Two groups of individuals were targeted in the present study. The first group consisted of all the students present at the studied military university, which was responsible for training future staff for that country’s army. The second group consisted of the top and middle ranking directors in the army as the expert panel who were familiar with the kind of people suitable for the tasks and responsibilities assigned to that organization. The total number of students was 390, consisting of 108 freshmen, 120 sophomores and 172 juniors. The training program at that university lasted for three years. Based on Cochran’s (
11) sample size formula, 195 students were selected using stratified random sampling. The second target group consisted of 90 top directors, vice-presidents, and heads of offices as the experts familiar with the type of personality traits one should have in order to succeed in such a job. Based on Cochran’s sample size formula, 71 participants were selected from this group using stratified random sampling. 3.2. Materials
The main data collection tool used was the NEO Personality Inventory, Revised. It is a 240 five-point Likert scale questionnaire measuring five major personality factors with each factor being further specified with six more facets. The NEO PI-R measures the ‘Big Five’ personality traits: neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness. Neuroticism specifies the extent to which an individual is prone to psychological distress. Extraversion indicates the way one would interact with thesocial and material context. Openness evaluates an individual’s mental and experiential life. Agreeableness considers one’s orientation towards others, and finally conscientiousness considers the extent to which one’s behavior is goal-directed. Each of these five factors encompasses six facets that help further specify an individual’s personality (10). The neuroticism (N) factor consists of six facets, namely, anxiety, angry, hostility, depression, self-consciousness, impulsiveness and vulnerability. The Extraversion factor consists of warmth, gregariousness, assertiveness, activity, excitement-deeking, and positive emotions. Openness (O) involves the facets of fantasy, aesthetics, feelings, actions, ideas and values. Being Agreeable (A) is further specified by trust, straightforwardness, altruism, compliance, modesty, and tender-mindedness. Finally, conscientiousness (C) consists of competence, order, dutifulness, achievement-striving, self-discipline, and deliberation (
10). In addition, an open-ended question was used to collect data on the panel of experts’ opinions regarding the major characteristics an individual must have in order to be considered a suitable person for the kind of job the they were being prepared for. 3.3. Procedure
The present study was an attempt to identify the major characteristics the students, who were being prepared for being assigned responsibilities in the military, security or intelligence services in the future, have as well as the major characteristics they must possess. In order to do so, the authorities of the major departments and offices in which the future graduates of the military university were supposed to work were asked to list major characteristics and skills an individual suitable for such responsibilities must possess. By doing so, the major characteristics one should have in order to succeed in fulfilling the assigned responsibilities were identified. The features identified in this phase of the data collection were classified based on their themes and were then prioritized based on the frequency of being mentioned. In the second run, the randomly selected student participants were asked to fill in the NEO PI-R. Based on the results of this phase of data collection, the participants being categorized as very low, low, average, high, and very high for each of the five meta-factors as well as the 30 facets were identified. Finally, the extent to which students’ characteristics matched those specified by experts was checked.
3.4. Data Analysis
The present study was an applied research intended to identify specific characteristics of students at a military university and the extent to which their characteristics matched those specified by experts. As such, due to the nature of the study, only descriptive statistics were used.