Date of Award

8-2003

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Psychology

Major Professor

John W. Lounsbury

Committee Members

Mary L. Erickson, Richard A. Saudargas, Eric Sundstrom

Abstract

The Five Factors of Agreeableness, Emotional Stability, Extraversion, Openness, and Conscientiousness, or some combination thereof, are increasingly used as predictors of job performance in business settings. Personality factors are also related to academic performance in college. Further extending this research into academic realms would provide useful information about early individual attributes that not only affect performance in school, but may also predict future issues in later job performance. Additionally, the use of more work or school specific constructs and related instruments may provide more information about performance than the broader five- factor structure. The contribution of Work Drive to the understanding of an individual’s performance in school and work was examined. Each of the Big Five personality variables, as measured by the Adolescent Personal Style Inventory (APSI), was significantly correlated with GPA. The correlation between the APSI Work Drive scale and GPA was .33, higher than for any of the Big Five variables. Work Drive was significantly correlated with both male and female GPA, although the relationship with female GPA was significantly higher than for males. After controlling for Big Five variables, a hierarchical multiple regression revealed Work Drive added significant incremental validity to the predictive model. Overall, Big Five variables and Work Drive accounted for 16% of the variance in GPA. Results were discussed regarding gender differences, grade- level differences, limitations and future implications of this study.

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