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Conscientiousness directory


“Personality Traits of Special Forces Operators: Comparing Commandos, Candidates, and Controls”, Huijzer et al 2022

2022-huijzer.pdf: “Personality Traits of Special Forces Operators: Comparing Commandos, Candidates, and Controls”⁠, Rik Huijzer, Bertus F. Jeronimus, Anniek Reehoorn, Frank J. Blaauw, Maurits Baatenburg de Jong, Peter de Jonge et al (2022-04-21; ):

What is it about? Special forces operators perform in mentally and physically tough environments. For instance, they need to complete high-stakes missions, such as saving a hostage, successfully even when dehydrated or sleep deprived. As a consequence, the special forces training is very challenging and the great majority of recruits drop out during the selection period.

In order to find out which types of people become successful commandos, we examined whether (1) Dutch commandos differ in their personality traits from a matched group of “normal” Dutch men, and (2) recruits who graduate from the selection program differ in their personality traits from the dropouts.

Differences between commandos the matched group of Dutch men, and between the recruits were indeed found. Amongst others, commandos and successful recruits were relatively less neurotic and more conscientious.

Dutch special forces operators, also known as commandos, perform in mentally and physically tough environments. An important question for recruitment and selection of commandos is whether they have particular personality traits.

To answer this question, we first examined differences in personality traits between 110 experienced Dutch male commandos and a control sample of 275 men in the same age range. Second, we measured the personality traits at the start of the special forces selection program and compared the scores of candidates who later graduated (n = 53) or dropped out (n = 138).

Multilevel Bayesian models and t tests revealed that commandos were less (d = −0.58), more{.neurotic<=“” a=““} Conscientious (d = 0.45), and markedly less Open To Experience (d = −1.13) than the matched civilian group. Furthermore, there was a tendency for graduates to be less Neurotic (d = −0.27) and more Conscientious (d = 0.24) than dropouts.

For selection, personality traits do not appear discriminative enough for graduation success and other factors need to be accounted for as well, such as other psychological constructs and physical performance. On the other hand, these results provide interesting clues for using personality traits to recruit people for the special forces program.

[Keywords: Big Five⁠, military, Neuroticism, Extraversion, Conscientiousness]

Figure 1: An Informal Review of Personality Traits of Workers in High-Stakes Contexts Compared to Civilians.

“Cognitive Ability and Conscientiousness Are More Important Than SES for Educational Attainment: An Analysis of the UK Millennium Cohort Study”, O’Connell & Marks 2022

2022-oconnell.pdf: “Cognitive ability and conscientiousness are more important than SES for educational attainment: An analysis of the UK Millennium Cohort Study”⁠, Michael O’Connell, Gary N. Marks (2022-04-01; ; similar):

  • Antecedents of educational attainment of great interest
  • Dominant paradigm focuses on SES of children.
  • Cognitive ability and conscientiousness have stronger record in research findings.
  • Using new UK MCS longitudinal survey data, GCSE state exam performance assessed
  • Cognitive ability and conscientiousness explained far more than SES measures

The influences on children’s success in education remain a profoundly important topic of enquiry. The dominant view is that socioeconomic background (SES) is critical.

This study examines the influences on student performance in the General Certificate of School Education (GSCE) taken at age 16 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland analysing data from the Millennium Cohort Study⁠. The GSCE results of 8,303 students were converted to a numerical score.

2 psychological factors—cognitive ability and their level of conscientiousness—could explain almost as much of the variation in exam attainment as all measures, and far more than a model of socio-economic factors.

The power of psychological traits in influencing key educational outcomes is underestimated.

[Keywords: SES Individual traits, intelligence, Conscientiousness, educational attainment]

“Multivariate Genetic Analysis of Personality and Cognitive Traits Reveals Abundant Pleiotropy and Improves Prediction”, Hindley et al 2022

“Multivariate genetic analysis of personality and cognitive traits reveals abundant pleiotropy and improves prediction”⁠, Guy Hindley, Alexey A. Shadrin, Dennis van der Meer, Nadine Parker, Weiqiu Cheng, Kevin S. O’Connell et al (2022-03-02; ⁠, ⁠, ; similar):

Personality and cognition are heritable mental traits, and their genetic determinants may be distributed across interconnected brain functions. However, previous studies have employed univariate approaches which reduce complex traits to summary measures.

We applied the “pleiotropy-informed” multivariate omnibus statistical test (MOSTest) to genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of 35 item and task-level measures of neuroticism and cognition from the UK Biobank (n = 336,993). We identified 431 significant genetic loci and found evidence of abundant pleiotropy across personality and cognitive domains. Functional characterisation implicated genes with significant tissue-specific expression in all tested brain tissues and enriched in brain-specific gene-sets.

We conditioned independent GWAS of the Big 5 personality traits and cognition on our multivariate findings, which boosted genetic discovery in other personality traits and improved polygenic prediction. These findings advance our understanding of the polygenic architecture of complex mental traits, indicating a prominence of pleiotropic genetic effects across higher-order domains of mental function.

“Niche Diversity Predicts Personality Structure Across 115 Nations”, Durkee et al 2022

2022-durkee.pdf: “Niche Diversity Predicts Personality Structure Across 115 Nations”⁠, Patrick K. Durkee, Aaron W. Lukaszewski, Christopher R. von Rueden, Michael D. Gurven, David M. Buss et al (2022-01-19; ⁠, ; similar):

The niche-diversity hypothesis proposes that personality structure arises from the affordances of unique trait combinations within a society. It predicts that personality traits will be both more variable and differentiated in populations with more distinct social and ecological niches.

Prior tests of this hypothesis in 55 nations suffered from potential confounds associated with differences in the measurement properties of personality scales across groups. Using psychometric methods for the approximation of cross-national measurement invariance, we tested the niche-diversity hypothesis in a sample of 115 nations (n = 685,089). We found that an index of niche diversity was robustly associated with lower inter-trait covariance and greater personality dimensionality across nations but was not consistently related to trait variances.

These findings generally bolster the core of the niche-diversity hypothesis, demonstrating the contingency of human personality structure on socioecological contexts.

“Revisiting Meta-Analytic Estimates of Validity in Personnel Selection: Addressing Systematic Overcorrection for Restriction of Range”, Sackett et al 2021

2021-sackett.pdf: “Revisiting Meta-Analytic Estimates of Validity in Personnel Selection: Addressing Systematic Overcorrection for Restriction of Range”⁠, Paul R. Sackett, Charlene Zhang, Christopher M. Berry, Filip Lievens (2021-12-30; ⁠, ; similar):

This paper systematically revisits prior meta-analytic conclusions about the criterion-related validity of personnel selection procedures, and particularly the effect of range restriction corrections on those validity estimates. Corrections for range restriction in meta-analyses of predictor-criterion relationships in personnel selection contexts typically involve the use of an artifact distribution.

After outlining and critiquing 5 approaches that have commonly been used to create and apply range restriction artifact distributions, we conclude that each has large issues that often result in substantial over-correction and that therefore the validity of many selection procedures for predicting job performance has been substantially overestimated.

Revisiting prior meta-analytic conclusions produces revised validity estimates. Key findings are that most of the same selection procedures that ranked high in prior summaries remain high in rank, but with mean validity estimates reduced by 0.10–0.20 points. Structured interviews emerged as the top-ranked selection procedure. We also pair validity estimates with information about mean Black-White subgroup differences per selection procedure, providing information about validity-diversity tradeoffs.

