Personality and academic performance

Topic(s): selection

Topic: Selection
Publication: Psychological Bulletin (2009)
Article: A meta-analysis of the five-factor model of personality and academic performance
Authors: Arthur E. Poropat
Reviewed By: Scott Charles Sitrin, M.A.

Does a student’s personality affect his or her academic performance?  Poropat thinks so, and in investigating correlates of academic performance, he reviewed many studies from the current literature, a process known as a meta analysis, and evaluated a sample of over 70,000 students.

For personality, the investigator focused on the big five: extraversion, which relates to how outgoing someone is; openness, which relates to the level of curiosity; agreeableness, which is similar to levels of compassion and warmth; conscientiousness, which refers to the drive to succeed; and neuroticism, which relates to how secure someone feels.

It was found that agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness correlated with academic performance.  Conscientiousness seemed particularly important, as it appeared to determine academic performance as much as levels of intelligence.

These results provide further evidence that personality is related to academic performance, and it follows that personality should be related to performance in other domains, such as business.  So, as you decide who to hire, make sure to account for personality in addition to the applicant’s resume, references, and prior work experience.

Poropat, A. E. (2009).  A meta-analysis of the five-factor model of personality and academic performance. Psychological Bulletin, 135 (2), 322-338.

human resource management, organizational industrial psychology, organizational management



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