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Perceptions of Older Versus Younger Workers in Terms of Big Five Facets, Proactive Personality, Cognitive Ability, and Job Performance

Authors


  • Earlier versions of these studies were presented in April 2008 at the annual meeting of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, San Francisco, CA; and in August 2008 at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management, Anaheim, CA.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Donald M. Truxillo, Department of Psychology, Portland State University, P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207. E-mail: truxillod@pdx.edu

Abstract

We examined whether older and younger workers are perceived differently in terms of job-related individual differences and dimensions of job performance. Findings across 2 experimental studies indicated that older workers were perceived more positively in terms of crystallized intelligence and facets of conscientiousness, while younger workers were perceived more positively in terms of fluid intelligence and proactive personality. With regard to work performance, older workers were perceived more positively in terms of organizational citizenship behavior directed toward the organization. Similar perceptions were held by older and younger respondents. Results illustrate that job performance dimensions and work-related individual differences may provide useful frameworks for understanding stereotypes regarding older and younger workers.

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