Big Five Test

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Predictive Abilities of the Big Five Test on Academic Performance and Variance between Majors
Natalie Rocca
California State University, Fresno

A subject of interest that seems to reoccur quite often in the history of psychology is the study of academic performance and how it varies between individuals. It is believed that on some level, our personality has a major impact on not only our success in school, but the major we choose as well. For example, those that are high in extraversion are likely to choose a major and career path that is quite different than someone who is high in introversion. Studies in the past attempted to measure something similar, but had been limited by the fact that most of these psychological studies’
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The purpose of the first part was to observe pre-existing group differences based on participants’ results on the Big Five personality test and then compare that to the major they have chosen. The purpose of the second part of the study was to return to participants six and a half years later to observe the validity and predictive ability of the Big Five test, and their relationship to the individuals’ major and grade point average. Various hypotheses were proposed based on variables such as gender and major. To name a few, it was hypothesized that female students would score higher than male students on neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness (Vadel, Thomsen, and Larsen, 2015). It was also hypothesized that conscientiousness would be more strongly associated with psychology students and their grade point average than any other major (Vadel, Thomsen, and Larsen, 2015). The results from study one showed significant group differences between participants’ Big Five personality scores and their different majors. The results from the second study involved the previous research and found that the Big Five facets showed higher predictive validity and variability, some even having positive correlations with grade point average and academic major. In conclusion, it is possible with further research to see if there can be an educational restructuring to better fit students based on …show more content…
Based on a study out of Australia, students who were higher in openness and conscientiousness performed better academically than those who were merely intelligent (Gregoire, 2015). Australian researchers then compared measurements of the Big Five test to college students’ grades and test scores and found that again, openness and conscientiousness were one of the largest influences on academic success (Gregoire, 2015). This opens the door to the possibility altering educational environment in order to see help students succeed. If personality does in fact impact learning, shouldn’t lessons be centered around personality? This is obviously a far-fetched concept, but it is definitely something to consider when looking at test scores. If scores seem low, it may be an environment problem rather than an intelligence problem. Students who are more driven and place an immense amount of importance on education are likely to do just as well in school as those that are intelligent. This is not to say that intelligence is not important, but it does show what a big impact personal ambition and determination can have on one’s academic

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