Assessing Strengths and Weaknesses in Solving Work Problems: A Knowledge and Appraisal Personality Architecture (KAPA) Analysis of the Trait Conscientiousness and Self-Efficacy

Daniele Artistico, Arielle M. Rothenberg


Our goal was to demonstrate the effect of personal strengths and weaknesses when solving work related
problems among students enrolled in business courses. We predicted that each participant would uniquely
activate personal knowledge (such as strengths and weaknesses) in situations idiosyncratically judged as relevant
to his or her strength or weakness. 65 participants completed all the measures of a two-study program (37
participants in study 1 and 28 participants in study 2). At the outset of both studies, participants completed a card
sorting task regarding the relevance of self identified (via a brief written narrative) personal strengths and
weaknesses to work related problems. In both studies, we primed our participants with their personal strengths
and personal weaknesses (counter balance session 1 and session 2) then assessed their self-efficacy for solving
work related problems. In study 1 we also assessed the participants’ perceived effectiveness at solving work
problems. The results indicated that perceived self-efficacy varied as a function of the interaction between
personal knowledge and appraisal of the situations. Participants who were primed with their personal strength
(weakness) reported the highest (lowest) self-efficacy for the work problems that were relevant to their strength
(weakness). The results also indicated that self-efficacy in turn mediated perceived effectiveness to handle work
problems over conscientiousness.

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International Journal of Psychological Studies   ISSN 1918-7211 (Print)   ISSN 1918-722X (Online)

Copyright © Canadian Center of Science and Education


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