We conclude that our selection procedures remain useful, but selection predictor-criterion relationships are considerably lower than previously thought.

[Keywords: selection procedures, validity, meta-analysis, range restriction, artifact distribution]

…Before reviewing approaches to generating artifact distributions, there is a critical observation we need to make and elaborate, namely, that meta-analyses of selection procedure validity to date have assumed that the artifact distribution applies to all studies used in the meta-analysis. In the context of analyzing intercorrelations among predictors (as opposed to selection method validation, which focuses on predictor-criterion relationships), Sackett et al 2007 and Berry et al 2007 noted that the application of the same correction factor (or artifact distribution correction factor) to all studies can be seriously misguided. Berry et al 2007 focused on the relationship between cognitive ability and employment interviews. Some studies administered the 2 measures to all applicants; in this setting there was no range restriction whatsoever. Others screened initially on ability, and only interviewed a subset; in this case there was direct restriction on ability and indirect restriction on the interview. Others administered both predictors to current employees; in this case there was indirect restriction if the selection method used to select current employees was correlated with the interview, with ability, or with both. Berry et al 2007 detailed additional scenarios beyond these 3, but for our purposes the point is simply that applying an uniform correction across all studies makes no sense. Berry et al 2007 separated the available research studies into subsets based on information about range restriction mechanisms in each subset, and applied appropriate corrections within each subset. Conceptually, one could apply appropriate corrections to subsets, and combine the subsets for an estimate of the parameter of interest (eg. mean operational validity).

“How Malleable Are Cognitive Abilities? A Critical Perspective on Popular Brief Interventions”, Moreau 2021

2021-moreau.pdf: “How malleable are cognitive abilities? A critical perspective on popular brief interventions”⁠, David Moreau (2021-12-23; ⁠, ⁠, ; similar):

This review discusses evidence across a number of popular brief interventions designed to enhance cognitive abilities and suggests that these interventions often fail to elicit reliable improvements. Consequences of exaggerated claims are discussed, together with a call for constructive criticism when evaluating this body of research.

A number of popular research areas suggest that cognitive performance can be manipulated via relatively brief interventions. These findings have generated a lot of traction, given their inherent appeal to individuals and society. However, recent evidence indicates that cognitive abilities might not be as malleable as preliminary findings implied and that other more stable factors play an important role.

In this article, I provide a critical outlook on these trends of research, combining findings that have mainly remained segregated despite shared characteristics.

Specifically, I suggest that the purported cognitive improvements elicited by many interventions are not reliable, and that their ecological validity remains limited.

I conclude with a call for constructive skepticism when evaluating claims of generalized cognitive improvements following brief interventions.

[Keywords: behavioral interventions, cognitive improvements, brain plasticity⁠, genetics, intelligence]

“Occupational Characteristics Moderate Personality-performance Relations in Major Occupational Groups”, Wilmot & Ones 2021

2021-wilmot.pdf: “Occupational characteristics moderate personality-performance relations in major occupational groups”⁠, Michael P. Wilmot, Deniz S. Ones (2021-12-01; ⁠, ; similar):

  • Occupational characteristics moderate relations of personality and performance in major occupational groups.
  • Personality-occupational performance relations differ considerably across 9 major occupational groups.
  • Traits show higher criterion-related validities when experts rate them as more relevant to occupational requirements.
  • Moderate occupational complexity may be a “Goldilocks range” for using personality to predict occupational performance.
  • Occupational characteristics are important, if overlooked, contextual variables.

Personality predicts performance, but the moderating influence of occupational characteristics on its performance relations remains under-examined. Accordingly, we conduct second-order meta-analyses of the Big Five traits and occupational performance (ie. supervisory ratings of overall job performance or objective performance outcomes).

We identify 15 meta-analyses reporting 47 effects for 9 major occupational groups (clerical, customer service, healthcare, law enforcement, management, military, professional, sales, and skilled/​semiskilled), which represent n = 89,639 workers across k = 539 studies. We also integrate data from the Occupational Information Network (O✱NET) concerning 2 occupational characteristics: (1) expert ratings of Big Five trait relevance to its occupational requirements; and (2) its level of occupational complexity.

We report 3 major findings:

  1. First, relations differ considerably across major occupational groups.

    Conscientiousness predicts across all groups, but other traits have higher validities when they are more relevant to occupational requirements: Agreeableness for healthcare; Emotional Stability for skilled/​semiskilled, law enforcement, and military; Extraversion for sales and management; and Openness for professional.

  2. Second, expert ratings of trait relevance mostly converge with empirical relations.

    For 77% of occupational groups, the top-2 most highly rated traits match the top-2 most highly predictive traits.

  3. Third, occupational complexity moderates personality-performance relations.

    When groups are ranked by complexity, multiple correlations generally follow an inverse-U shaped pattern, which suggests that moderate complexity levels may be a “Goldilocks range” for personality prediction.

Altogether, results demonstrate that occupational characteristics are important, if often overlooked, contextual variables. We close by discussing implications of findings for research, practice, and policy.

[Keywords: personality, occupational characteristics, occupational requirements, occupational relevance, occupational complexity, second-order meta-analysis⁠, O✱NET]

“Does Self-control Outdo IQ in Predicting Academic Performance?”, Vazsonyi et al 2021

2021-vazsonyi.pdf: “Does Self-control Outdo IQ in Predicting Academic Performance?”⁠, Alexander T. Vazsonyi, Magda Javakhishvili, Marek Blatny (2021-11-20; ; similar):

Duckworth & Seligman 2005’s seminal work found that self-discipline (self-control) was more salient for academic achievement than intelligence. Very little replication work exists, including in different cultures; the current study addressed these gaps.

Data were collected from 6th and 7th grade cohorts of early adolescents [Brno Longitudinal Study of Youth (BLSY), an accelerated longitudinal study of 6th and 7th grade Czech adolescents] (n = 589; age: Mean = 12.34 years, and SD = 0.89; 58% female) over 2 years. The study tested whether self-control was a stronger predictor than intelligence in explaining academic performance 2 years later as well as in explaining developmental changes over the course of 2 years.

Path analyses provided evidence that both self-control and intelligence longitudinally predicted teacher-reported academic competence as well as school-reported grades; however, intelligence was a substantially stronger predictor than self-control. In addition, only intelligence predicted developmental changes in each measure of academic performance over time, self-control did not.

[Keywords: academic achievement, self-discipline, intelligence, schools, individual differences]

“Big Five Personality Traits and Performance: A Quantitative Synthesis of 50+ Meta-analyses”, Zell & Lesick 2021

2021-zell.pdf: “Big Five personality traits and performance: A quantitative synthesis of 50+ meta-analyses”⁠, Ethan Zell, Tara L. Lesick (2021-10-23; ⁠, ; similar):

Objective: The connection between personality traits and performance has fascinated scholars in a variety of disciplines for over a century. The present research synthesizes results from 54 meta-analyses (k = 2,028, n = 554,778) to examine the association of Big Five traits with overall performance.

Method: Quantitative aggregation procedures were used to assess the association of Big Five traits with performance, both overall and in specific performance categories.

