Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Personality Perceptions of Medical School Applicants

By R. Blake Jelley MA, Michael A. Parkes MA and Mitchell G. Rothstein PhD

Abstract

Purpose To examine the extent to which medical school interviewers consider perceptions of applicant personality traits during a semi-structured panel interview, the interrater reliability of assessments, and the impact of such perceptions on individual admission decisions. Method Semi-structured panel interviews were conducted with applicants to the Doctor of Medicine Program at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. Interviewers also provided voluntary, “research only” ratings of applicants on nine relevant personality traits. Data from 345 applicants under consideration for admission were available for analysis. Results Significant correlations were observed between personality ratings and important operational variables (e.g., interview scores). Applicants who were most likely to be admitted to the program were perceived as high on certain traits (i.e., Achievement, Nurturance, Endurance, Cognitive Structure, & Order) and low on other traits (i.e., Abasement, Aggression, & Impulsivity). Statistically removing variance shared with personality ratings from interview scores resulted in different admission decisions for over 40% of the applicants. Interrater reliabilities for personality perceptions were relatively low. However, interrater reliability of the panel interview used to make admission decisions was acceptable. Nonlinear relations between personality perceptions and interview scores were also explored. Conclusion Some evidence was found that interviewers’ perceptions of applicant personality may affect their judgments when assigning interview ratings. Given that non-cognitive characteristics are perceived as important in the admissions process and that perceptions of personality traits have implications for decisions about which candidates to admit, suggestions for identifying desirable non-cognitive characteristics and for increasing the quality of assessments are offered

Topics: MEO Peer Reviewed
Year: 2002
OAI identifier: oai:cogprints.org:2585

Suggested articles

Citations

  1. (2001). A structured interview for medical school admission, phase 1: Initial procedures and results. Acad Med.
  2. (1999). Assessing personality. In: Eder
  3. (1988). From catalog to classification: Murray’s needs and the FiveFactor Model. doi
  4. (1993). Medical school entrants: semistructured interview ratings, prior scholastic achievement and personality profiles. Med Educ.
  5. (1999). Meta-analysis of bidirectional relations in personality—job performance research. Human Performance,
  6. (2002). Personal communication.
  7. (1991). Personality measures as predictors of job performance: A meta-analytic review. Personnel Psychology.
  8. (1999). Personality Research Form Manual
  9. (1997). Predicting medical students’ academic performances by their cognitive abilities and personality characteristics. Acad Med.
  10. (2001). Psychological statistics using SPSS for Windows. Upper Saddle River,
  11. (1994). Selecting medical students. Med Educ.
  12. (1999). The current and future status of research on the employment interview. In: Eder
  13. (1990). The interview in the admission process. Acad Med.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.