Putting personality in context: determinants of research productivity and impact in political science.

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    • Abstract:
      Research on the determinants of scholarly productivity is flourishing, driven both by long-standing curiosity about its wide variation, and by recent concern over race and gender inequalities. Beyond standard structural and demographic determinants of research output, some studies point to the role of individual psychology. We contribute to scholarship on personality and productivity by showing not only that personality matters, but when and for whom. Using an original, representative study of faculty from one discipline, political science, we propose and test several hypotheses about the "Big Five" personality determinants of productivity, as gauged through counts of publications, H-index scores, and citations. Controlling for a large number of familiar determinants (e.g., race, gender, rank, and institutional incentives), we find that conscientiousness predicts productivity, but that its effects are conditioned by openness to experience. More precisely, we discover that these two personality traits have compensatory effects, such that openness to experience and conscientiousness each matter most in the absence of the other. In addition, personality has heterogeneous impacts on productivity across different contexts; conscientiousness more strongly affects scholarly output in research-oriented institutions, while collaboration reduces the penalty associated with lack of conscientiousness. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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