How the rich (and happy) get richer (and happier): relationship of core self-evaluations to trajectories in attaining work success

J Appl Psychol. 2008 Jul;93(4):849-63. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.93.4.849.


In this study, the authors linked core self-evaluations to job and work success. Utilizing a dynamic design from participants in the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth (NLSY79), core self-evaluations were hypothesized to predict individuals' intercepts (starting levels of success), and their growth trajectories (slope of individuals' success over time) with respect to job satisfaction, pay, and occupational status. Results indicated that higher core self-evaluations were associated with both higher initial levels of work success and steeper work success trajectories. Education and health problems that interfere with work mediated a portion of the hypothesized relationships, suggesting that individuals with high core self-evaluations have more ascendant jobs and careers, in part, because they are more apt to pursue further education and maintain better health.

MeSH terms

  • Achievement*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Employment / psychology*
  • Happiness*
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Concept*
  • Socioeconomic Factors