2011. Vol.2, No.3, 248-253
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. DOI:10.4236/psych.2011.23039
Personality of Students of Economics, Medicine, and Verbal
Communication: Preliminary Results
Jörg Richter1, Rosina Neumann2
1Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Oslo, Norway;
2Faculty of Philosophy, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany.
Received December 18th, 2010; revised March 18th, 2011; accepted April 20th, 2011.
Differences on personality between students of economics, medicine and verbal communication should be ex-
plored by means of the Temperament and Character Inventory. Students of economics are mainly characterized
by lower harm avoidance and lower reward dependence and higher self directedness than medical students and
students of verbal communication. Students of all groups seem to overestimate their self-directedness with eco-
nomical students showing the most pronounced tendency of overrating, whereas medical students tend to over-
rate their cooperativeness more than the students from the other groups. The obvious disturbed self-evaluation
corresponds to the students’ professional orientation. The students can be characterized by specific and varying
types and impact of social desirability depending on their professional career.
Keywords: Personality, Temperament, Character, University Students
The personality of university students has been the subject of
various investigations, which however focused mainly on rela-
tionships between personality characteristics and academic
performance. E.g., studies in students of economics showed that
those who were more introvert according to the broad Myers-
Briggs categories and who found their source of energy in the
inner life of ideas or concepts, performed better than extroverts
in principles of economics. This tendency seemed to persist
throughout the university training (Ziegert, 2000; Borg &
Stranahan, 2002a, 2002b). Furthermore, students with SJ
(sensing and judging) temperaments, i.e. who trust data and
information perceived thru the five senses, who focus on details
and specifics, work sequentially and prefer experience-guided
learning, and who have a practical and present orientation com-
bined with goal orientation and structured goal planning, per-
formed significantly better than those of a SP (sensing and per-
ceiving) temperament, i.e. who also trust data and information
from the five senses but combined with rather spontaneous and
flexible preferences and a tendency to avoid quick decisions.
By using the NEO-PI-R questionnaire which is based on the
Five-Factor Model of personality (Costa & McCrae, 1992),
Lievens, Coetsier, de Fruyr, & de Maeseneer (2002) showed
that medical students were characterized as highly extrovert
without significant differences compared to students of law,
economics, psychology, pedagogical sciences and political and
social sciences. Additionally, medical students obtained the
highest scores on agreeableness and average scores for con-
sciousness, openness to experience and neuroticism. The two
dimensions on which, among others, medical students and stu-
dents of economics differed from students of mainly applied
sciences (engineering) refer to interpersonal relationships such
as extraversion (sociable and extrovert vs. shy and introvert)
indicating the frequency of relationships and agreeableness
(warm and friendly vs. cold and aloof) indicating the quality of
More recently, Cloninger (Cloninger, Przybeck, Svrakic, &
Wetzel, 1994) proposed a new psychobiological model of per-
sonality. An assumed distinction between temperament and
character seems to be related to differences in major brain sys-
tems for the adaptation to the experiences on various levels
which can be described as the contrast between percept versus
concept, emotion versus volition, instinct versus will, and habit
versus cognition. The temperament dimensions are defined to
be genetically homogenous and independently inherited. These
inherited neurophysiological mechanisms influence tendencies
to activate (novelty seeking—NS), maintain (reward depend-
ence—RD), or inhibit (harm avoidance—HA) behaviour and
determine the perception of the environment and society. Ac-
cording to this theory, HA reflects a heritable bias in the inhibi-
tion or cessation of behaviours. Subjects high in HA are pessi-
mistic, worrying, and fatigable, shy with strangers, and become
tense in unfamiliar situations. NS is viewed as a tendency to-
wards exhilaration in response to novel stimuli or cues. Sub-
jects scoring high in NS are described as showing an increased
frequency of explanatory behaviour, impulsive decision-making,
a quick loss of temper and active avoidance of frustration. RD
reflects a tendency to maintain or pursue ongoing behaviours.
People with high scores on RD are sentimental, socially at-
tached and dependent on the approval of others. Persistence
(PS), the fourth temperament dimension, reflects the persever-
ance in behaviour despite frustration and fatigue.
