Nathan T. Carter
Creative Research Medal 2019
Nathan T. Carter, associate professor of psychology, is a leading researcher in the fields of industrial-organizational psychology and personality assessment. His work challenges the traditional assumption that higher levels of personality traits—agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, extraversion and openness—are associated with improved work outcomes such as task performance and broader well-being outcomes such as job and life satisfaction. But with his expertise in measurement theory and statistical analysis, Carter has shown that individuals with extremely high levels of personality traits actually often show fewer positive outcomes at work and other life outcomes than those with more moderate standing. Limitations in standard scoring and analysis practices had obscured accurate associations, resulting in a mixed literature on the topic. In Carter’s current research, he is developing insights that further our understanding of personality and its role in work behavior and other important life outcomes.