Effects of Personality and Gender on Self-insight

Open Access
Naude, Megan Nicole
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Rick R Jacobs, Thesis Supervisor
  • Richard Alan Carlson, Honors Advisor
  • gender
  • personality
  • self-insight
  • assessment centers
This study tested the hypotheses that gender and personality traits, specifically conscientiousness and emotional stability, would predict different levels of performance based self-insight. Conscientiousness and emotional stability were hypothesized to have a positive relationship with self-insight. The study was also designed to test the prediction that women and individuals low in emotional stability, independent of gender, would be more likely to underestimate their performance. These predictions draw on previous literature that suggests that women tend to have higher conscientiousness and lower emotional stability. Participants completed exercises in an assessment center and were given performance scores on eight competencies by graduate and professional assessors. These performance scores were compared with self-ratings of the same competencies, and the differences between scores were used to measure self-insight. A significant negative relationship was found between conscientiousness and the extent to which participants changed their self-ratings after completing the assessment center, suggesting that conscientious individuals may have a better understanding of their own competencies. The results did not support the hypotheses regarding gender and emotional stability, but restrictions in the population studied in terms of academic achievement may account for the lack of statistically significant findings. Implications for what was found in the study and future directions for this type of research are presented.