Eysenckian Factors & Academic Achievement

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Running head: EYSENCKIAN FACTORS AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

The Eysenckian personality factors and their correlation with academic performance.

Poropat, Arthur E.
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Griffith University Mount Gravatt, Australia

Word count (exc. figures/tables): 6,535

* Correspondence concerning this article should be directed to Arthur Poropat, School of Psychology, 176 Messines Ridge Road, Mount Gravatt, Qld, 4122, Australia. E-mail: Arthur.Poropat@Griffith.edu.au.

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Running PERFORMANCE

head:

EYSENCKIAN

FACTORS

AND

ACADEMIC

The Eysenckian Personality Factors and their Correlations with Academic Performance

Arthur E. Poropat Griffith University Mount Gravatt, Queensland, Australia

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Abstract

Background: The relationship between personality and academic performance has long been explored, and a recent meta-analysis (Poropat, 2009) established that measures of the Five-Factor Model (FFM) dimension of Conscientiousness have similar validity to intelligence measures. Although currently dominant, the FFM is only one of the currently-accepted models of personality, and has limited theoretical support. In contrast, the Eysenckian personality model was developed to assess a specific theoretical model and is still commonly used in educational settings and research.

Aims: This meta-analysis assessed the validity of the Eysenckian personality measures for predicting academic performance.

Sample: Statistics were obtained for correlations with Psychoticism, Extraversion and Neuroticism (20 – 23 samples; N from 8,013 to 9,191), with smaller aggregates for the Lie scale (7 samples; N = 3,910).

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Methods: The Hunter-Schmidt (2004) random effects method was used to estimate population correlations between the Eysenckian personality measures and academic performance. Moderating effects were tested using weighted least squares regression.

Results: Significant but modest validities were reported for each scale. Neuroticism and Extraversion had relationships with academic performance that were consistent with previous findings, while Psychoticism appears to be linked to academic performance because of its association with FFM Conscientiousness. Age and educational level moderated correlations with Neuroticism and Extraversion, and gender had no moderating effect. Correlations varied significantly based on the measurement instrument used.

Conclusions: The Eysenckian scales do not add to the prediction of academic performance beyond that provided by FFM scales. Several measurement problems afflict the Eysenckian scales, including low to poor internal reliability and complex factor structures. In particular, the measurement and validity problems of Psychoticism mean its continued use in academic settings is unjustified.

Key-words Eysenck Personality; Academic Performance; Meta-Analysis; Moderation

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The Eysenckian Personality Factors and their Correlations with Academic Performance

Both historically and internationally, academic performance has long been one of the most important issues in complex civilizations, ranging from its ancient role in selecting civil servants in the Middle East, India and China to its current significance as a driver of advanced economies (OECD, 2007). Given the association between academic performance and subsequent work performance (Roth, BeVier, Schippman, & Switzer III, 1996) salary (Roth & Clarke, 1998), and career and social success (Strenze, 2007), academic performance is clearly an outcome worthy of attention. It is not surprising, therefore, that academic performance has long been one of the key phenomena of interest in education and psychology. Some of the earliest modern psychological research was conducted with the purpose of identifying the factors that predict...
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