Results: Whereas Conscientiousness yielded the strongest effect (ρ = 0.19), the remaining Big Five traits yielded comparable effects (ρ = 0.10, 0.10, −0.12, and 0.13 for Extraversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism, and Openness). These associations varied dramatically by performance category. Whereas Conscientiousness was more strongly associated with academic than job performance (0.28 vs 0.20), Extraversion (−0.01 vs 0.14) and Neuroticism (−0.03 vs −0.15) were less strongly associated with academic performance. Finally, associations of personality with specific performance outcomes largely replicated across independent meta-analyses.

Conclusions: Our comprehensive synthesis demonstrates that Big Five traits have robust associations with performance and documents how these associations fluctuate across personality and performance dimensions.

“Why Do Students Use Strategies That Hurt Their Chances of Academic Success? A Meta-analysis of Antecedents of Academic Self-handicapping”, Schwinger et al 2021

2021-schwinger.pdf: “Why do students use strategies that hurt their chances of academic success? A meta-analysis of antecedents of academic self-handicapping”⁠, Malte Schwinger, Maike Trautner, Nadine Pütz, Salome Fabianek, Gunnar Lemmer, Fani Lauermann, Linda Wirthwein et al (2021-10-01; ; similar):

Self-handicapping is a maladaptive strategy that students employ to protect their self-image when they fear or anticipate academic failure. Instead of increasing their effort, students may harm their chances of success by procrastinating, strategically withdrawing effort, or engaging in destructive behaviors like drug abuse, so that potential failure can be attributed to these handicaps rather than to stable personal characteristics (eg. low intelligence).

A large body of research has focused on potential antecedents of students’ self-handicapping, but the literature is fragmented and the evidence is often mixed. Thus, we know little about which factors have the highest potential to trigger habitual self-handicapping and to explain interindividual differences in such behaviors.

This meta-analysis is the first to synthesize available evidence across a broad range of potential antecedents of academic self-handicapping reported in 159 studies and 194 independent samples (n = 81,630).

The strongest associations with habitual self-handicapping were found for the personality traits Conscientiousness (r = −0.40) and Neuroticism (r = 0.38) as well as stable trait-like factors such as general self-esteem (r = −0.34) and fear of failure (r = 0.39). Rather malleable factors, such as personal achievement goals (rs = −0.19 to 0.27), showed comparatively smaller effects. Self-handicapping assessment (scale and reliability) statistically-significantly moderated most of the investigated associations, thereby implying higher internal validities for some measures compared with others.

The reported findings provide important insights into mechanisms of and possible starting points for interventions against self-handicapping in the academic domain.

[Keywords: achievement goals, meta-analysis, self-esteem, self-handicapping]

Educational Impact and Implications Statement: What factors might lead students to strategically and purposefully harm their chances of academic success—that is, to engage in academic self-handicapping? We present the first empirical synthesis of available evidence on such factors. Stable personality characteristics such as low levels of Conscientiousness, lack of emotional stability, and the habitual fear of failure emerged as the most powerful predictors of self-handicapping. Students’ academic motivation—the desire to learn and improve academically—functions as a protective factor. Learning environments that foster students’ academic motivation and alleviate concerns about academic failure are thus needed to reduce students’ self-handicapping tendencies.

“Big Five Personality Traits and Academic Performance: A Meta-analysis”, Mammadov 2021

2021-mammadov.pdf: “Big Five personality traits and academic performance: A meta-analysis”⁠, Sakhavat Mammadov (2021-07-15; ; similar):

Objective & Method: This meta-analysis reports the most comprehensive assessment to date of the strength of the relationships between the Big Five personality traits and academic performance by synthesizing 267 independent samples (n = 413,074) in 228 unique studies. It also examined the incremental validity of personality traits above and beyond cognitive ability in predicting academic performance.

Results: The combined effect of cognitive ability and personality traits explained 27.8% of the variance in academic performance. Cognitive ability was the most important predictor with a relative importance of 64%. Conscientiousness emerged as a strong and robust predictor of performance, even when controlling for cognitive ability, and accounted for 28% of the explained variance in academic performance. A statistically-significant moderating effect of education level was observed. The relationship of academic performance with Openness, Extraversion, and Agreeableness demonstrated statistically-significantly larger effect sizes at the elementary/​middle school level compared to the subsequent levels. Openness, despite its weak overall relative importance, was found to be an important determinant of student performance in the early years of school.

Conclusion: These findings reaffirm the critical role of personality traits in explaining academic performance through the most comprehensive assessment yet of these relationships.

“Personality Maturation and Personality Relaxation: Differences of the Big Five Personality Traits in the Years around the Beginning and Ending of Working Life”, Asselmann & Specht 2021

“Personality maturation and personality relaxation: Differences of the Big Five personality traits in the years around the beginning and ending of working life”⁠, Eva Asselmann, Jule Specht (2021-04-19; ; similar):

Objective: At work, people are confronted with clear behavioral expectations. In line with the Social Investment Principle⁠, the beginning and ending of working life might thus promote changes in personality traits that are relevant at work (eg. Conscientiousness).

Method: Based on the data from the Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP), we examined nuanced differences of the Big Five personality traits in the years around the beginning and ending of working life. Whether participants had started working or retired in the past year was assessed yearly. The Big Five personality traits were assessed in 4 waves between 2005 and 2017.

Results: In people who started working, multilevel analyses revealed that Conscientiousness was higher in the first year of working life versus all other years. Extraversion was higher in and after the first year of working life versus before, and Agreeableness increased gradually in the 3 years after people had started working. In people who retired, Conscientiousness was lower in and after the first year of retirement versus before. No other traits differed around the start of retirement.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the start of working life might promote personality maturation and that retirement might promote personality “relaxation.”

“Inequality in Personality over the Life Cycle”, Gensowski et al 2021

2021-gensowski.pdf: “Inequality in personality over the life cycle”⁠, Miriam Gensowski, Mette Gørtz, Stefanie Schurer (2021-04-01; ; similar):

We document gender and socioeconomic inequalities in personality over the life cycle (age 18–75), using the Big Five 2 (BFI-2) inventory linked to administrative data on a large Danish population.

We estimate life-cycle profiles non-parametrically and adjust for cohort and sample-selection effects. We find that:

  1. Women of all ages score more highly than men on all personality traits, including 3 that are positively associated with wages;

  2. High-education groups score more favorably on Openness to Experience, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism than low-education groups, while there is no socioeconomic inequality by Conscientiousness;

  3. Over the life cycle, gender and socioeconomic gaps remain constant, with 2 exceptions: the gender and SES gaps in Openness to Experience widen, while gender differences in Neuroticism, a trait associated with worse outcomes, diminish with age.

We discuss the implications of these findings in the context of gender wage gaps, household production models, and optimal taxation⁠.

[Keywords: inequality, personality, Big Five-2 Inventory, life cycle dynamics, gender disadvantage, socioeconomic disadvantage]

“Genetic and Environmental Architecture of Conscientiousness in Adolescence”, Takahashi et al 2021

“Genetic and environmental architecture of conscientiousness in adolescence”⁠, Yusuke Takahashi, Anqing Zheng, Shinji Yamagata, Juko Ando (2021-02-05; ; similar):

Using a genetically informative design (about 2,000 twin pairs), we investigated the phenotypic and genetic and environmental architecture of a broad construct of conscientiousness (including Conscientiousness per se, Effortful Control⁠, Self-Control [Brief Self-Control scale], and Grit).