Character is defined as individual differences in self-con-
cepts, which vary in the extent to which a person identifies
him/herself as an autonomous individual (self-directedness—
SD), as an integrated part of the humanity (cooperativeness—
CO), and as an integral part of the whole universe (self-tran-
scendence—ST). It represents the second domain of personality,
which is predominantly determined by socialisation processes
during the life span. Changes in cognition and the self-concept
during the development of personality are supposed to be re-
lated to personal, social, moral, and spiritual maturation. An
individual, who is low in SD, could be described as irresponsi-
ble, aimless, undisciplined in behaviour and of poor im-
pulse-control in general. CO is related to the extent to which a
person identifies himself or herself as an integral part of the
society as a whole. Uncooperative individuals are characterised
as hostile, aggressive, hateful, and as revengeful opportunists.
ST reflects the tendency of identification with unity of all
things and is associated with deficits in transpersonal identifi-
cation or conscience. Individuals low in ST show conventional
and materialistically oriented behaviour with little or no con-
cern for absolute ideas, such as goodness and universal har-
mony. The theory assumes that personality is determined by an
interaction between social, environmental, and genetic influ-
ences during the whole life span.
Based on this theory, Vaidya and colleagues (2005) investi-
gated a large sample of medical students by means of the re-
lated questionnaire, the Temperament and Character Inventory
(Cloninger et al., 1994), with focus on differences in personal-
ity characteristics between students of various medical speciali-
ties. The authors described mainly differences between the
students groups concerning temperament dimensions, i.e., fu-
ture surgeons were lower in HA and RD than others, students
choosing primary care specialities, emergency medicine, ob-
stetrics and gynaecology were high on RD with paediatricians
scoring highest.
This topic of personality differences between medical stu-
dents who decided for various medical specialties has of been
investigated primarily suggesting that those who preferred any
surgical specialty described themselves as being more resistant
to stress and having high self-esteem (Linn & Zeppa, 1984); as
more masculine and lower on depression (Zeldow & Daugherty,
1991); or as high on impulsive sensation seeking and low on
neuroticism-anxiety (Hojat & Zuckerman, 2008) compared to
medical students who preferred other specialties. For example,
those who were interested in a hospital-based specialty scored
lower on sociability.
Generally, persons who have decided to study at university
will assume some kind of managing or leading position after
some years of occupation. Investigations revealed differences in
personality characteristics between students of various speciali-
ties (Buddeberg-Fischer, Klaghofer, Abel, & Buddeberg, 2003).
From an organizational psychological perspective, personality
characteristics assessed by measures of the five factor model of
personality were found associated with career interests corre-
sponding to types of occupational environment based on Hol-
land’s theory of career interest (1985, 1994). Strong associa-
tions were particularly found between the enterprising (indi-
viduals with this interest type generally like persuading or di-
recting others more than working on scientific or complicated
topics) and artistic (individuals with this interest type generally
like working with creative ideas and self-expression more than
routines and rules) vocational interest type and the openness
and extraversion personality traits in meta-analyses (Larson,
Rottinghaus & Borgen, 2002; Barrick, Mount, & Gupta, 2003).
However, we could not find any longitudinal investigation
that followed the personality development from a university
student to a more or less successful professional career. There-
fore, we decided to initiate a 20 years survey of personality in
university students of various specialities with waves of two
years interval. The following research questions will be inves-
tigated: (A) Are there differences between medical students, of
verbal communication and communication disturbances and
students of economics concerning personality characteristics?
(B) Can the personality characteristics of these student groups
as assessed by the Myers-Briggs temperament types and/or by
the NEO-PI-R be confirmed by the TCI (i.e., a cross-validation
of former results and of the construct validation of the TCI)? (C)
Are the responses of students from various specialities differ-
ently determined by tendencies of self-presentation (i.e., of
varying impact of social desirability)? (D) Are there differences
in the development of personality characteristics throughout the
period of university training and subsequent years depending on
the speciality, place of work, position, and/or major changes in
private life?
Preliminary results of the 1st wave of this survey are pre-
sented below. The study design does not allow addressing the
research question D at this juncture.
Students of economics (n = 84), medicine (n = 65), and of
verbal communication and communication disturbances (n =
43)1 of the University of Rostock, Germany, were willing to
participate voluntarily in a 20-years follow-up study on person-
ality characteristics between January 2004 and June 2005. It
represents a convenient sample. The mean age was 22.4 ± 2.4
years. There was no significant difference between the three
study groups according to age (F = 0.38; p = 0.687) or gender
(χ2 = 0.43; approx. p = 0.805). In the instruction, it was clearly
stated that this investigation cannot be performed anonymously
due to its repeated measures design. We intend investigating the
students very two years by the Temperament and Character
Inventory and a life event list.
The Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) (Cloninger
et al., 1994) was used to measure temperament and character as
major personality domains. It measures the four temperament
dimensions based on Cloninger’s unified biosocial theory of
personality: NS (novelty seeking) and HA (harm avoidance),
both composed of four lower-order subscales; RD (reward de-
pendence), composed of three subscales; and, PS (persistence),
as a single-scale dimension; as well as the three character di-
mensions: SD (self-directedness) and CO (cooperativeness),
each comprising five lower-order dimensions, and ST (self
transcendence) with three subscales.
1Currently, this is a B.A. study at the Philosophical Faculty, University o
Rostock, mainly aiming to teach pedagogs in a wide range of applied com-
munication sciences with the focus from rehabilitation centres and schools
for disabled children to communication disturbances in intercultural
team-work. Students should become prepared to deal with phenomena o
verbal communication that deviate from common communication processes.
Furthermore, they are trained in understanding and management of disturbed
communication in various contexts (
The inventory is a self-administered paper-and-pencil test of
240 items of a true/false format. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes
to complete. Its psychometric properties have been demon-
strated separately for versions of several languages (for the
German version Richter, Eisemann, Richter & Cloninger, 1999)
using established personality theories, in different groups of
normals and patients, and with respect to neurobiological pa-
To compare the mean scores between the students` groups,
t-tests for independent groups, one-way ANOVAs concerning
the personality scores and multiple ANOVAs concerning the
personality profile were calculated. In order to evaluate the
impact of self-presentation, the so-called performance scores,
personality scores derived by multiple regression analysis from
validity scores indicating the individual formal response style,
were compared with the real response scores by paired-sample
t-test (Table 2).
At the dimensional and sub-scale level, students of econom-
ics scored lower on ‘NS3 Extravagance vs. Reserve’, ‘HA1
Anticipatory Worry vs. Optimism’, ‘HA3 Shyness with Strang-
ers’, HA dimension, ‘RD1 Extravagance vs. Reserve’, RD di-
mension, whereas they obtained higher scores on ‘SD3 re-
sourcefulness vs. inertia’, ‘SD5 Congruent second nature vs.
bad habits’ and the SD dimension than medical students fol-
lowed by the students of verbal communication sciences.
Medical students and students of verbal communication did not
significantly differ in any of the personality scores (Table 1).
Economics students and those of communication were similar
on ‘CO5 Pure hearted principles vs. self-serving advantage’
whereas medical students reached higher scores.
At the multivariate level, we found a main effect for the stu-
dents’ specialty at the level of the sub-scales (Wilks’ λ = 0.625;
F (50/322) = 1.75; p = 0.002; η.2 = 0.21; Power = 1.00) based
on significant effects on NS3, HA1, HA3, HA4, RD1, SD2,
SD3, SD5, and CO5). In a MANOVA using the TCI dimen-
sions, main effects for students’ specialty (Wilks’ λ = 0.817; F
(14/366) = 2.77; p = 0.001; η.2 = 0.094; Power = 0.992—based
on HA, RD and SD) and gender (Wilks’ λ = 0.920; F (7/182) =
2.27; p = 0.030; η.2 = 0.080; Power = 0.830—based on CO)
The significant differences (paired sample t-tests) between
the test scores of the students and the corresponding, evaluated
performance scores make us assume that students of all groups
seem to overestimate their SD (self-directedness) with eco-
nomical students showing the most pronounced tendency of
overrating, whereas medical students tend to overrate their CO
(cooperativeness) more than the students from the other groups.
Additionally, students of economics and medical students
overrate their persistence. However, the students of social
communication and the medical students seem to a somewhat
lesser degree overrate their reward dependence whereas the
economical students, on average, highly underrate their HA
(harm avoidance). Concerning the number of students who
over- or underrate their personality traits, about one third of all
students overrate their self-directedness (Table 3) with an over-
representation of females (40% vs. 25%) and most pronounced
among the medical students (42% vs. 18%). Furthermore, about
one sixth of the medical and one seventh of the economics stu-
dents overrate their persistence, one tenth of the medical stu-
dents overrate their cooperative abilities, one tenth of the stu-
dents of verbal communication overrate their dependency on
rewards and one fifth of the students of economics underrate
their harm avoidance. Female medical students generally show
a trend of overrating in any of the personality dimensions.
Covariance analyses of the group differences lent support to
the assumption that a response bias of over- or underrating the
personality significantly influences the personality scores ex-
cept of reward dependence (Table 3).
