Multisource personality feedback: Professional feedback interventions adapted for personal insight and development

Pappas, Jesse Ben, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia
Clore, Gerald, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia

The unique human capacity for self-understanding, while extraordinary, is also limited and biased. But accurate self-knowledge is valuable, and people have the capacity to change themselves, so it may be worth working to overcome inherent challenges. This goal is endorsed by many organizations, and professional tools for acquiring and interpreting self-oriented feedback from multiple sources are now widespread. The primary objective of this project was to identify factors influencing the effectiveness of two experimental personal feedback interventions. Within an interventional framework, two longitudinal studies evaluated the general hypothesis that multisource personalityfeedback would provoke goal-directedness and motivate intentional self-development in a sample of college students. Compared to self-generated feedback or no feedback, multisource personality feedback was more likely to precipitate adaptive developmental outcomes, and the addition of informant feedback influenced certain developmental processes. An analysis of structural models revealed that post-intervention goal-directedness may play an essential intermediary role between receiving personality feedback and achieving subsequent self-development goals. Implications are discussed from social and organizational perspectives.

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PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
self-awareness, personality, personal feedback
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