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This article titled ‘The Relationship between the Big Five Personality Traits and Academic Motivation’, written by psychologists Komarraju and Karau, sets out to analyse the potential of personality traits in the pursuit of academic achievement for both learners and lecturers. The authors present a rationale of perception that attaches academic success to personality in their belief that this pivotal basis will be imperative and helpful in attitude and behavioural modification in classrooms. The authors were keen to note that the big five personality traits were key role players to achieving academic success. My overall impression is that the authors have interpreted their argument in a credible way while employing a logical and intelligible technique.
In this article, the authors have relied on previous research and their own experiment to realise the truth of the outcome. Komarraju and Karau contend that positive traits equal positive academic results whilst negative personality traits equals negative academic results. Instructors and parents may find this article useful as they attempt to help their children attain good grades as would students independently benefit from adopting and trying to restructure their dispositions in their quest for success. Though lacking, new and informative knowledge in this field, the article satisfactorily justifies the findings and clearly relates it to its claim. It sets out clear criteria to predicting performance. The author has been able to credit prudence and constructive temperaments to impressive GPA’s which gives rise to the authors’ key claim that; “Academic success is strongly influenced by individual differences in motivation and achievement.”
In summary, I believe that the authors’ position that-the big five personality traits are key players in achieving academic success-has been adequately justified. Instructors and learners may find this empowering as they struggle to have their endeavours bear fruition, after reading and understanding this article. Komarraju and Karau have listed more authors for more details and have allowed a room for critic and further supplementation of information from future research.
The main aim of the article was to establish how different personality traits among students affect their performance and what personality combinations are best suitable to achieve academic success, (Komarraju, and Karau, 2005). The hypothesis in use was majorly dependent on the use of independent variables and dependent variables to establish if truly the cause and effect. For example, conscientiousness was predicted to be an affirmative relation to GPA and intrinsic motivation and a negative trait to amotivation. Openness was gauged positively upon intrinsic motivation since individuals who exhibit such a trait share a strong intellectual curiosity. Extroverted individuals were predicted to be extrinsically motivated while agreeable students were expected to be more extrinsically motivated and less amotivated. Those considered high on neuroticism were predicted to be low in intrinsic motivation and high amotivation with lower GPAs. The individual dispositions were considered as the Independent variables while the results possibly similar to prediction were considered the dependent variable.
The study used a correlation and regression analysis to interpret their statistical data into meaningful information which formed the basis of the results of the findings, (Costa & McCrae, 1992). The study included a population sample size of 308 undergraduate students from a variety of campus majors. It is also prudent to note that the study was conducted in an open access state university which has a reasonably broad range of individual differences unlike elite or professional schools. I find this a suitable choice to eliminate any sort of biasness.
The results did not reveal any dramatic expectations than predicted but affirmed the truth of prediction. All the independent variables responded positively to expectation. Conscientiousness revealed to be the most positive trait in achieving academic success. Students with such traits or those with a combination of openness and agreeableness in addition to conscientiousness had better GPAs than those who possessed qualities such as extroversion and neuroticism, (Duckworth et al., 2007). Neuroticism was the worst trait in the search for academic motivation and achievement and such students are recommended professional help to help battle their negative disposition. Extroverted students only seemed to engage in studies as a means to an end.
The study concluded that personality traits were key factors in explaining academic success and motivation. It also credits its attempts in forming a basis and documenting the direct relationship between academic success, personality, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
I would credit the research for accuracy in prediction and results. This makes the study credible and noteworthy. In addition, it provides suggestions on to how students’ performance and motivation can be improved. Another strength in the article is the choice of the school used. Open access institutions provide an array of personality differences which is a good choice in eliminating prejudice. Elite, graduate and professional schools are highly selective and may require a different approach of study to determine success.
The major weakness of this paper is that no proven GPAs were used only the statement of the students. This makes the paper flawed because students could have falsified the information and there was no way of ascertaining the truth of the information that they were providing. (Grzegorek et al., 2004 and Ruban et al., 2003). Another weakness of the paper is that it fully claims the role of the big five to be key influencers of academic motivation and success. In my opinion, i think the big five personality traits could have an origin to a particular life event and thus students are not constantly held in that predisposition; specifically between the ages of 18 and 24 as used in the study, (Srivatsava, John, Gosling, and Potter 2003). I also think that other traits or elements could be essential in determining motivation and success.
I would highly recommend the article for instructors and parents so that they may help students overcome challenges while dealing with their individual characters. I would as well encourage students to read the article to help them identify themselves and restructure their attitudes and perception.
The authors did a great and thorough job on the article; however, I see no major contribution that it has bought up. Such a study has been conducted previously and similar results brought forth. There are no new important details that the authors provide to clearly distinguish their article from others. All in all, conscientiousness is evidently a trait to uphold and this should be encouraged among all students. Openness and agreeableness are temperaments to be proposed in the quest for academic motivation and success. On the other hand, students with extroversion and those with neuroticism should not be overlooked, but professional assistance should be at their disposal. This will help them overcome negative traits so as to consequently be motivated in class and achieve academic success.
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