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Western Undergraduate Psychology Journal

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to explore the effect that the environment, specifically workplace culture, can have on the expression of the personality trait of extraversion. Participants were employees at a major Canadian department store which has a workplace culture directed toward active engagement with customers and which appears to reward outgoing behaviours in staff. Participants completed the extraversion section of the Big Five Factor Markers Questionnaire (Goldberg, 1990) in both the workplace environment as well as in their own home. In addition, participants were asked to respond to several open-ended questions regarding their perceived behaviour. It was hypothesized that participants would report a more extraverted personality while at work due to the reinforcers in the workplace culture. Though the data was in the direction of the hypothesis, there was no significant effect to report. Interestingly, participants did not feel represented within the over-arching workplace culture and identified participating in smaller subcultures within the workplace. This lack of identification may explain patterns observed in the quantitative data. This study suggests a need for future research on the interaction between the person, situation, and environment.


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