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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2007 Jul;93(1):116-30.

Personality predictors of academic outcomes: big five correlates of GPA and SAT scores.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8686, USA.


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. ((c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved).

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