These 4 different measures were substantially correlated; the coefficients ranged from 0.74 (0.72–0.76) to 0.79 (0.76–0.80). Univariate genetic analyses revealed that individual differences in conscientiousness measures were moderately attributable to additive genetic factors, to an extent ranging from 62 (58–65) to 64% (61–67%); we obtained no evidence that shared environmental influences were observed. Multivariate genetic analyses showed that for the 4 measures used to assess conscientiousness, genetic correlations were stronger than the corresponding non-shared environmental correlations, and that a latent common factor accounted for over 84% of the genetic variance⁠.

Our findings suggest that individual differences in the 4 measures of conscientiousness are not distinguishable at both the phenotypic and behavioural genetic levels, and that the overlap was substantially attributable to genetic factors.

Figure 2: AE common pathway model for Conscientiousness-related measures with standardised estimates (and 95% confidence intervals) alongside bar charts for the percent variance explained.

“Does Parental Education Influence Child Educational Outcomes? A Developmental Analysis in a Full-population Sample and Adoptee Design”, Ludeke et al 2021

2021-ludeke.pdf: “Does parental education influence child educational outcomes? A developmental analysis in a full-population sample and adoptee design”⁠, Steven G. Ludeke, Miriam Gensowski, Sarah Y. Junge, Robert M. Kirkpatrick, Oliver P. John, Simon Calmar Andersen et al (2021; ; similar):

Children’s educational outcomes are strongly correlated with their parents’ educational attainment. This finding is often attributed to the family environment—assuming, for instance, that parents’ behavior and resources affect their children’s educational outcomes. However, such inferences of a causal role of the family environment depend on the largely untested assumption that such relationships do not simply reflect genes shared between parent and child.

We examine this assumption with an adoptee design [n = 3,297 + 3,505 + 2,799] in full-population cohorts from Danish administrative data [population registry]. We test whether parental education predicts children’s educational outcomes in both biological and adopted children, looking at 4 components of the child’s educational development:

  1. the child’s Conscientiousness during compulsory schooling,
  2. academic performance in those same years,
  3. enrollment in academically challenging high schools, and
  4. graduation success.

Parental education was a substantial predictor of each of these child outcomes in the full population. However, little intergenerational correlation in education was observed in the absence of genetic similarity between parent and child—that is, among adoptees. Further analysis showed that what links adoptive parents’ education did have with later-occurring components such as educational attainment (4) and enrollment (3) appeared to be largely attributable to effects identifiable earlier in development, namely early academic performance (2).

The primary nongenetic mechanisms by which education is transmitted across generations may thus have their effects on children early in their educational development, even as the consequences of those early effects persist throughout the child’s educational development.

[Keywords: intergenerational transmission, educational outcomes, full-population studies, adoptees, behavior genetics]

Figure 2: Predicted differences in the probability of child’s high school completion and enrollment based on parental education. Shown are differences in probabilities (marginal effects) corresponding to a change of one standard deviation of parental education after estimating the binary outcome of completion/​enrollment with logistics regression, with the 95% confidence intervals as whiskers. See full numerical results in Table 2.
Figure 3: Coefficients from regression of child academic performance and Conscientiousness on parental education (all standardized continuous variables). The estimates shown are regression coefficients of standardized parental education on standardized scores; full numerical results in Table 3. The 95%-confidence intervals are indicated as whiskers.

“Grit and Conscientiousness: Another Jangle Fallacy”, Ponnock et al 2020

2020-ponnock.pdf: “Grit and conscientiousness: Another jangle fallacy”⁠, Annette Ponnock, Katherine Muenks, Monica Morell, Ji Seung Yang, Jessica R. Gladstone, Allan Wigfield et al (2020-12-01; similar):


  • We used multi-dimensional item response theory (MIRT) confirmatory factor analysis.
  • Results indicated that grit and conscientiousness substantially overlap.
  • Conscientiousness and perseverance of effort best predict grades.

Abstract When grit was first introduced, it gained popularity before basic psychometric questions were fully explored. One critical issue is how distinct grit is from the Big Five personality trait conscientiousness. Most studies have examined correlations between grit and conscientiousness, rather than conducting item-level factor analysis. This study examined the extent to which grit and conscientiousness are empirically distinct, and which predict students’ grades. A diverse sample of adolescents completed measures of grit and conscientiousness. MIRT-based confirmatory factor analyses showed that grit and conscientiousness’ factor structures strongly overlap. Structural equation modeling showed that conscientiousness and the perseverance of effort component of grit predicted students’ grades more strongly than consistency of interest. These findings indicate that grit and conscientiousness are not unique constructs.

[Keywords: motivation/​goals, personality assessment, adolescent, advanced quantitative methods, personality]

“Predicting Mid-life Capital Formation With Pre-school Delay of Gratification and Life-course Measures of Self-regulation”, Benjamin et al 2020

“Predicting mid-life capital formation with pre-school delay of gratification and life-course measures of self-regulation”⁠, Daniel J. Benjamin, David Laibson, Walter Mischel, Philip K. Peake, Yuichi Shoda, Alexandra Steiny Wellsjo et al (2020-11; ; similar):

  • Self-regulation composite (preschool & ages 17–37) predicts capital formation at 46.
  • Preschool delay of gratification alone does not predict capital formation at 46.
  • The composite is more predictive partly because it consists of many items⁠.
  • No evidence of more predictive power for self-regulation reported later in life.

[Mischel⁠, marshmallow test⁠; previously: Watts et al 2018⁠; cf. Roberts & Yoon 2022] How well do pre-school delay of gratification and life-course measures of self-regulation predict mid-life capital formation?

We surveyed 113 participants of the 1967–1973 Bing pre-school studies on delay of gratification when they were in their late 40’s. They reported 11 mid-life capital formation outcomes, including net worth, permanent income, absence of high-interest debt, forward-looking behaviors, and educational attainment. To address multiple hypothesis testing and our small sample, we pre-registered an analysis plan of well-powered tests.

As predicted, a newly constructed and pre-registered measure derived from preschool delay of gratification does not predict the 11 capital formation variables (ie. the sign-adjusted average correlation was 0.02). A pre-registered composite self-regulation index, combining preschool delay of gratification with survey measures of self-regulation collected at ages 17, 27, and 37, does predict 10 of the 11 capital formation variables in the expected direction, with an average correlation of 0.19. The inclusion of the preschool delay of gratification measure in this composite index does not affect the index’s predictive power.

We tested several hypothesized reasons that preschool delay of gratification does not have predictive power for our mid-life capital formation variables.

[Keywords: self-regulation, delay of gratification, mid-life capital formation]

““Just the Way You Are”: Linking Music Listening on Spotify and Personality”, Anderson et al 2020

2020-anderson.pdf: ““Just the Way You Are”: Linking Music Listening on Spotify and Personality”⁠, Ian Anderson, Santiago Gil, Clay Gibson, Scott Wolf, Will Shapiro, Oguz Semerci, David M. Greenberg (2020-07-10; ⁠, ):

Advances in digital technology have put music libraries at people’s fingertips, giving them immediate access to more music than ever before.

Here we overcome limitations of prior research by leveraging ecologically valid streaming data: 17.6 million songs and over 662,000 hr of music listened to by 5,808 Spotify users spanning a 3-month period.

Building on interactionist theories, we investigated the link between personality traits and music listening behavior, described by an extensive set of 211 mood, genre, demographic, and behavioral metrics. Findings from machine learning showed that the Big Five personality traits are predicted by musical preferences and habitual listening behaviors with moderate to high accuracy.

