Personality type and perception of the work environment in career paramedics

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Rose, Deborah A.
Hutchinson, Roger L.
Issue Date
Thesis (Ph. D.)
Department of Counseling Psychology and Guidance Services
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For many years, researchers have investigated issues of career choice and job satisfaction. One of the earliest and most durable theories of vocational psychology holds that an individual's personality predisposes him or her to be better suited to some occupations than others. According to trait factor theory, if people are matched with the "right" occupations, high levels of satisfaction and performance can be expected.This study examined the personality characteristics in a national sample of 105 career paramedics and investigated the relationship between paramedics' personality type and satisfaction with the work environment. Career paramedics are defused as individuals who earn the majority of their income through the provision of advanced prehospital emergency health care. Four major findings were obtained. First, a chi square analysis showed that the frequency and distribution of personality types of paramedics differs from that of the general population. Second, it appears that many paramedics show a distinct clustering of personality traits. The-, have a strong sense of responsibility; prefer concrete, immediate, factual data; enjoy creating order out of chaos; and are able to work with efficiency and precision in high-pressure situations. Third, analyses of variance indicated significant differences between responses of medics at different sites. This suggests that management differences account for variance in scores on the work satisfaction measure, since work tasks are similar at each location. Fourth, limited evidence was found to support the link between personality type and scores on the work satisfactionmeasure. Results are discussed in relation to the implications for employers and psychologists.