The Interactive Influence of Psychological-Needs Fulfillment and Agreeableness in Problem Solving

Je Hee Chun


Most adults spend the majority of their waking hours at work, making achievement at work very salient for individuals and their organizations. As a result, increasing the efficiency of one’s own work performance has been one of the major interests in organizational psychology. In this vein, Big Five Model argues that agreeableness is often linked to positive work performance. Likewise, Self-Determination Theory argues that people have three fundamental psychological needs: autonomy, relatedness, and competence, each of which should contribute to work motivation and performance.  However, some correlational studies had found an unexpected result that when high agreeable individuals’ autonomy was fulfilled, a negative association was found within their work performance. To investigate this unexpected correlation, the current study had examined the interactions between level of agreeableness and each psychological need in influencing the task performance. A total of 167 participants’ satisfaction of psychological needs were manipulated while measuring their agreeableness and used both to predict their task performance by using a Remote Association Test (RAT). The results revealed a significant interaction between level of agreeableness and satisfaction of autonomy in solving RAT questions.


Self-Determination Theory; Agreeableness; Remote Association Test; Work Performance

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