Importantly, our work contrasts a recent self-report-based meta-analysis, which suggested that personality traits play only a small role in musical preferences; rather, we show with big data and advanced machine learning methods that personality is indeed important and warrants continued rigorous investigation.

Prediction: Mean of the RMSE from 10× cross-validation showed moderate to high prediction for each of the Big Five personality traits: .811 for Extraversion⁠, 0.777 for Emotional Stability, .621 for Agreeableness⁠, 0.618 for conscientiousness⁠, and .530 for Openness. Independent regressions were then performed for each trait. Table 1 summarizes our prediction results (rs range from 0.262 to 0.374). These results are greater in magnitude than those found in previous research by Nave et al 2018 that use stimuli-based methods and Facebook likes to assess musical preferences. That our results yielded higher correlations is not surprising since we included metrics that assessed not only musical preferences but also habitual listening behaviors…Of the 5 personality traits, Emotional Stability and Conscientiousness were the 2 most predictable from our data (rs = 0.374 and 0.363, respectively).

“Forethought and Intelligence: How Conscientiousness, Future Planning, and General Mental Ability Predict Net Worth”, Shaffer 2020

2020-shaffer.pdf: “Forethought and intelligence: How conscientiousness, future planning, and general mental ability predict net worth”⁠, Jonathan A. Shaffer (2020-06; ; similar):

This study examined a model in which Conscientiousness is related to net worth through its relationship with future planning, and in which general mental ability (GMA) moderates the effects of future planning on net worth. Data for this study were drawn from 1,135 participants in the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States. Results from an analysis of conditional indirect effects suggest that conscientiousness shared a positive, indirect association with net worth through its relationship with future planning that was realized only for individuals higher in GMA. In contrast, Conscientiousness had no indirect association with net worth for those low in GMA. This study helps add to the understanding of how noncognitive (personality) and cognitive (ability) traits affect individual-level economic outcomes and offers an explanation for both how and when conscientiousness influences net worth. These findings may be particularly important given efforts to design interventions that help improve individual financial outcomes.

“Assessing the Big Five Personality Traits Using Real-life Static Facial Images”, Kachur et al 2020

“Assessing the Big Five personality traits using real-life static facial images”⁠, Alexander Kachur, Evgeny Osin, Denis Davydov, Konstantin Shutilov, Alexey Novokshonov (2020-04-02; ; backlinks; similar):

There is ample evidence that a human face provides signals of human personality and behaviour. Previous studies have found associations between the features of artificial composite facial images and attributions of personality traits by human experts. We present new findings demonstrating the statistically-significant prediction of a wider set of personality features (all the Big Five personality traits) for both men and women using real-life static facial images. Volunteer participants (n = 12,447) provided their face photographs (31,367 images) and completed a self-report measure of the Big Five traits. We trained a cascade of artificial neural networks (ANNs) on a large labeled dataset to predict self-reported Big Five scores. The highest correlations were found for Conscientiousness (0.360 for men and 0.335 for women), exceeding the results obtained in prior studies. The findings provide strong support for the hypothesis that it is possible to predict multidimensional personality profiles from static facial images using ANNs trained on large labeled datasets.

“A Stable Relationship between Personality and Academic Performance from Childhood through Adolescence. An Original Study and Replication in Hundred-thousand-person Samples”, Andersen et al 2020

2020-andersen.pdf: “A stable relationship between personality and academic performance from childhood through adolescence. An original study and replication in hundred-thousand-person samples”⁠, Simon Calmar Andersen, Miriam Gensowski, Steven G. Ludeke, Oliver P. John (2020-01-02; ; similar):

Objective: Many studies have demonstrated that personality traits predict academic performance for students in high school and college. Much less evidence exists on whether the relationship between personality traits and academic performance changes from childhood to adolescence, and existing studies show very mixed findings. This study tests one hypothesis—that the importance of Agreeableness, Emotional Stability, and Conscientiousness for academic performance changes fundamentally during school—against an alternative hypothesis suggesting that the changing relationships found in previous research are largely measurement artifacts.

Method: We used a nationwide sample of 135,389 primary and lower secondary students from Grade 4 to Grade 8. We replicated all results in a separate sample of another 127,375 students.

Results: We found that academic performance was equally strongly related to our measure of Conscientiousness at all these grade levels, and the statistical-significance of Agreeableness and Emotional Stability predominantly reflected their connections with Conscientiousness. However, age also appeared to shape the relationship between Emotional Stability and performance.

Conclusion: Amidst the replication crisis in psychology these findings demonstrate a very stable and predictable relationship between personality traits and academic performance, which may have important implications for the education of children already in primary school.

“How Genetic and Environmental Variance in Personality Traits Shift across the Life Span: Evidence from a Cross-national Twin Study”, Kandler et al 2020

2020-kandler.pdf: “How genetic and environmental variance in personality traits shift across the life span: Evidence from a cross-national twin study”⁠, Christian Kandler, Denis Bratko, Ana Butkovic, Tena Vukasovic Hlupic, Joshua M. Tybur, Laura W. Wesseldijk et al (2020; ⁠, ; similar):

Decades of research have shown that about half of individual differences in personality traits is heritable. Recent studies have reported that heritability is not fixed, but instead decreases across the life span. However, findings are inconsistent and it is yet unclear whether these trends are because of a waning importance of heritable tendencies, attributable to cumulative experiential influences with age, or because of nonlinear patterns suggesting Gene × Environment interplay.

We combined 4 twin samples (n = 7,026) from Croatia, Finland, Germany, and the United Kingdom, and we examined age trends in genetic and environmental variance in the 6 HEXACO personality traits: Honesty-Humility⁠, Emotionality⁠, Extraversion⁠, Agreeableness⁠, Conscientiousness⁠, and Openness⁠. The cross-national sample ranges in age from 14 to 90 years, allowing analyses of linear and nonlinear age differences in genetic and environmental components of trait variance, after controlling for gender and national differences.

The amount of genetic variance in Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Openness followed a reversed U-shaped pattern across age, showed a declining trend for Honesty-Humility and Conscientiousness, and was stable for Emotionality.

For most traits, findings provided evidence for an increasing relative importance of life experiences contributing to personality differences across the life span. The findings are discussed against the background of Gene × Environment transactions and interactions.

[Keywords: HEXACO personality traits, life experiences, cross-national twin study, life span, heritability]

“A Century of Research on Conscientiousness at Work”, Wilmot & Ones 2019

2019-wilmot.pdf: “A century of research on conscientiousness at work”⁠, Michael P. Wilmot, Deniz S. Ones (2019-11-12; ; similar):

Significance: Conscientiousness (C) is the most potent noncognitive predictor of occupational performance. However, questions remain about how C relates to a plethora of occupational variables, what its defining characteristics and functions are in occupational settings, and whether its performance relation differs across occupations. To answer these questions, we quantitatively review 92 meta-analyses reporting relations to 175 occupational variables. Across variables, results reveal a substantial mean effect of ρM = 20.

We then use results to synthesize 10 themes that characterize C in occupational settings. Finally, we discover that performance effects of C are weaker in high-complexity versus low-complexity to moderate-complexity occupations. Thus, for optimal occupational performance, we encourage decision makers to match C’s goal-directed motivation and behavioral restraint to more predictable environments.

