Personality Traits of Students of Helping and Non-Helping Professions: Case-Based Reasoning Approach

Personality Traits of Students of Helping and Non-Helping Professions: Case-Based Reasoning Approach

Vladimir Kurbalija (Department of Mathematics and Informatics, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia), Mirjana Ivanović (Department of Mathematics and Informatics, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia), Vojislava Bugarski Ignjatovic (Faculty of Medicine, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia) and Bojana M. Dinić (University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia)
DOI: 10.4018/IJQAETE.2017010102
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Abstract

Personality traits are very important in choosing future profession because most professions require certain skills that are related to certain personality traits. The aim of our research was to determine which personality traits contribute the most to the distinction between the students of different professions, e.g. helping and non-helping professions. On a sample of 356 students, of which 216 study helping professions, Big Five Plus Two (BF+2) personality inventory was applied. For obtained data, the classification accuracies were tested with different combinations of 184 items and 18 subtraits of the BF+2 using Case based reasoning classifier. Results showed that the best accuracy had the set of all 18 subtraits and this set outperformed the classification of every combination of subtraits or items.
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As we mentioned, the purpose of this study is to determine difference in personality traits between helping and non-helping professions. Previous studies (Hussain, Abbas, Shahzad, & Bukhari, 2012; Záškodná, 2010; Zvenko, 2013) have shown that those who work in helping professions show characteristics that are desirable in social communication, such as kindness and generosity in negotiations, but also altruism, empathy, trustworthiness and care for other peoples’ needs. In addition to these characteristics, also important but to a lesser extent are characteristics related to attitude towards work, such as organization, persistence, goal-oriented behavior, inclination towards risk avoidance, and control of undesirable behaviours. In dominant personality trait models such as Five Factor Model and Big Five, these and other similar characteristics capture the agreeableness and consciousness traits. For the remaining three traits of the model (neuroticism, extraversion and openness), there is no agreement whether they contribute to a distinction between helping and non-helping professions. The characteristics that are part of these personality traits pertain to the tendency towards negative or positive emotions and affects, emotional stability, activity and intellectual curiosity (Goldberg, 1990, 1993).

From the standpoint of other personality model, such is Holland Personality Theory of Career Choice, results showed that there is significant relationship between personality types and career choice of students (Kimongo Kemboi, Kindiki, & Misigo, 2016). Moreover, there is congruency between investigative personality type and investigative career choice (which could be related to non-helping professions), as between social personality type and social career choice (which could be related to helping professions).

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