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In this lesson, you will learn about the personality trait referred to as social.

You will learn to define the social personality trait as well as learn about how it relates to work. Following this lesson, you will have the opportunity to test your knowledge with a short quiz.

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Social Personality Definition

People with a social personality yield satisfaction from interacting with other people. They enjoy talking, the company of other people, and, many times, physical closeness as well. Social people not only enjoy people but they tend to like to be helpful as well, and are also thought of as ‘helpers.

‘ Social people are attracted to jobs and work environments that allow them the opportunity to engage regularly with the public and other people.

Holland’s Personality Descriptors

According to personality psychologist and sociologist John Holland, job satisfaction and long-term success are highly related to the personality of each individual person. While many trait theories of personality exist, Holland believed that 6 distinct personality traits are tied to workplace satisfaction:

  • Realistic (the doers)
  • Investigative (the thinkers)
  • Artistic (the creators)
  • Social (the helpers)
  • Enterprising (the persuaders)
  • Conventional (the organizers)

Simply being social and having a job that involves being around a lot of people may not ensure job satisfaction in and of itself.

The working environment also plays a large role.If you are a social person who gets to spend two days a week out in the community interacting with your customers and helping them solve their problems, you would probably be pretty happy with your job. What if the other three days of the week are spent in an office where everyone shuts their doors all day and you spend your time writing reports by yourself? How satisfied will you be then?On the other hand, if your co-workers are social personality types as well then the office environment will be much different and more to your liking. It is not to say that one working environment is better than the other, but that it is just as important that the environment is correlated with one’s personality as it is that the job tasks are when it comes to job satisfaction and long-term success.

Holland’s Personality Codes

Holland realized that human beings and the environments that they work in cannot be described by simply aligning that person with one of 6 personality characteristics.

After all, there are a lot more than 6 types of people. Holland’s response to this problem was to devise a 3-code system that takes into account differences in personality that exist, but still maintained the focus around these 6 personality traits that he felt were distinct and universal.Holland codes are typically delivered in 3-letter units. For example, if you completed an interest inventory designed to determine what your Holland code is, the result would be something like ASE. In addition to the three letters being representative of personality characteristics, the order that they fall has significance as well.

Your Holland code above would indicate that you have artistic personality traits first and foremost, followed by social, and then enterprising. You might be wondering, ‘Does this mean I am not realistic, investigative, or conventional?’ Holland would say that You are to a certain degree, but just not as strongly as you are artistic, social, and enterprising. We all possess each of the 6 traits, but to varying degrees.The 3-code system allows for an exponentially larger number of possibilities, therefore taking into account the wide variety of personality types that exist, than does a 6 category system.

Trait Relationships

Holland recognized that each of the 6 personality traits vary in the degree to which they are related to one another.

Over time he was able to determine which traits correlated most strongly together.Holland used the graphic depiction here to help illustrate this point.

In validity of his 6-personality characteristic system.
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