Evidence from more than 100 y of research indicates that conscientiousness (C) is the most potent noncognitive construct for occupational performance. However, questions remain about the magnitudes of its effect sizes across occupational variables, its defining characteristics and functions in occupational settings, and potential moderators of its performance relation. Drawing on 92 unique meta-analyses reporting effects for 175 distinct variables, which represent n > 1.1 million participants across k > 2,500 studies, we present the most comprehensive, quantitative review and synthesis of the occupational effects of C available in the literature. Results show C has effects in a desirable direction for 98% of variables and a grand mean of ρM = 0.20 (SD = 0.13), indicative of a potent, pervasive influence across occupational variables. Using the top 33% of effect sizes (ρ≥0.24), we synthesize 10 characteristic themes of C’s occupational functioning: (1) motivation for goal-directed performance, (2) preference for more predictable environments, (3) interpersonal responsibility for shared goals, (4) commitment, (5) perseverance, (6) self-regulatory restraint to avoid counterproductivity, and (7) proficient performance—especially for (8) conventional goals, (9) requiring persistence. Finally, we examine C’s relation to performance across 8 occupations. Results indicate that occupational complexity moderates this relation. That is, (10) high occupational complexity versus low-to-moderate occupational complexity attenuates the performance effect of C. Altogether, results suggest that goal-directed performance is fundamental to C and that motivational engagement, behavioral restraint, and environmental predictability influence its optimal occupational expression. We conclude by discussing applied and policy implications of our findings.

[Keywords: conscientiousness, personality, meta-analysis, second-order meta-analysis, occupations]

“Let There Be Variance: Individual Differences in Consecutive Self-control in a Laboratory Setting and Daily Life”, Wenzel et al 2019

2019-wenzel.pdf: “Let There Be Variance: Individual Differences in Consecutive Self-control in a Laboratory Setting and Daily Life”⁠, Mario Wenzel, Zarah Rowland, Daniela Zahn, Thomas Kubiak, Erika Carlson (2019; ):

The large body of research used to support ego-depletion effects is currently faced with conceptual and replication issues, leading to doubt over the extent or even existence of the ego-depletion effect. By using within-person designs in a laboratory (Study 1; 187 participants) and an ambulatory assessment study (Study 2; 125 participants), we sought to clarify this ambiguity by investigating whether prominent situational variables (such as motivation and affect) or personality traits can help elucidate when ego depletion can be observed and when not. Although only marginal ego-depletion effects were found in both studies, these effects varied considerably between individuals, indicating that some individuals experience self-control decrements after initial self-control exertion and others not. However, neither motivation nor affect nor personality traits such as trait self-control could consistently explain this variability when models were applied that controlled for variance due to targets and the depletion manipulation (Study (1) or days (Study (2) as well as for multiple testing. We discuss how the operationalization and reliability of our key measures may explain these null effects and demonstrate that alternative metrics may be required to study the consequences of the consecutive exertion of self-control. © 2019 European Association of Personality Psychology

“Can Behavioral Tools Improve Online Student Outcomes? Experimental Evidence from a Massive Open Online Course”, Patterson 2018

2018-patterson.pdf: “Can behavioral tools improve online student outcomes? Experimental evidence from a massive open online course”⁠, Richard W. Patterson (2018-09-01; ⁠, ; backlinks):

  • I design 3 behaviorally motivated software tools for students in an online course.
  • Tools include (1) a commitment device⁠, (2) an alert, and (3) a distraction-blocking tool.
  • I test these tools in a randomized controlled trial in a massive open online course.
  • The commitment device increased both effort and performance in the course.
  • Neither the alert nor distraction-blocking tools led to different outcomes from control.

In order to address poor outcomes for online students, I leverage insights from behavioral economics to design 3 software tools including (1) a commitment device, (2) an alert tool, and (3) a distraction-blocking tool. I test the impact of these tools in a massive open online course (MOOC).

Relative to students in the control group, students in the commitment device treatment spend 24% more time working on the course, receive course grades that are 0.29 standard deviations higher, and are 40% more likely to complete the course. In contrast, outcomes for students in the alert and distraction-blocking treatments are statistically indistinguishable from the control.

[Keywords: education, self control, commitment devices, reminders]

“Surveying the Forest: A Meta-analysis, Moderator Investigation, and Future-oriented Discussion of the Antecedents of Voluntary Employee Turnover”, Rubenstein et al 2017

2017-rubenstein.pdf: “Surveying the forest: A meta-analysis, moderator investigation, and future-oriented discussion of the antecedents of voluntary employee turnover”⁠, Alex L. Rubenstein, Marion B. Eberly, Thomas W. Lee, Terence R. Mitchell (2017-02-11; ; similar):

Recent narrative reviews (eg. Hom et al 2012; Hom et al 2017) advise that it is timely to assess the progress made in research on voluntary employee turnover so as to guide future work.

To provide this assessment, we employed a 3-step approach. First, we conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis of turnover predictors, updating existing effect sizes and examining multiple new antecedents. Second, guided by theory, we developed and tested a set of substantive moderators, considering factors that might exacerbate or mitigate zero-order meta-analytic effects. Third, we examined the holistic pattern of results in order to highlight the most pressing needs for future turnover research.

The results of Step 1 reveal multiple newer predictors and updated effect sizes of more traditional predictors, which have received substantially greater study. The results of Step 2 provide insight into the context-dependent nature of many antecedent–turnover relationships. In Step 3, our discussion takes a bird’s-eye view of the turnover “forest” and considers the theoretical and practical implications of the results.

We offer several research recommendations that break from the traditional turnover paradigm, as a means of guiding future study.

…Our holistic effort begins with an updated meta-analytic empirical assessment of turnover research to assess main effect relationships (Step 1). Since Griffeth et al 2000⁠, a bevy of new constructs have entered into the academic vernacular, whereas other constructs have been studied in considerably more depth, perhaps warranting a revision of earlier estimates. As a point of illustration, whereas the Griffeth et al 2000 analysis examined 45 predictors and 843 effect sizes, we include 57 predictors across 1,800 effects sizes (a 27% increase in constructs and a 114% increase in effects). We provide insight into new and influential predictors such as engagement, justice, and job characteristics, as well as examining potential changes in effects sizes compared to previous work.

1.21. Individual Attribute Predictors: Among individual attributes, tenure (ρ = −0.27, outliers excluded), age (ρ = −0.21), children (ρ = −0.20), emotional stability (ρ = −0.19), and Conscientiousness (ρ = −0.16) demonstrate the strongest effects. Perhaps more important; however, age validities statistically-significantly differed compared to the Griffeth et al 2000 analysis (hereafter, GHG: −0.11, here: −0.21), as did the effects sizes for abilities/​skills (GHG: 0.02, here: −0.06). Implications of this larger age effect in particular (ie. also more negative for post-2000 compared to pre-2000 studies), merit comment. If older workers are less likely to quit, younger workers are, equally, more likely to quit. Some scholars (eg. Bal & Jansen 2016) find support for the idea that younger workers hold higher—perhaps even unrealistic—expectations than do older workers regarding what they want from their employers. Looking forward, researchers might monitor this trend, and if/​how the broader definitions of careers and work relationships change, and what that means for theory and practice.

Figure 1: Summary of meta-analytic turn-over antecedent estimates (as effects sizes by standard errors). Note: Correlations signs indicated in parentheses. OCB = organizational citizenship behavior. PC breach = psychological contract breach. Due to visual overlap, we note extraversion, OCBs and organizational support are in the 2nd quartile of studies (k) accumulated; ethnicity, job involvement, marital status and workload are in the 3rd quartile.

