Personaliy As a Possible Predictor for Academic Success
Sponsored by Missouri Western State University Sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation DUE-97-51113
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The proper APA Style reference for this manuscript is:
NAGEL, S. S. (2004). Personaliy As a Possible Predictor for Academic Success. National Undergraduate Research Clearinghouse, 7. Available online at http://www.webclearinghouse.net/volume/. Retrieved December 16, 2017 .

Personaliy As a Possible Predictor for Academic Success
SARAH S. NAGEL
Missouri Western State University DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY

Sponsored by: Brian Cronk (cronk@missouriwestern.edu)
ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not personality has an effect of academic success. Academic success was defined as being a senior level college student, having over 90 credit hours and having declared a major. These seniors were compared to undeclared major freshman having less then 30 hours. Freshman and seniors were compared to find whether there was a relationship between personality and academic success. No significance was found, but a major of college students who participated in this study were extrovert, sensing, feeling and judging.

INTRODUCTION
Personality traits have long been investigated by many psychologists and throughout disciplines of psychology. The most popular and most well known of all personality inventories is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. According to the Myers-Briggs, personality is a combination of four different categories and preferences (GSU, n.d.). The categories are introvert/extrovert, sensing/intuitive, thinking/feeling, and judging/perceiving. Each preference is indicated by a letter, such as introvert is indicated by the letter “I.” A combination of one out of each of the four categories creates ones personality type. There are a total of sixteen personality types. According to GSU Masters Teaching Program (n.d.), the most common Myers-Briggs type for undergraduate business students is ESTJ; ESTJ in an abbreviation for an extroverted sensing thinking judger. Each of the personality types and preferences has areas that are measured. And each of the types are on opposite side of the spectrum for that category. Personalities are determined, according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, by which type one leans to most. According to information provided by GSU Masters Teaching Program (n.d.), introverts find energy from within themselves, and extroverts find energy in other people. Extroverts are described using words like social, outward and interaction (Working, 1996). Introverts are described using words like quiet, private and inward. Sensing people are describes as being detailed and trusting in facts (GSU, n.d.). Intuitive people are described as trusting their hunches. Sensors are described using words like fact, realism and practicality (Working, 1997). Intuitive people use words like novelty, idealism and aspiration. Thinkers value fairness (GSU, n.d.). Feelers value harmony. Thinkers use words like analyzing, logical and criticism (Working, 1997). Feelers use words like sympathy, personal and appreciation. Finally, Judgers are decisive, while perceivers are curious and spontaneous (GSU, n.d.). Judgers are described using words like structure, firm and control, and perceivers are described using words like open, flexible and inquiring (Working, 1997). Because of the wide variety and many dimensions of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator it has become one of the most popular and most widely used of all of the personality inventories. There are several studies that link personality and academia. Most of the studies deal with learning styles and thinking styles as they relate to personality. Personality variables using the California Personality Inventory and the Eysenck Personality Inventory have been used in prediction of medical performance (Ferguson et al, 2000). Medical performance was judged by success in medical training. Personality variables were found to associate success in medical training and personality. In this study, the personality variable was compared with previous academic performance to predict the success of students in medical training. The researchers found small validity with personality as compared to previous academic success. Another study by Furnhan, studied learning styles and personality (Zhang, 2002). In this study, Furnhan concluded that personality could be used to determine the best was a person can learn and their learning style. A similar study was done by Lawty-Jones. In the Lawty-Jones study, they argued that learning styles could be a sub-set of personality. Lawty-Jones said that personality and learning styles need not be measured independently. Zhang (2002) states dimensions of personality and thinking styles are significantly related. Zhang (2002) also found that Myers-Briggs’s judgers perceive themselves as being concrete sequential thinkers and perceiver think of themselves as concrete random thinkers. In a study by Messick and in a study by Sternberg, they both concluded that learning styles are the link between intelligence and personality. All of these studies point to the possible link between personality and academic success. Based on what we already know about personality, personality may affect academic success. The purpose of this study is to see if personality, as assessed by Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, could be an accurate predictor of academic success. Academic success is operational defined as being a senior, ninety plus credit hours, and being accepted into the desired major. I want to find a difference between freshman and senior students at Missouri Western State College in at least one of the dimensions of personality. And I predict that this difference will be equal to the drop-out rate showing that there is a correlation between personality and academic success.


METHOD

PARTICIPANTS
Data were collected from twenty-four freshman in entry level classes and twenty-six seniors in 300 or 400 level classes that have been accepted into their desired major at Missouri Western State College. Data were collected from traditional and non-traditional students. The demographics needed for this study are the age of the participant, the sex of the participant, whether or not they are a traditional student, number of credit hours completed and awarded and their declared major. I am interested in undeclared freshman having fewer than thirty credit hours, and declared seniors having above ninety credit hours. The survey was given to all students within a classroom to give equal opportunity for extra credit, and all surveys who do not meet criteria for my study was discarded.

MATERIALS
In this study, I used an adaptation of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator as found of http://similarminds.com/mayer-briggs-jung.html, See Appendix, to find their specific personality type. The scoring of this personality test was also done on this website.

PROCEDURE
I collected data from twenty-four freshman and twenty-six seniors. Each student, within a classroom, was allowed to take the personality survey so equal opportunity for extra credit will be given. Demographics will be evaluated to only include the students who meet the criteria to participate in the study. Data were scored using http://similarmins.com/myers-briggs-jung.html. Chi Squared test of independence was conducted on each of the four dimensions of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to see if academic success effects whether or not one is on either end of the spectrum of any of the four dimensions of personality. After data was analyzed, students who have indicated an interest in getting their personality type back, got a print out from the website.


