaiming — A complete approach: Ability, personality, self-concept correlates, and gender differences

Traditional approaches to intelligence have mainly evolved from Spearman’s theory of general intelligence, whichviews intelligence as general and fixed, and from applications of Binet’s approach, which views intelligence amongchildren and adolescents as normally increasing with age. The study of adult intellect and intellectual developmentindicates that neither approach well represents the depth and breadth of skills and knowledge that make up the adultintellectual repertoire. A framework for examining individual differences in intellectual development from adolescencethrough middle adulthood is discussed, along with a series of empirical investigations on the ability and non-ability (e.g.,personality, interests, self-concept) determinants of domain knowledge. Implications for understanding intelligenceduring adulthood and college-major choices are discussed from a perspective that combines intelligence as process,personality, and interests as they determine the development of intelligence as knowledge.

Adolescent and Adult Intellectual Development

We investigated the frequency and duration of distractions and media multitasking among college students engaged in a 3-h solitary study/homework session. Participant distractions were assessed with three different kinds of apparatus with increasing levels of potential intrusiveness: remote surveillance cameras, a head-mounted point-of-view video camera, and a mobile eyetracker. No evidence was obtained to indicate that method of assessment impacted multitasking behaviors. On average, students spent 73 min of the session listening to music while studying. In addition, students engaged with an average of 35 distractions of 6 s or longer over the course of 3 h, with an aggregated mean duration of 25 min. Higher homework task motivation and self-efficacy to concentrate on homework were associated with less frequent and shorter duration multitasking behaviors, while greater negative affect was linked to longer duration multitasking behaviors during the session.We discuss the implications of these data for assessment and for understanding the nature of distractions and media multitasking during solitary studying.

What else do college students “do” while studying? An investigation of multitasking

Cognitive or intellectual investment theories propose that the development of intelligence is partially influenced by personality traits, in particular by so-called investment traits that determine when, where, and how people invest their time and effort in their intellect. This investment, in turn, is thought to contribute to individual differences in cognitive growth and the accumulation of knowledge across the life span. We reviewed the psychological literature and identified 34 trait constructs and corresponding scales that refer to intellectual investment. The dispositional constructs were further classified into 8 related trait categories that span the construct space of intellectual investment. Subsequently, we sought to estimate the association between the identified investment traits and indicators of adult intellect, including measures of crystallized intelligence, academic performance (e.g., grade point average), college entry tests, and acquired knowledge. A meta-analysis of 112 studies with 236 coefficients and an overall sample of 60,097 participants indicated that investment traits were mostly positively associated with adult intellect markers. Meta-analytic coefficients ranged considerably, from 0 to .58, with an average estimate of .30. We concluded that investment traits are overall positively related to adult intellect; the strength of investment–intellect associations differs across trait scales and markers of intellect; and investment traits have a diverse, multifaceted nature. The meta-analysis also identified areas of inquiry that are currently lacking in empirical research. Limitations, implications, and future directions are discussed.

Investment and Intellect: A Review and Meta-Analysis

Background/Context: The past few decades have seen an explosive growth in high-school student participation in the Advanced Placement program® (AP), with nearly two million exams completed in 2011. Traditionally, universities have considered AP enrollment as an indicator for predicting academic success during the admission process. However, AP exam performance may be predictive of future academic success; a related factor in gender differences in major selection and success; and instrumental in predicting STEM persistence.

Purpose: This study focused on determining the influence of patterns of AP exam completion and performance on indicators of post-secondary academic achievement. These patterns were examined in the context of gender differences and for the prediction of grades, STEM persistence and graduation rates. Subjects: The sample consisted of 26,693 students who entered the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) as first-year undergraduate students during the period of 1999-2009.

Research Design: Archival admissions records and college transcripts were obtained for entering first-year (non-transfer) students, to examine patterns of AP exams completed and performance on the exams, as they related to indicators of college academic performance, TCR, 115, 100305 Advanced Placement and College Performance 2 BACKGROUND The Advanced Placement program has been in existence since the 1950s (DiYanni, 2009), but the program has markedly changed over time, especially in the past decade. Although the original goals of the program (to allow students to obtain college-level credit for advanced study during high school) have not changed, the program has expanded in scope, from an initial set of 10 exams in core areas of study (e.g., “English composition, literature, Latin, French, German, Spanish, mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics” [DiYanni, 2009]) to 33 exams that span the original areas, but also other diverse domains such as Art History, Environmental Science, Human Geography, and Macroeconomics. In addition, there has been an explosive growth in the number of AP exams administered, from about 10,000 in 1960 to a half-million exams in 1990, inflow and outflow STEM majors and non-STEM majors, and attrition/time-to-degree criteria. For predicting college performance, patterns of AP exams were examined in isolation, exams grouped by domain, and instances of multiple examinations completed (e.g., three or more AP exams in the STEM area). These patterns of AP exams were evaluated for predictive validity in conjunction with traditional predictors of post-secondary performance (e.g., high-school GPA and SAT scores). College course enrollment patterns were also examined, in conjunction with AP exam patterns, to determine the associations between AP exam performance and course-taking patterns in post-secondary study.

