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Sep 24, 2014 07:10 AM EDT

Spouse’s Personality Influences a Person's Workplace Performance: Study

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Spouse's personality affects a person's performance at workplace majorly, according to a new study by the Washington University.

The researchers said that pay raises, promotions and other measures of career success depend on the spouse's influence in life.

"Our study shows that it is not only your own personality that influences the experiences that lead to greater occupational success, but that your spouse's personality matters too," said Joshua Jackson, assistant professor of psychology in Arts & Sciences and lead author of the study.

"The experiences responsible for this association are not likely isolated events where the spouse convinces you to ask for a raise or promotion," Jackson said. "Instead, a spouse's personality influences many daily factors that sum up and accumulate across time to afford one the many actions necessary to receive a promotion or a raise."

For the study, the researchers followed nearly 5,000 married people ranging in age from 19 to 89 years, for five years. About 75 percent of the participants represented working spouses.

The participants undertook psychological tests to determine their levels of openness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism and conscientiousness. The researches tracked on-the-job performance of working spouses and their occupational success that included job satisfaction, salary increases and their chances of promotion.

The researchers found that those who were successful in their professional life had a spouse who scored full marks on conscientiousness personality trait. A conscientious spouse adds to workplace success in three ways.

First, the working spouse can depend on his or her partner to take care of household chores like paying bills, buying groceries and raising children. Workers also tend to inculcate some of the good habits of their conscientious spouses like diligence and reliability to mind their own workplace challenges. Finally, such spouses help their partners to lead a non-stressful and productive life.

As a result, the finding suggests that ambitious individuals are encouraged to select partners with highly conscientious personalities.

"This is another example where personality traits are found to predict broad outcomes like health status or occupational success, as in this study," Jackson said. "What is unique to this study is that your spouse's personality has an influence on such important life experiences."

The finding is published in the journal Psychological Science.

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