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Factors affecting academic performance

Question:

Discuss About The Performance Undergraduate Psychology Cohort?

In the recent time identifying the factors affecting the academic performance has become one of the most important research areas among the scholars. There are broadly two types of factors identified which affect the academic performance. Most of the researchers argue that the cognitive ability is one of the most important determinants(LAckerman & Heggestad, 1997). However some researchers argue that only the cognitive ability alone cannot explain the difference in academic performance and the personal traits also plays an important role(Chamorro-Premuzic & Furnham, 2006). It has been argued that the intellectual ability mostly defines about what the student can do, whereas on the other hand the personal traits show what the student will learn in future(Ackerman, Bowen, Beier, & Kanfer, 2001).

Personal traits refers so the difference in the individual thinking, characteristics, behaving and feelings. On the basis of the previous research it can be said most of the studies on personalities are in two major areas. First, differences in the individual characteristics such as; irritability or the sociability. Second the different parts of an individual which comes together. One of the most used models for personality traits is the “Five Factor Model”. To find the relationship between the personal traits, academic performance and intellectual ability many previous researchers have used different techniques and correlation analysis one of them. Researcher such as (Steel, 2007; Vermetten, Lodewijks, & Vermunt, 2001) found that academic performance and personality traits are positively correlated. Similarly the relationship between intellectual ability and the academic performance has also been examined. Studies by (Klassen, 2004; Noftle & Robins, 2007) supports the relationship between the cognitive ability and the academic performance. Furthermore some scholars also studied the relationship between the intellectual ability and the personal traits conscientiousness.

From the previous research no unique conclusion can be drawn about the relationship between the academic performance, intellectual ability and the personal traits. So this study has been conducted where the main aim is to study the relationship among  these variables. Three different hypotheses will be tested on the basis of the collected data.

Table 1. Means and standard deviations for the Big Five personality traits, Intellectual Ability (Raven’s APM), and Academic Performance

Mean

Standard Deviation

Openness

3.57

0.84

Conscientiousness

4.22

1.05

Extraversion

3.58

0.88

Agreeableness

4.89

0.68

Neuroticism

3.32

0.83

Intellectual Ability (Ravens’ APM)

7.27

2.76

Academic Performance

76.27

10.90

Notes: The maximum score for the Big Five personality traits is 6. The maximum for the APM is 12. Academic Performance is expressed as a percentage.

The descriptive analysis of the variables shows that the average value for Ravens’ APM is 7.27 which have been used as a measure of intellectual ability. Similarly on an average student final grade is around 76 % which has beenused as the proxy of academic performance for the current research. To measure the personality trait conscientiousness fiver different parameters were used namely the OCEAN and descriptive statistics for OCEAN variables shows that average score for conscientiousness and agreeableness is better than the score of other parameters.

Personality traits and Academic Performance

Correlation shows whether two variables are related or not, and if they are related then it also shows the direction of the relationsip ;. The correlation value lies between +1 and -1. If The correlation value is near  +1, then it indicates the strong positive correlation, whereas the correlation value near  -1 indicates the strong negative correlation between the two variables. However correlation does not guarantee the causation.

Table 2 Results from correlation coefficients

Variables

Correlation coefficients

p-value

Intellectual ability and academic performance

0.25

0.02

Personality trait conscientiousness and academic performance

0.25

0.02

conscientiousness and intellectual ablility

-0.11

0.27

As shown in the table above the correlation coefficient between academic performance and intellectual ability is 0.25, which indicates that the relationship between the variable is positive. However the variables are weakly related as the coefficient is only 0.25. In terms of significance   p value is 0.02 which is less than 0.05, it can be said the correlation is statistically significant at 5 % significance level. Similarly correlation between personality trait conscientiousness and academic performance is also positive.  Since the personality trait conscientiousness was measured in terms of five different parameters, average value was taken into consideration to calculate the correlation. The positive correlation indicates that if one variable increase another variable will also increase. However the low value of correlation coefficient shows that the relationship is weak. In terms of statistical significance the p value in this case is 0.02 which is less than 5 %  so the correlation is significant at 5 % significance level.  Lastly the correlation between the conscientiousness and intellectual ability is negative which suggest that the relation between these two variables is negative. The p value of 0.27 indicates that the correlation coefficient is not statistically significant.

