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Personality dynamics at work: The effects of form, time, and context of variability

Beckmann, N.; Birney, D.P.; Minbashian, M.; Beckmann, J.F.

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D.P. Birney

M. Minbashian


The study aimed to investigate the status of within-person state variability in neuroticism and conscientiousness as individual differences constructs by exploring their (a) temporal stability, (b) cross-context consistency, (c) empirical links to selected antecedents, and (d) empirical links to longer-term trait variability. Employing a sample of professionals (N = 346) from Australian organizations, personality state data together with situation appraisals were collected using experience sampling methodology in field and repeatedly in lab-like settings. Data on personality traits, cognitive ability, and motivational mindsets were collected at baseline and after two years. Contingent (situation contingencies) and noncontingent (relative SD) state variability indices were relatively stable over time and across contexts. Only a small number of predictive effects of state variability were observed, and these differed across contexts. Cognitive ability appeared to be associated with state variability under lab-like conditions. There was limited evidence of links between short-term state and long-term trait variability, except for a small effect for neuroticism. Some evidence of positive manifold was found for non-contingent variability. Systematic efforts are required to further elucidate the complex pattern of results regarding the antecedents, correlates and outcomes of individual differences in state variability.


Beckmann, N., Birney, D., Minbashian, M., & Beckmann, J. (2021). Personality dynamics at work: The effects of form, time, and context of variability. European Journal of Personality, 35(4), 421-449

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 15, 2021
Online Publication Date May 27, 2021
Publication Date Jul 1, 2021
Deposit Date Mar 19, 2021
Publicly Available Date Aug 5, 2021
Journal European Journal of Personality
Print ISSN 0890-2070
Electronic ISSN 1099-0984
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 35
Issue 4
Pages 421-449
Keywords dynamic personality, personality states, situation contingencies, within-person variability, trait change


Published Journal Article (632 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (

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