The aim of the investigation was to establish baseline data of
a longitudinal study on personality development of future lead-
ers of various professions. Furthermore, differences on person-
ality between students of economics, medicine and verbal
communication sciences should be explored by means of the
Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI).
The interpretation of these preliminary results from the 1st
wave of this survey is limited by its relatively small sample size.
However, on the long run data from this prospective investiga-
tion should enable us to draw conclusions about possible im-
portant personality traits of the various professions which be
more markedly developed during university training and during
the first years of the occupational practice.
Several differences, especially between students of econom-
ics and the both other groups, i.e. students of medicine and of
verbal communication, were found (research question A). Eco-
nomics students described themselves as more reserved, con-
trolled and restrained, frugal or stingy (NS3) as well as more
uninhibited, nonchalant, carefree (HA1), bold, forward, outgo-
ing and seldom inhibited by uncertainty of unfamiliarity (HA3)
and rather practical, tough minded, odd, aloof with difficulties
to establish social rapport (RD1), generally more practical, cold,
withdrawn, detached, and independent (RD) compared with
medical students and students of communication. The latter
group reported an even lower degree of these characteristics
than the medical students. Furthermore, students of economics
rated themselves as more resourceful, effective, productive,
competent, and innovative, and tended to look at difficult situa-
tions rather as challenges or opportunities (SD3), with a higher
self-discipline, more rarely confusing their priorities and feeling,
more often safe and self-trusting (SD5), as well as they describe
themselves generally as more mature, strong, responsible, goal-
oriented, reliable, and constructive (SD) compared with medi-
cal students and students of communication. On the other hand,
economics students described themselves as more opportunistic
with a tendency to treat people unfairly in a self-serving manner,
behaving more often manipulative and deceitful (CO5) as
compared with the other two groups. These differences corre-
spond mainly to those based on other measurements like the
NEO-PI and the Myers-Briggs temperament types and, there-
fore, have to be regarded as a construct validation of these re-
sults and as construct volition of the TCI (question B).
Table 1.
Comparisons of means of the personality scores among student groups.
Medical vs.
Economics1 post hoc
Medical vs.
Economics vs.
Communication 3 post hoc
1 way
Post hoc tests/P
N = 65 N = 84 N = 43 t p t p t p F Sig. 1 3
Age 22.3 ± 2.4 22.4 ± 2.3 22.7 ± 2.8 0.34 0.7330.82 0.4160.61 0.540 0.38 0.687
NS1 7.1 ± 2.5 7.2 ± 2.1 7.3 ± 2.0 0.30 0.7640.65 0.5170.46 0.646 0.23 0.798
NS2 4.1 ± 2.5 4.0 ± 2.2 4.3 ± 2.0 0.27 0.7910.46 0.6470.78 0.436 0.27 0.764
NS3 5.6 ± 2.0 4.9 ± 1.8 6.0 ± 2.0 2.17 0.0320.90 0.3702.90 0.004 4.69 0.010 0.014
NS4 4.3 ± 1.7 4.2 ± 1.9 4.6 ± 1.6 .44 0.6610.91 0.3671.27 0.206 0.85 0.431