Data Collection and Analysis: Admissions records were obtained from Georgia Tech, including high-school grade point average information, along with college transcripts, including initial and final major declaration, attrition, and graduation data. Course enrollments were classified by level and by domain. Advanced Placement exam and SAT records were obtained from the College Board, and matched to the Georgia Tech records.

Conclusions/Recommendations: Although student completion of AP exams was positively related to post-secondary grades and graduation rates, this overall pattern masks the relation between AP exam performance and post-secondary success. Students who did not receive credit tended to perform at a level similar to those students who did not complete any AP exams. Increasing numbers of AP-based course credits were associated with higher GPAs at Georgia Tech for the first year and beyond. Students with greater numbers of AP-based course credits tended to complete fewer lower-level courses and a greater number of higher-level courses. Such students graduated at a substantially higher rate and in fewer semesters of study. Average AP exam score was the single best predictor of academic success after high school GPA (HSGPA). The most important predictors of STEM major persistence were receiving credit for AP Calculus and if the student had successfully completed three or more AP exams in the STEM areas. Men had substantially higher rates of these AP exam patterns, compared to women. Given that slightly over half of the AP exams are now completed by high school students prior to their senior year, it is recommended that admissions committees consider use of actual AP exam performance data, in addition to, or instead of AP enrollment data as indicators for predicting post-secondary academic performance.

High School Advanced Placement and Student Performance in College: STEM Majors, Non-STEM Majors, and Gender Differences

Prediction of academic success at postsecondary institutions is an enduring issue for educational psychology. Traditional measures of high-school grade point average and high-stakes entrance examinations are valid predictors, especially of 1st-year college grades, yet a large amount of individual-differences variance remains unaccounted for. Studies of individual trait measures (e.g., personality, self-concept, motivation) have supported the potential for broad predictors of academic success, but integration across these approaches has been challenging. The current study tracks 589 undergraduates from their 1st semester through attrition or graduation (up to 8 years beyond their first semester). Based on an integrative trait-complex approach to assessment of cognitive, affective, and conative traits, patterns of facilitative and impeding roles in predicting academic success were predicted. We report on the validity of these broad trait complexes for predicting academic success (grades and attrition rates) in isolation and in the context of traditional predictors and indicators of domain knowledge (Advanced Placement [AP] exams). We also examine gender differences and trait complex by gender interactions for predicting college success and persistence in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Inclusion of trait-complex composite scores and average AP exam scores raised the prediction variance accounted for in college grades to 37%, a marked improvement over traditional prediction measures. Math/Science Self-Concept and Mastery/Organization trait complex profiles were also found to differ between men and women who had initial STEM major intentions but who left STEM for non-STEM majors. Implications for improving selection and identification of students at-risk for attrition are discussed.

Trait Complex, Cognitive Ability, and Domain Knowledge Predictors of Baccalaureate Success, STEM Persistence, and Gender Differences

Intelligence and personality share many common features other than their seminal role in individual differences research. First, they both refer to cognitive, affective, and behavioral differences that are quantifiable through the use of standardized psychometric instruments (Funder, 2001). Second, they are both genetically determined, albeit to different degrees (e.g., Spinath & Johnson, 2011: this volume).

Re-Visiting Intelligence-Personality Associations

The goal of the current study was to test a scoring matrix for evaluating and quantifying the difficulty of use of consumer packaging for an older adult population. Scores range from 0 to 100; the lower the score, the less usable the packaging design. Twelve older adults (9 females, 3 males; M age = 69.5) completed an online survey in which they evaluated 15 everyday packaging types on frequency of use and difficulty of the functional tasks required for use (e.g., pick up and carry, remove seal, open, dispense, close). Blister packaging scored the lowest (M = 71.5) and could benefit the most from redesign. Microwave meal packaging scored the highest (M = 85.8), but this was the only score computed without all participants; only five participants reported using microwave meals. Pull tab cans scored second highest with a mean score of 84.2. In this pilot study, we are laying the groundwork for creating a tool to systematically evaluate and quantify the usability of all packaging types.

Developing a scoring matrix to evaluate the usability of consumer packaging A pilot study.

BS: Psychology (Louisiana State University, 2014)
Graduate Major: Psychology (Industrial / Organizational)
I joined the Knowledge and Skill Lab in the summer of 2014. My interests include motivation, self-regulation and resource allocation.

