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Keywords:

  • personality change;
  • personality traits;
  • social investment;
  • de-investment;
  • work

Abstract

The present study investigated the relationship between experiences of de-investment in work and change in personality traits in an 8-year longitudinal study of young adults (N = 907). De-investment was defined as participating in activities that run counter to age-graded norms for acceptable behaviour. De-investment in work was operationalised with a measure of counterproductive work behaviours (CWBs), which included actions such as stealing from the work place, malingering and fighting with co-workers. CWBs were used to predict changes in personality traits from age 18 to age 26. Consistent with hypotheses, greater amounts of CWB was associated with changes in the broad trait domains of negative emotionality and constraint. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.