NS 21.1 ± 6.1 20.3 ± 5.0 22.3 ± 4.4 .87 0.3871.07 0.2842.16 0.033 1.95 0.145
HA1 4.5 ± 2.6 3.7 ± 1.8 5.0 ± 2.7 2.29 0.0240.84 0.4143.22 0.002 5.21 0.006 0.074 0.009
HA2 3.9 ± 2.0 3. 7 ± 1.9 4.5 ± 1.6 0.57 0.5701.65 0.1012.36 0.020 2.58 0.079 0.077
HA3 4.0 ± 2.1 3.0 ± 1.9 3. 8 ± 1.9 2.99 0.0030.440.6612.27 0.025 5.26 0.006 0.0080.084
HA4 2.8 ± 1.8 2.2 ± 1.8 3.0 ± 2.2 1.97 0.0510.64 0.5252.29 0.024 3.31 0.039 0.060
HA 15.2 ± 6.2 12.6 ± 5.4 16.3 ± 6.1 2.75 0.0070.92 0.3593.53 0.001 6.96 0.001 0.0220.002
RD1 6.4 ± 2.1 5.5 ± 1.9 6.5 ± 1.8 2.90 0.0040.35 0.7273.09 0.002 6.38 0.002 0.0100.010
RD3 5.9 ± 2. 0 5.9 ± 2.0 6.6 ± 1.5 0.03 0.9791.78 0.0791.82 0.071 1.85 0.159
RD4 4.1 ± 1.3 3.8 ± 1.4 4.2 ± 1.3 1.55 0.1240.30 0.7631.67 0.098 1.90 0.153
RD 16.4 ± 3.9 15.1 ± 3.9 17.3 ± 3.3 2.01 .0461.21 0.2293.10 0.002 5.15 0.007 0.008
PS 4.6 ± 2.1 4. 7 ± 2.0 3.9 ± 1.9 0.30 0.7621.78 0.0792.25 0.026
2.52 0.084 0.094
SD1 6.2 ± 1.7 6.6 ± 1.6 6.1 ± 2.2 1.26 0.2110.3620.7181.42 0.157 1.25 0.290
SD2 6.4 ± 1.6 6.8 ± 1.4 6.0 ± 1.8 1.60 0.1121.14 0.2562.67 0.009 3.61 0.029 0.027
SD3 3.9 ± 1.3 4.4 ± 0.9 3.7 ± 1.4 2.83 0.005 0.920.3593.69 0.001 6.92 0.001 0.0270.002
SD4 7.0 ± 2.8 7.6 ± 2.6 6.9 ± 2.6 1.42 0.1570.16 0.8741.47 0.145 1.47 0.233
SD5 8.6 ± 2.2 9.3 ± 1.9 8.1 ± 2.4 2.02 0.046 1.190.2373.08 0.003 4.95 0.008 0.008
SD 32.1 ± 6.8 34.7 ± 5.7 30.7 ± 8.1 2.46 0.015 0.950.3433.15 0.002 5.55 0.005
0.069 0.006
CO1 6.8 ± 1.2 6.9 ± 1.5 6.4 ± 1.7 0.20 0.8391.41 0.1611.52 0.131 1.44 0.239
CO2 4.9 ± 1.2 4.9 ± 1.2 5.0 ± 1.4 0.33 0.7420.55 0.5830.29 0.769 0.16 0.855
CO3 6.3 ± 1.0 6.0 ± 1.2 6.0 ± 1.0 1.23 0.2211.560.1210.39 0.698 1.25 0.288
CO4 7.4 ± 2.4 6.5 ± 2.8 6.6 ± 2.9 2.26 0.0251.660.1000.26 0.793 2.64 0.074 0.085
CO5 7.2 ± 1.1 6. 7 ± 1.6 7.0 ± 1.2 2.44 0.0160.870.3891.33 0.188
3.26 0.041 0.040
C 32.7 ± 4.6 31.0 ± 5.7 30. 9 ± 5.7 1.92 0.0571.630.1060.04 0.965 204 0.133
ST1 4.4 ± 2.8 4.1 ± 2.5 4.4 ± 2.4 0.62 0.5330.08 0.9360.68 0.501 0.30 0.742
ST2 2.3 ± 1.6 1.8 ± 1.5 2.3 ± 1.8 1.98 0.0500.15 0.8821.86 0.066 2.57 0.079
ST3 4.7 ± 3.5 4. 4 ± 3.2 5.5 ± 3.5 0.44 0.6571.24 0.2191.76 0.081 1.53 0.220
ST 11. 3 ± 6.3 10.3 ± 5.6 12.2 ± 6.3 1.04 0.3000.76 0.4511.79 0.076 1.59 0.207
NS1 exploratory excitability vs. rigidity, NS2 impulsiveness vs. reflection, NS3 extravagance vs. reserve, NS4 disorderliness vs. Regimentation, HA1 anticipatory worry vs.
optimism, HA2 fear of uncertainty vs. confidence, HA3 shyness vs. gregariousness, HA4 Fatigability and Asthenia vs. Vigor, RD1 sentimentality vs. insensitiveness, RD3
attachment vs. detachment, RD4 dependence vs. Independence, SD1 responsibility vs. blaming, SD2 purposefulness vs. lack of goal direction, SD3 resourcefulness vs.
inertia, SD4 self-acceptance vs. self-striving, SD5 impulse control vs. bad habits, CO1 social acceptance vs. social intolerance, CO2 empathy vs. social disinterest, ST3
spiritual acceptance vs. rational materialism CO3 helpfulness vs. unhelpfulness, CO4 compassion vs. revengefulness, CO5 pure hearted principles vs. self-serving advan-
tage, ST1 creative self-forgetfulness vs. self-conscious experience, ST2 transpersonal identification vs. personal identification.