Figure 1 Scatter plot between Intellectual ability and academic performance

As the scatter plot shows the relations between the variables is upward sloping, however it is not strong. Similar results were shown by the correlation coefficient also.

Figure 2 Scatter plot between personality trait conscientiousness

In this case also  academic performance and personality trait conscientiousness are positively related as the plot is upward sloping.

Figure 3 Scatter plot between intellectual ability and conscientiounsness

Finally the scatter plot between intellectual ability and the conscientiousness is downward sloping, indicating the negative relationship between the two variables.

The main aim of this research is to study the the relationship between the between conscientiousness, ,  academic performance and intellectual ability. To find the relationship descriptive and the correlation analysis was performed. Results from the descriptive analysis shows that average score for neuroticism was the lowest among the Five Factor Model parameters whereas the score for agreeableness was highest. The average score of intellectual score was also higher than the half level mark. The academic performance indicator also shows that on an average student score 76.26 % marks.

Analysis of collected data

Similarly correlation results shows that with increase in the score of the personal traits the academic performance also increases as the correlation between those variable is positive and significant. As per the results teachers/professors will be able to improve the academic performance of the students if they focus on improving the score in the five factor model. This results are in line with the previous studies of (Klassen, 2004; Steel, 2007) who also found positive relationship. Similarly the positive correlation between the personality trait conscientiousness and the academic performance shows that personality factors also play an important role. This also proves that cognitive abilities are not the only factors affecting the academic performance. Similar results were found in the previous research by (Chamorro-Premuzic & Furnham, 2006; LAckerman & Heggestad, 1997). However one should note that in the current research the correlation is not so strong. Lastly the correlation results between the conscientiousness and intellectual ability shows negative correlation indicating that increase in one variable will lead to decrease in the other variable. However the correlation coefficient is not statistically significant.

The proposed hypothesis at the beginning of the research can be tested based on the correlation results. On the basis of the correlation coefficients and the p value it can be said that the results support the first two hypotheses. For the third hypothesis results only partially support the hypothesis. This is because the there is negative relationship between intellectual ability and conscientiousness; however the correlation coefficient is not  significant. In addition results from the current research are in line with most of the results found by the previous scholars and these results can be used in the future research also. In addition the negative relationship between intellectual ability and conscientiousness need further analysis Also two of the correlation coefficients are statistically significant, so results can also be generalized for larger population. 

References

Ackerman, P. L., Bowen, K. R., Beier, M. E., & Kanfer, R. (2001). Determinants of individual differences and gender differences in knowledge. Journal of Educational Psychology, 93, 797–825.

Bors, D. A., & Stokes, T. L. (1998). ). Raven’s advanced progressive matrices: Norms for first-year university students and the development of a short form. Education and Psychological Measurement, 58, 382–398.

Chamorro-Premuzic, T., & Furnham, A. (2006). Intellectual competence and the intelligent personality: A third way in differential psychology. Review of General Psychology, 10, 251–267.

Klassen, R. M. (2004). Optimism and realism: A review of self-efficacy from a cross culturalAnswer:perspective. International Journal of Psychology, 39, 205–230.

LAckerman, P., & Heggestad, E. D. (1997). Intelligence, personality, and interests: Evidence for overlapping traits. Psychological Bulletin, 121, 219–245.

Noftle, E., & Robins, R. W. (2007). Personality predictors of academic outcomes: Big Five correlates of GPA and SAT scores. Personality Processes and Individual Differences, 93, 116–130.

Schulze, R., & Roberts, R. D. (2006). Assessing the Big Five: Development and validation of the Openness Conscientiousness Extraversion Agreeableness Neuroticism Index Condensed (OCEANIC. Zeitschrift Fur Psychologie, 124, 133–14.

Steel, P. D. (2007). The nature of procrastination: A meta-analytic and theoretical review of quintessential self-regulatory failure. Psychological Bulletin, 133(1), 65–94.

Vermetten, Y. J., Lodewijks, H. G., & Vermunt, J. D. (2001). The role of personality traits and goal orientations in strategy use. Contemporar. Educational Psychology, 26, 149–17

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[Accessed 03 March 2024].

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