Achievement relevant personality : relations with the Big Five and validation of an efficient instrument

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Briley, Daniel Andrew

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A plethora of personality constructs have been proposed, and associated measures developed, to capture behavioral tendencies relevant to academic achievement. For example, individual differences in aspects of motivation, curiosity, studying behaviors and evaluations of the importance of school have been linked with achievement. However, there is little understanding of whether and how different achievement-relevant personality measures (APMs) relate to one another or to broader dimensions of personality. The current project examined the dimensionality of achievement-relevant personality constructs, their associations with the Big Five personality traits, and associations with academic performance. In Study 1, 214 college students were measured on 36 independent APMs along with a well-established, measure of the Big Five traits. Factor analytic results supported the convergent and discriminant validity of five latent dimensions: performance and mastery approaches to learning, self-doubt, effort, and hungry mind. Each factor and the individual scales that composed the factors possessed a distinctive pattern of associations with the Big Five. Conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience had the most consistent associations with APMs. Based on the results of the first study, we next constructed a more efficient scale of APMs – the Multidimensional Achievement-Relevant Personality Scale (MAPS). In Study 2, we replicated the factor structure of the MAPS and its associations with the Big Five in a sample of 359 individuals. Additionally, we validated the MAPS with four indicators of academic performance. Although the factors assessed by the MAPS overlap somewhat with general indicators of personality, there was some evidence of incremental prediction of achievement.




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