Lesson 9 Personality Affecting Ethics

As I have have gone through my undergraduate studies at Penn State University and obtained my BS in Psychology, and now working towards my Masters in Leadership Psychology, it’s been my pleasure, (seriously i love the the Big Five model for various reasons) to have repeatedly learned more and more deeper aspects about  Costa and McCrae’s five-factor model (FFM) of personality types better known as the Big Five. i’m Not sure how many classes I’ve taken that have touched on the Big Five but I’m thinking it’s been four or five at this point including this current class Psych 533. And like the other classes before it, this current class is broadening my perspective on a theory of psychology that is really important to me and that I wish I had more knowledge of back in 2012 in New York City when it could have been a real help to me! This time around I am learning how personality types can affect the ethics of professional people in the workplace (Pennsylvania State, 2016). This information surely dovetails into previous classes like that of Personality Psychology, but with the focus being more on the topic of ethics, it gives it a more specific and “intentful” use of the Big Five theory.

From February 2012 to February 2014 I was contracted to be the Wellness and Health Coordinator for Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson of the famous hip hop group known as the Roots, and of the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. I was hired by his then manager the late Richard Nichols to assist Ahmir in achieving a number of health and wellness goals which I did manage to successfully attained. In fact Ahmir made a mention of the success of my work when he thanked me and my hired team of health practitioners in his 2013 Jimmy+Fallon+Questlove+Apple+Store+Soho+Presents+G4IbfKlyN6jlbook entitled Mo’ Meta Blues when he stated in the acknowledgements section, “you keep me alive” (Thompson, 2013).

Where the topic of professional ethics, and personality affecting those ethics comes in was when I hired my team of health practitioners to assist me in my assignment with Ahmir. As he is a world famous celebrity and a man of means I was able to basically provided everything he needed without concern for cost. So I set up and hired a team of health practitioners that included two personal trainers, two massage therapists, two acupuncturists, and two full time chefs. THere was already a counseling therapist in place before we started but a part of my work was to interface with her as well in this health creating and maintenance paradigm. Of all of the professional individuals I hired I didn’t have one iota of problems with expect for the lead chef. I had known her for a short time before hiring her and actually considered her to be a friend of mine. However she turned out to be a serious problem that I had to deal with fairly regularly over the two years to mitigate her erratic and neurotic behaviors. In short she turned out to be very insecure, controlling, always seeking approval, and seemed art times to be emotionally imbalanced. These traits were very clearly exhibited by her and I had several personal one on one meetings with her to try to resolve the issues. I also took into account that she had just lost her mother to cancer two months before I hired her and that her sister was also ill with cancer. I thought that the stress of theses two events was a part of her difficult and uncooperative behavior, but I discovered after our contract with Ahmir ended and I spoke with other people who had worked with her before, that these behaviors and attitudes were a part of her basic character.

The overarch of what I’m trying to say and share here is that if I had considered using a scale to measure my potential staff for this project, I may have weeded out her neurotic tendencies and could have anticipated the higher than usual probability that she would behave unethically. It wasn’t just the fact that she was insecure, and controlling, but that she often overstepped her bounds in the role she was hired to do which was being the lead chef for Ahmir. It seems that on many occasions she inserted herself into Ahmir’s personal life where she had no business being, like that of butting heads with Ahmir’s personal stylist who was in charge of his wardrobe and also his home decorations. The cook became so problematic that Ahmir’s manager had to contact me on more than one occasion to speak to the cook because she and the stylist had begun having arguments over aspects of Ahmir’s life that the cook had absolutely no business being involved with. In fact, even though our team accomplished the goals we set out to do in two years times, I know that our contract with Ahmir was terminated earlier than it probably would have due to her meddling and unethical behaviors that if I had used a Big Five scale to have measured everyone from the start, mostly likely would not have happened. I have decided that moving forward I will ALWAYS use a FFM scale to measure my potential staff to measure their personality types in order to mitigate any potential problems that could arise from potential unethical behaviors.




Pennsylvania State University. (2016). Lesson 9:  Personality. [Online

Lecture]. Retrieved March 24, 2016 from,


Thompson A. (2013). Mo Meta Blues. New York, NY. Grand Central Publishing.


  1. John K. Theiring March 27, 2016 at 9:17 PM #


    What an interesting situation. So do you think that if you had administered a personality test you may have been able to get a better insight into the cook’s personality traits? This is my first exposure to FFM so I’m not sure how you could predict the issues you encountered other than getting feedback from previous employers. However, today employers due to lawsuits will only tell you when a person worked for them and their title. You had mentioned that the cook was insecure and controlling. Did they have bad experiences in other positions with teams? Where you able to build trust with her? It seems you went out of your way to give them the benefit of the doubt but yet they continued to disappoint and exhibit undesirable behaviors. How will avoid such a situation in the future?

  2. Jill K Wheeler March 27, 2016 at 12:40 PM #

    Thanks for making a Blog Post for Lesson 9.

    If you want to make a Blog Comment on this post, only those comments that are made by Monday, March 28 at 9AM and expand on the ideas in Lesson 9 will be graded.

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