Intelligence is not a single factor to predict the individual’s academic success in higher education because the factor of personality is also crucial to affect the academic achievement. For instance, conscientiousness is a personality trait that explains “five times as much variance in GPA as does intelligence” (Kappe and Van Der Flier 605).
Therefore, more than 30% of academic success in higher education depends on the factor of students’ personality, not intelligence (Kappe and Van Der Flier 605). Today, I am here to inform the audience on how the factor of personality can be used to predict individuals’ academic success in higher education. The main points that I plan to discuss are the definition of personality in the context of education; the “Big Five” personality traits; and the validity of the personality factor to predict academic achievement in higher education.
People are different because of having different physical and mental characteristics which form their unique personality. Personality can be discussed as a set of psychological characteristics typical for the concrete person that influences the person’s attitudes, behaviors, and actions (Harrington 20). Being the psychological and mental core of a person, the factor of personality also influences an individual’s academic performance among other activities. Personality is determined by heredity and environment, and these factors are also important to influence abilities to understand and learn the material effectively (Conard 340). Thus, what personality traits are important to predict academic success in higher education?
Psychologists use the “Big Five” personality model to discuss how people differ in relation to their reactions, attitudes, and traits. Today, the “Big Five” model of personality traits is actively used in education to understand how the factor of personality is influential to predict the further academic behaviors and achievement (Komarraju et al. 472). Personality traits used in the model are conscientiousness, emotional stability, extraversion, openness, and agreeableness.
Such personality trait as conscientiousness explains the degree to which a person is disciplined and organized. Emotional stability points at the person’s impulsiveness and self-control. Extraversion is discussed as the readiness to be sociable and talkative. While focusing on openness, psychologists mean the person’s readiness to discuss and accept new ideas. Agreeableness is associated with the ability to work with other people and cooperate (Komarraju et al. 473). These traits play different roles in predicting the academic success in higher education.
Conscientiousness and openness are the main aspects of personality to predict academic achievements. Kappe and Van Der Flier claim that “conscientiousness is the best predictor across a broad spectrum of academic achievement measures” (Kappe and Van Der Flier 605). Conscientious and open to new ideas and concepts students demonstrate higher academic results because of being more organized and motivated. Those students who are extraverts and ready to cooperate also easily adapt to the higher schools’ environments (Harrington 54).
The aspect of emotional stability also influences academic achievements, but negatively. The reason is that highly emotional students experience difficulties with concentration and self-management (Komarraju et al. 473). From this point, the factor of personality is valid to predict academic success in higher education. Personality traits can be referred to while predicting GPA, course performance, and students’ attendance (Conard 342). From this point, the personality factor is even more important than individuals’ intelligence.
Therefore, to speak about the academic success in higher education, it is important to take into account how the factor of personality can influence individuals’ academic achievements. The “Big Five” model of personality traits is helpful to predict the person’s academic success in detail, and it is reasonable to refer to the role of personality in higher education along with the discussion of students’ intelligence. To understand the nature of the academic success, it is important to remember that about 30% of this success is originated from the student’s personality.
Conard, Maureen. “Aptitude is not Enough: How Personality and Behavior Predict Academic Performance”. Journal of Research in Personality 40.3 (2006): 339-346. Print.
Harrington, Christine. Student Success in College: Doing What Works! New York: Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.
Kappe, Rutger, and Henk Van Der Flier. “Predicting Academic Success in Higher Education: What’s More Important than Being Smart?” European Journal of Psychology of Education 27.4 (2012): 605-619. Print.
Komarraju, Meera, Steven Karau, Ronald Schmeck, and Alen Avdic. “The Big Five Personality Traits, Learning Styles, and Academic Achievement”. Personality and Individual Differences 51.1 (2011): 472-477. Print.