The role of the Big Five personality factors in vigilance performance and workload



Using the five-factor personality model, the present study explored the influence of personality factors on sustained attention and perceived workload. Ninety-six college-aged participants were administered a 12 minute vigilance fast event rate task. Following the vigil, participants were asked to first, rate their perceived workload of the task using the NASA-TLX, and then second, complete the NEO-PI-R personality inventory. Traditional measures of hits, false alarms, and reaction times were examined as well as the signal detection indices of perceptual sensitivity and response bias. Extraversion correlated with false alarms (r = 0.181; eta2 = 0.055) and conscientiousness correlated with both false alarms (r = −0.275, eta2 = 0.097) and perceptual sensitivity (r = 0.227, eta2 = 0.052). With regard to perceived workload, neuroticism was related to perceived frustration (r = 0.238, eta2 = 0.057). The findings are discussed in terms of theoretical implications, impact of task parameters, and practical applications. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.