Table 2.
Performance score comparison between student group.
Medical Economics Communication
Score Performance t p Score Performancet p Score Performance t p
NS 21.4 ± 6.1 20.5 ± 2.9 1.11 0.270 20.3 ± 5.020.4 ± 2.3 0.140.88822.3 ± 4.4 21.0 ± 2.7 2.060.045
HA 15.2 ± 6.2 16.2 ± 3.0 1.52 0.134 12.6 ± 5.416.6 ± 2.8 7.05 0.001 16.3 ± 6.1 16.1 ± 2.5 0.240.813
RD 16.4 ± 3.9 15.2 ± 1.6 2.41 0.019 15.1 ± 3.915.3 ± 1.6 0.400.68817.3 ± 3.3 14.9 ± 1.6 4.66 0.001
PS 4.6 ± 2.1 3.7 ± 0.8 3.75 0.001 4.7 ± 2.0 3.7 ± 0.7 4.95 0.0013.9 ± 1.9 3.5 ± 0.8 1.480.145
SD 32.1 ± 6.8 27.3 ± 7.5 5.37 0.001 34.7 ± 5.728.5 ± 5.8 9.08 0.00130.7 ± 8.1 26.6 ± 9.0 4.03 0.001
CO 32.7 ± 4.6 30.0 ± 3.8 5.34 0.001 31.0 ± 5.730.5 ± 3.5 0.95 0.34331.0 ± 5.7 29.2 ± 4.6 2.49 0.017
ST 11.3 ± 6.3 11.4 ± 2.8 0.19 0.852 10.3 ± 5.610.4 ± 2.8 0.250.80712.2 ± 6.3 10. 9 ± 3.5 1.890.065
Table 3.
Relative frequencies of over- and underrating according to students’ speciality (in %) and covariance analyses with related performance scores as
covariate variable and students’ speciality as fixed factor.
Medical Economical Communication Covariance analyses
over under over under over under F P η.2
NS 1.5 3.1 0.0 1.2 7.0 0.0 49.19 < 0.001 0.208
HA 3.1 6.2 1.2 19.0 7.0 0.0 29.89 < 0.001 0.138
RD 4.6 4.6 3.6 3.6 9.3 0.0 2.67 0.104 0.014
PS 16.9 1.5 13.1 1.2 2.3 2.3 26.42 < 0.001 0.124
SD 32.3 1.5 36.9 1.2 32.6 4.7 82.05 < 0.001 0.305
CO 10.8 0.0 3.6 1.2 7.0 0.0 85.12 < 0.001 0.313
ST 12.3 7.7 6.0 1.2
11.6 2.3 103.75 < 0.001 0.357
However, the students of all groups seem to overrate their
ability to maintain behavior, their self-directedness, i.e. matur-
ity, self-esteem, their effectiveness, and their cooperative abili-
ties including their identification and acceptance of others, their
tolerance, empathy, compassion, and fairness according to the
significant differences between self-scorings and the guessed
performance scores. The fact that the economics students obvi-
ously underrate their harm avoidance (HA) corresponds to their
most pronounced overrating of their self-directed behavior, and
similarly corresponds to the medical students’ and students’ of
verbal communication overrating of their reward dependence as
well as of their cooperative abilities. In both cases, the obvious
disturbed self-evaluation corresponds to their professional ori-
entation. Physicians and persons, who like to train verbal
communication abilities of others, are mainly focused on social
relationships, whereas future economical leaders or managers
are required to be highly self-directed and courageous, com-
posed, and optimistic even in situations which would worry
other people, in order to be able to make the right decisions for
the best of their company.
These results let us conclude that the students of the various
fields can be characterized by specific and varying types and
impact of social desirability depending on their professional
career (question C).
Nevertheless, it should be a meaningful goal during the time
of the university training to reduce the distortions in students’
self-evaluation, e.g., by video-controlled special training of
social competencies and subsequent self-observation and self-
Consequently, future leaders and/or service providers in
leading positions (physicians, communication scientists) would
be enabled to use more efficiently their genuine personal poten-
tial and competencies. Our findings support the results of for-
mer investigations in medical and economics student popula-
tions. In addition, based on the psychosocial model of personal-
ity of Cloninger and co-workers (1994), some meaningful dif-
ferences on personality characteristics could be detected which
so far have not been reported on. The application of the per-
formance scores which are exclusively available for the Tem-
perament and Character Inventory (TCI) enabled us to describe
these differences in more detail.
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