“Online Foreign Language Education: What Are the Proficiency Outcomes?”, Lin & Warschauer 2015

2015-lin.pdf: “Online Foreign Language Education: What Are the Proficiency Outcomes?”⁠, Chin-Hsi Lin, Mark Warschauer (2015-01-01)

“The High Heritability of Educational Achievement Reflects Many Genetically Influenced Traits, Not Just Intelligence”, Krapohl et al 2014

“The high heritability of educational achievement reflects many genetically influenced traits, not just intelligence”⁠, Eva Krapohl, Kaili Rimfeld, Nicholas G. Shakeshaft, Maciej Trzaskowski, Andrew McMillan, Jean-Baptiste Pingault et al (2014; ⁠, ; backlinks; similar):

Because educational achievement at the end of compulsory schooling represents a major tipping point in life, understanding its causes and correlates is important for individual children, their families, and society.

Here we identify the general ingredients of educational achievement using a multivariate design that goes beyond intelligence to consider a wide range of predictors, such as self-efficacy, personality, and behavior problems, to assess their independent and joint contributions to educational achievement. We use a genetically sensitive design to address the question of why educational achievement is so highly heritable. We focus on the results of a United Kingdom-wide examination, the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), which is administered at the end of compulsory education at age 16. GCSE scores were obtained for 13,306 twins at age 16, whom we also assessed contemporaneously on 83 scales that were condensed to 9 broad psychological domains, including intelligence, self-efficacy, personality, well-being, and behavior problems.

The mean of GCSE core subjects (English, mathematics, science) is more heritable (62%) than the 9 predictor domains (35–58%). Each of the domains correlates statistically-significantly with GCSE results, and these correlations are largely mediated genetically. The main finding is that, although intelligence accounts for more of the heritability of GCSE than any other single domain, the other domains collectively account for about as much GCSE heritability as intelligence. Together with intelligence, these domains account for 75% of the heritability of GCSE.

We conclude that the high heritability of educational achievement reflects many genetically influenced traits, not just intelligence.

“The Importance of Personality in Students’ Perceptions of the Online Learning Experience”, Keller & Karau 2013

2013-keller.pdf: “The importance of personality in students’ perceptions of the online learning experience”⁠, Heath Keller, Steven J. Karau (2013-01-01; ; backlinks)

“Academic Performance of Virtual Students Based on Their Personality Traits, Learning Styles and Psychological Well Being: A Prediction”, Fariba 2013

2013-fariba.pdf: “Academic Performance of Virtual Students based on their Personality Traits, Learning Styles and Psychological Well Being: A Prediction”⁠, Tabe Bordbar Fariba (2013-01-01; ; backlinks)

“Unemployment Duration and Personality”, Uysal & Pohlmeier 2011

2011-uysala.pdf: “Unemployment duration and personality”⁠, Selver Derya Uysal, Winfried Pohlmeier (2011-01-01; ; backlinks)



“E-conscientiousness and E-performance in Online Undergraduate Management Education”, Abzug 2010

2010-abzug.pdf: “E-conscientiousness and e-performance in online undergraduate management education”⁠, Rikki Abzug (2010; ; backlinks; similar):

In empirical studies of the 5 major factors of personality, conscientiousness is one of the few traits consistently correlated with organizational performance1. A question for management educators, then, is whether Conscientiousness is also highly correlated with educational performance.

In this study, we test this correlation in the online management education classroom where we have access to straightforward behavioral (rather than self-reported) measures of both conscientiousness and classroom performance. The tracking technology of the online classroom allows us to collect real-time data about student conscientious behavior to compare with actual student performance over the time-period of one semester.

By testing the model of conscientiousness as a predictor of course performance in the e-classroom we contribute to the literatures linking personality traits with performance, suggest ways to move beyond self-report for personality studies, as well as suggest ways in which the online classroom may be mined for behavioral data in organizational studies.

[Keywords: online education, e-learning, conscientiousness, personality, performance]

“Enhancing Knowledge Transfer in Classroom Versus Online Settings: The Interplay Among Instructor, Student, Content, and Context”, PrasadTECHBOOKS 2009

2009-nemanich.pdf: “Enhancing Knowledge Transfer in Classroom Versus Online Settings: The Interplay Among Instructor, Student, Content, and Context”⁠, Ambika p PrasadTECHBOOKS (2009-01-01; ; backlinks)

“Positive Predictors of Teacher Effectiveness”, Duckworth et al 2009

2009-duckworth.pdf: “Positive predictors of teacher effectiveness”⁠, Angela Lee Duckworth, Patrick D. Quinn, Martin E. P. Seligman (2009; ; backlinks; similar):

Some teachers are dramatically more effective than others, but traditional indicators of competence (eg. certification) explain minimal variance in performance. The rigors of teaching suggest that positive traits that buffer against adversity might contribute to teacher effectiveness.

In this prospective longitudinal study, novice teachers (n = 390) placed in under-resourced public schools completed measures of optimistic explanatory style, grit, and life satisfaction prior to the school year. At the conclusion of the school year, teacher effectiveness was measured in terms of the academic gains of students. All 3 positive traits individually predicted teacher performance. When entered simultaneously, however, only grit and life satisfaction remained statistically-significant predictors.

These findings suggest that positive traits should be considered in the selection and training of teachers.

[Keywords: learned helplessness, explanatory style, grit, life satisfaction, teacher performance]

“Personality, Intelligence and Approaches to Learning As Predictors of Academic Performance”, Chamorro-Premuzic & Furnham 2008

2008-chamorropremuzic.pdf: “Personality, intelligence and approaches to learning as predictors of academic performance”⁠, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Adrian Furnham (2008-05-01; ⁠, ; backlinks; similar):

Students completed 4 psychometric tests soon after arriving at university: the NEO-PI-R measure of the Big Five personality traits (Costa & McCrae 1992); the Study Process Questionnaire, which measures approaches to learning (Biggs 1978); and 2 measures of cognitive ability: the Wonderlic IQ Test (Wonderlic, 1992) and the Baddeley Reasoning Test (Baddeley 1968) of fluid intelligence (gf). A year later they completed comprehensive essay-based exams and received a mean score based on 6 examinations.

Academic performance (AP) correlated with ability, achieving and deep learning approaches, Openness and Conscientiousness. Together, these variables explained 40% of the variance in AP. Path analyses indicated that the effects of ability on AP were mediated by personality and learning approaches.

[Keywords: personality, intelligence, learning, academic performance]


2008-edmonds.pdf: “” (2008-01-01; ; backlinks)

“Refining the Relationship Between Personality and Subjective Well-Being”, Steel et al 2008

2008-steel.pdf: “Refining the Relationship Between Personality and Subjective Well-Being”⁠, Piers Steel, Joseph Schmidt, Jonas Shultz (2008; ; backlinks):

Understanding subjective well-being (SWB) has historically been a core human endeavor and presently spans fields from management to mental health. Previous meta-analyses have indicated that personality traits are one of the best predictors. Still, these past results indicate only a moderate relationship, weaker than suggested by several lines of reasoning. This may be because of commensurability, where researchers have grouped together substantively disparate measures in their analyses.

