Personality characteristics that make the grade

Topic(s): potential
Publication: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (2007)
Article: Personality predictors of academic outcomes: Big five correlates of GPA and SAT scores
Authors: Erik E. Noftle & Richard W. Robins
Reviewed by: Scott Charles Sitrin

Conscientiousness, which refers to being goal-oriented and self-disciplined, and openness, which refers to being creative and curious, predict academic performance, according to University of California at Davis psychologists Erik E. Noftle & Richard W. Robins.  Across four different samples that utilized four different measures of personality, openness was the strongest predictor of SAT verbal scores, and conscientiousness was the biggest predictor of high school and college GPA.

Further, conscientiousness was still able to predict college GPA regardless of high school GPA and SAT scores.  These results have many applications, and for employers wanting to consider personality in their hiring decisions, GPA could serve as a proxy measure of self-discipline and SAT verbal scores could be considered a proxy measure of creativity and curiosity.