Ben Perrodin

Kathrina Robotham

Lecturer, Oglethorpe University
Ph.D., 2020; M.S., 2016

Ilya Gokhman

Assistant Professor at University of Central Florida

Kristin Horan

Long-term success in college may be better predicted with Advanced Placement (AP) exams and personality traits in combination with standard admission practices, according to new research from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Rice University.

The study showed that prediction of student graduation may be significantly improved by including in the college admission process consideration of AP exam performance and a small set of personality traits, along with traditional indicators of student abilities and high school grades.

The research also revealed that, on average, males and females who changed their college major from a field in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) identified different reasons for doing so. Women who changed from a STEM major tended to have lower “self-concepts” in math and science — they were less likely to view themselves in these fields. Men tended to have lower levels of orientation toward “mastery and organization.”

“There has been significant discussion in the domains of educational research and public policy about the difficulties in both attracting and retaining students in STEM majors,” said Margaret Beier, associate professor of psychology at Rice and the study’s co-author. “We’re very interested to know how the role of personality traits and domain knowledge influences the selection and retention of talented students and accounts for gender differences in STEM and non-STEM majors in a selective undergraduate institution.”

Phillip Ackerman, a professor of psychology at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the study’s lead author, said that they also hope university admissions officers consider taking into account what applicants “know,” in addition to their grades and standardized test scores.

“Given that over half of the AP exams are completed prior to the students’ senior year of high school, their actual exam scores could be part of the formal selection process and assist in identifying students most likely to graduate from college/university,” Ackerman said.

The study tracked individual trait measures (such as personality, self-concept and motivation) of 589 undergraduate students at the Georgia Institute of Technology from 2000 to 2008. The selected students were enrolled in Psychology 1000, a one-credit elective course for freshmen undergraduate students. Questionnaires assessing these trait measures were distributed to approximately 1,100 of the 1,196 students enrolled in the course in fall 2000, and 589 students completed the survey.

The researchers hope their research will help students, counselors and other stakeholders better match high school elective options to student interests and personal characteristics. They also hope that university admissions officers consider taking into account what applicants “know” (for example, what they learned in their high school elective classes), in addition to their grades and standardized test scores.

Ruth Kanfer, a professor of psychology at the Georgia Institute of Technology, co-authored the study with Ackerman and Beier.

The study, “Trait Complex, Cognitive Ability and Domain Knowledge Predictors of Baccalaureate Success, STEM Persistence and Gender Differences,” was funded by the Georgia Institute of Technology and is available online at…

Story written by Amy Hodges, Rice University.

AP exams, personality traits more likely to predict long-term college success

Congratulations to Betts, M, Kanfer, R, Conklin, E., Ackerman P, Calderwood, C., Kerry, M. Posnock, S., Farmer, S., and Barnett, G. for 2013 student presentations

Congratulations to Victor Ellingsen for defending his masters

Rory Dixon, 2013 Moll Davenport Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Psychology Award

Congratulations to Charles Calderwood for receiving his PhD!

Sarah Bowen

Congratulations to Erin Marie on receiving grant approval for her Doctoral dissertaion. “Efficacy of Self-control/Self-regulation Training Interventions to Improve Sleep Habits: Impact on Employee Fatigue.”

Congratulations to Matt Kerry for receving his Masters degree!

Victor Ellingsen

I am a second year Biology major. I am particularly interested in Neurobiology in terms of self-regulation. I plan on attending Dental school in Fall 2014.

Patrick Steck

Lauren Danish

I received my B.S. in Psychology from the University of Georgia in 2011 before joining the Knowledge and Skills Lab. My current research is on job calling, and individual differences for those who identify their work as a calling. I am also a graduate research assistant in the Electronic Systems Laboratory of GTRI and a student member of APS and SIOP.

Sarah Nelson

Kathryn Daniel

Assistant Professor at Rice University
Ph.D., 2018

Danielle King

(from the chapter) Philosophers (e.g., Kant, 1790) and psychologists traditionally separate traits (i.e., relatively stable and transsituational sources of individual differences) into three major categories: affective, cognitive, and conative traits. Affective traits are personality characteristics (such as need for achievement, neuroticism, conscientiousness). Cognitive traits include traditional concepts of broad abilities (such as intelligence), narrower ability constructs (e.g., verbal comprehension, math ability), and even more narrow abilities and skills (reaction time to simple stimuli and typing speed). Conative or volitional traits include motivation and interests. More generally, conation is characterized as will. For much of the twentieth century, with a few notable exceptions, researchers were typically concerned with only a single category of traits, such as personality or abilities, and there were relatively few studies of the interactions between and interrelations among these different categories of traits. In the last two decades, this kind of isolated research has been augmented by investigations of how these different categories of traits relate to one another. In this chapter, I will briefly review some of these streams of integrative research. First, however, a few general considerations and qualifications are needed.

Personality and cognition