In this article, the authors review and address this problem directly, focusing on individual measures of personality (eg. the Neuroticism-Extraversion-Openness Personality Inventory; Costa & McCrae 1992) and categories of SWB (eg. life satisfaction). In addition, the authors take a multivariate approach, assessing how much variance personality traits account for individually as well as together.

Results: indicate that different personality and SWB scales can be substantively different and that the relationship between the 2 is typically much larger (eg. 4×) than previous meta-analyses have indicated. Total SWB variance accounted for by personality can reach as high as 39% or 63% disattenuated [corrected for measurement error]. These results also speak to meta-analyses in general and the need to account for scale differences once a sufficient research base has been generated.

[Keywords: personality, subjective well-being, meta-analysis, commensurability]


2007-bishopclark.pdf: “ET35-4G.vp” (2007-01-01; ; backlinks)

“Personality Predictors of Academic Outcomes: Big Five Correlates of GPA and SAT Scores”, Noftle & Robins 2007

2007-noftle.pdf: “Personality predictors of academic outcomes: Big Five correlates of GPA and SAT scores”⁠, Erik E. Noftle, Richard W. Robins (2007; ; backlinks; similar):

The authors examined relations between the Big Five personality traits and academic outcomes, specifically SAT scores and grade-point average (GPA).

Openness was the strongest predictor of SAT verbal scores, and Conscientiousness was the strongest predictor of both high school and college GPA. These relations replicated across 4 independent samples and across 4 different personality inventories. Further analyses showed that Conscientiousness predicted college GPA, even after controlling for high school GPA and SAT scores, and that the relation between Conscientiousness and college GPA was mediated, both concurrently and longitudinally, by increased academic effort and higher levels of perceived academic ability. The relation between Openness and SAT verbal scores was independent of academic achievement and was mediated, both concurrently and longitudinally, by perceived verbal intelligence.

Together, these findings show that personality traits have independent and incremental effects on academic outcomes, even after controlling for traditional predictors of those outcomes.

Table 1: Previous Findings on Personality and Academic Outcomes in College
Table 3: Big Five Correlates of SAT Verbal and Math Scores
Table 5: Big Five Correlates of GPA

“Promotion and Prevention Orientations in the Choice to Attend Lectures or Watch Them Online”, Bassili 2006

2006-bassili.pdf: “Promotion and prevention orientations in the choice to attend lectures or watch them online”⁠, John N. Bassili (2006-11-06; ; backlinks; similar):

When presented with the option to use a new instructional technology, students often face an approach-avoidance conflict.

This study explored promotion and prevention orientations, concepts linked to approach and avoidance in Higgins’s regulatory focus theory, in the choice to attend lectures or watch them online. Openness, a core disposition in the Big Five Model of personality, and positive attitudes towards the utility of the Internet, reflect promotion orientations that are potentially related to the choice to watch lectures online. By contrast, Neuroticism, another core disposition in the Big Five Model, and anxiety about the Internet as a computer technology, reflect a prevention orientation that is potentially related to the choice of attending lectures in class.

The results illustrate that both promotion and prevention are at work in the choice to attend lectures or to watch them online. Neuroticism and anxiety about the Internet as a computer technology were related to the choice to attend lectures in class, whereas the perceived utility of the Internet was related to the choice to watch lectures online.

Instructional mode choice was not related to examination performance, suggesting that the choice to attend lectures or watch them online has more to do with individual differences in promotion and prevention orientations than with pedagogical characteristics that impact learning.

“Relationship of Student Undergraduate Achievement and Personality Characteristics in a Total Web-Based Environment: An Empirical Study”

2005-schniederjans.pdf: “Relationship of Student Undergraduate Achievement and Personality Characteristics in a Total Web-Based Environment: An Empirical Study” (2005-01-01; ; backlinks)

“What Makes the Difference? A Practical Analysis of Research on the Effectiveness of Distance Education”, Zhao et al 2005

2005-zhao.pdf: “What Makes the Difference? A Practical Analysis of Research on the Effectiveness of Distance Education”⁠, Yong Zhao, Jing Lei, Bo Yan, Chun Lai, Sophia Tan (2005; backlinks; similar):

This article reports findings of a meta-analytical study of research on distance education⁠.

The purpose of this study was to identify factors that affect the effectiveness of distance education.

The results show that although the aggregated data of available studies show no statistically-significant difference in outcomes between distance education and face-to-face education as previous research reviews suggest, there is remarkable difference across the studies. Further examination of the difference reveals that distance education programs, just like traditional education programs, vary a great deal in their outcomes, and the outcome of distance education is associated with a number of pedagogical and technological factors.

This study led to some important data-driven suggestions for and about distance education.

“Schniederjans_lo”, mcdonaldm 2004

2004-kim.pdf: “Schniederjans_lo”⁠, mcdonaldm (2004-01-01; ; backlinks)

“Toward an Integrative Theory of Training Motivation: A Meta-analytic Path Analysis of 20 Years of Research”, Colquitt et al 2000

2000-colquitt.pdf: “Toward an integrative theory of training motivation: A meta-analytic path analysis of 20 years of research”⁠, Jason A. Colquitt, Jeffrey A. LePine, Raymond A. Noe (2000; ; backlinks; similar):

This article meta-analytically summarizes the literature on training motivation, its antecedents, and its relationships with training outcomes such as declarative knowledge, skill acquisition, and transfer. statistically-significant predictors of training motivation and outcomes included individual characteristics (eg. locus of control, conscientiousness, anxiety, age, cognitive ability, self-efficacy, valence, job involvement) and situational characteristics (eg. climate). Moreover, training motivation explained incremental variance in training outcomes beyond the effects of cognitive ability. Meta-analytic path analyses further showed that the effects of personality, climate, and age on training outcomes were only partially mediated by self-efficacy, valence, and job involvement. These findings are discussed in terms of their practical importance and their implications for an integrative theory of training motivation.

“The Big Five Personality Dimensions And Job Performance: A Meta-Analysis”, Barrick & Mount 1991

1991-barrick.pdf: “The Big Five Personality Dimensions And Job Performance: A Meta-Analysis”⁠, Murray R. Barrick, Michael K. Mount (1991; ⁠, ; backlinks; similar):

This study investigated the relation of the “Big Five” personality dimensions (Extraversion⁠, Emotional Stability⁠, Agreeableness⁠, conscientiousness⁠, and Openness to Experience) to 3 job performance criteria (job proficiency, training proficiency, and personnel data) for 5 occupational groups (professionals, police, managers, sales, and skilled/​semi-skilled).

The results indicated that one dimension of personality, Conscientiousness, showed consistent relations with all job performance criteria for all occupational groups.

For the remaining personality dimensions, the estimated true score correlations varied by occupational group and criterion type. Extraversion was a valid predictor for 2 occupations involving social interaction, managers and sales (across criterion types). Also, both Openness to Experience and Extraversion were valid predictors of the training proficiency criterion (across occupations). Other personality dimensions were also found to be valid predictors for some occupations and some criterion types, but the magnitude of the estimated true score correlations was small (ρ < 0.10).

Overall, the results illustrate the benefits of using the 5-factor model of personality to accumulate and communicate empirical findings. The findings have numerous implications for research and practice in personnel psychology, especially in the subfields of personnel selection, training and development, and performance appraisal.

“The Energies of Men”, James 1907

1907-james.pdf: “The Energies of Men”⁠, William James (1907-01-01; ; backlinks)