Beyond Intelligence (IO Psychology)

Topic(s): selection

Topic: Selection
Publication: Personality and Individual Differences (in press)
Article: When IQ is not everything: Intelligence, personality and academic performance at school
Authors: Patrick C.L. Heaven & Joseph Ciarrochi
Reviewed By: Scott Charles Sitrin, M.A.

Does the most intelligent person get the best grades?  One would think that the person with the most intellectual horsepower would excel at a variety of subjects and attain a grade point average commensurate with his or her intellectual potential.  But that is not always the case.  Why not?

In investigating other predictors of academic performance, Heaven and Ciarrochi assessed the cognitive ability, which was measured by standardized tests that include five numerical and three verbal subtests; personality, which was assessed by the International Personality Item Pool that evaluates extraversion, openness, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism; and school grades in the subjects of Religious Studies, English, Mathematics, Science, History, and Geography among 786 high school students in Australia.

It was found that the predictors of academic performance were, in addition to cognitive ability, the personality characteristics of conscientiousness and openness.  As a caveat, openness was a significant predictor of grades only among students who had high cognitive abilities.

These results infer that there is more to academic performance than just intelligence.  In order to get a better understanding of the predictors of performance – whether it is in a schoolroom or any other context- a more holistic approach that considers factors such as personality may yield more accurate results.

Heaven, P. & Ciarrochi, J. (in press). When IQ is not everything: Intelligence, personality and academic performance at school. Personality and Individual Differences.

human resource management, organizational industrial psychology, organizational management




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