RESULTS
Four chi-square tests of independence were conducted, results are presented in Figure 1. A chi-square test of independence was calculated on the likelihood of being an introvert or and extrovert depending on whether or not they were a freshman or a senior. No significant relationship was found (chi-square (1)=5.984, p=.014). Being an introvert or an extrovert seems to be independent events. A chi-square test of independence was calculated on the likelihood of being sensing or intuitive depending on whether or not they were a freshman or a senior. No significant relationship was found (chi-square (1)=2.066, p=.151). Being sensing or intuitive seems to be independent events. A chi-square test of independence was calculated on the likelihood of being feeling or thinking depending on whether or not they were a freshman or a senior. No significant relationship was found (chi-square (1)=4.372, p=.037). Being feeling or thinking seems to be independent events. A chi-square test of independence was calculated on the likelihood of being judging or perceiving on whether or not they were a freshman or a senior. No significant relationship was found (chi-square (1)=2.828, p=.094). Being a judger or a perceiver seems to be independent events.


DISCUSSION
The results that were found were all statistically found to be insignificant to each other. Four percent of freshmen are introverts, and thirty percent of seniors are introverts. It is interesting to note the overwhelming number of the participants in this study who are extroverted. Sixty-two percent of freshmen are sensing, and eighty percent of seniors are sensing. Eighty-seven percent of freshmen are feeling, and sixty-two percent of seniors are feeling. Forty-six percent of freshmen are judging, and sixty-nine percent of seniors are judging. I believe that it s very interesting that a majority of the college students involved in the study lean towards one side of the spectrum. The majority of the students surveyed were extrovert, sensing, feeling and judging. For future studies maybe it is possible that the Myers-Briggs Type Inventor could predict whether or not high school student are likely to go to college. Other studies could be done to see if certain majors have a tendency for certain personality types. It seems for the literature that a great deal of work has been done to put people into the careers that are best suited for them based on the various personality inventories. I believe that more needs to be done t determine the significance of personalities in the work place and within the training of undergraduates.


REFERENCES
Ferguson, E., Sanders, A., O’Hehir, F., James, D. (2000). Predictive validity of personal statements and the role of the five factor model of personality in relation to medical training [Electronic Version]. Journal of Occupational and Organizations Psychology, 73, 321-344.Free Myers-Briggs-Jung Personality Test. Retrieved October 21, 2004, from http://similarminds.com/myers-briggs-jung.htmlGSU Master Teacher Program: On Learning Styles. (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2004, from http://www.gsu.edu/~dschjb/wwwmbti.htmlWorking out your Myers-Briggs Type. (1997). Retrieved October 21, 2004, from http:www/teamtechnology.co.uk/tt/t-articl/mb-simpl.htm Zhang, L. (2002). Thinking styles and the big five personality traits [Electronic Version]. Educational Psychology, 22, 17-31.


APPENDIX
Age: ______ Sex: _____ Traditional Student: Yes_____ No _____Number of credit hours completed and awarded (not including credit hours currently taking) _____Have you declared you major? Yes _____ No _____ If yes, what is your major? ___________________________________________Please circle the most correct answer as it applies to you. Selecting neutral mean a statement is around 50% accurate.0. I am … MESSY CLEAN1. I am extremely outgoing.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE2. I often start/do things at the last minute.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE3. I frequently do things without a specific schedule or plan.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE4. I prefer structured environments to unstructured ones. VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE5. I am far more casual than orderly.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE6. I tend to value fairness more than feelings.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE7. I tend to trust the mind more than the heart.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE

8. I tend to be organized.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE9. I am extremely interested in abstract ideas.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE10. I make friends easily.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE11. I tend to be more realistic than conceptual.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE12. I rely mostly on my feelings to guide my decision making.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE13. I find it difficult to approach others.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE14. I tend to prefer the specific to the general.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE15. I am somewhat disorganized.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE16. I believe that events in my life are determined only by me.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE17. I focus far more on possibilities than present reality. VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE18. I value solitude immensely.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE19. I feel very comfortable around people.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE20. I tend to prefer actual examples to theoretical ones.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE21. I am extremely sentimental. VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE22. I believe that I am better than others.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE23. I am more of a planner that an improviser.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE24. I avoid unnecessary interaction.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE25. I am weird.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE26. I require lots of time to recharge.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE27. I believe that everything will work out in the end.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE28. I tend to be more down-to-earth than head-in-the-clouds.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE29. I tend to value competence more than compassion.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE30. I am a private person.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE31. I tend to be more comfortable with the known than the unknown.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE32. I believe that I am important.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE

33. I prefer to keep things open and flexible.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE34. I tend to make decisions based of logic and facts.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE35. I am very open.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE36. I greatly appreciate strangeness.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE37. I value compassion over analytical reasoning.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE38. I am very social.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE39. I tend to be spontaneous.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE40. I am very introspective.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE41. I think rules and regulations are necessary.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE42. I tend to pay more attention to my thoughts than my feelings.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE43. I prefer to keep my spaces clean. VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE44. I talk a lot.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE

45. I am extremely passionate.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE46. I tend to analyze things objectively and critically.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE47. I favor the surreal.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE48. I base my goals in life on inspiration, rather than logic. VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE49. I can be unsympathetic.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE50. I tend to be more practical than abstract.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE51. I tend to make specific plans before taking action.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE52. I frequently come up with idea/solutions out of nowhere.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE53. An argument with feeling has more effort on me than a cold rational one.VERY INACCURATE INACCURATE NEUTRAL ACCURATE VERY ACCURATE


FIGURE CAPTION
Figure 1. Number of freshman and senior students as compared to their Myers-Briggs personality type.

Submitted 12/9/2004 2:17:45 PM
Last Edited 12/9/2004 2:24:30 PM
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