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How do critical care staff respond to organisational challenge? A qualitative exploration into personality types and cognitive processing in critical care

Grailey, KE; Murray, EJ; Billings, J; Brett, SJ; (2020) How do critical care staff respond to organisational challenge? A qualitative exploration into personality types and cognitive processing in critical care. PLoS One , 15 (1) , Article e0226800. 10.1371/journal.pone.0226800. Green open access

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Abstract

Critical care staff are frequently required to respond to stressful scenarios. The way staff counter organisational challenge may be influenced by their underlying personality type, preferred style of cognitive processing and previous clinical experience. Our objective was to explore the personality types of a sample of critical care workers, and the potential relationship of this with cognitive processing. This was achieved through a qualitative interview study in which participants were presented with difficult but realistic scenarios pertaining to staffing. Data on individual’s personality were captured using the ‘16 Personality Factor’ assessment, a tool that produces scores for 16 different elements of an individual’s personality. The existence of perfectionist and pragmatic cognitive processing styles were identified as one theme emerging from a prior analysis of these interview transcripts. We aimed to validate this, explore our ability to categorise individuals into groups based upon their cognitive processing. We identified that some individuals strongly tended to either a perfectionist or pragmatic style of cognitive processing for the majority of their decisions; however most adapted their style of processing according to the nature of the decision. Overall participants generally demonstrated average scores for all 16 personality factors tested. However, we observed that some factors tended to higher scores than others, indicating a pattern within the personalities of our sample cohort. Whilst a small sample size, our data suggests that individuals working within the same critical care environment may have clear differences in their approach to problem solving as a consequence of both their personality type and preferred style of cognitive processing. Thus there may be individuals within this environment who would benefit from increased support to minimise their risk of cognitive dissonance and stress in times of challenge.

Type: Article
Title: How do critical care staff respond to organisational challenge? A qualitative exploration into personality types and cognitive processing in critical care
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0226800
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0226800
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10102755
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