Cognitive and Personality Factors Predict Academic Performance, Keith Miller


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Cognitive and Personality Factors Predict Academic Performance, Keith Miller

  1. 1. Pairing Cognitive and Personality for Predicting Academic Performance<br />Keith Miller College of Staten Island, CUNY Florette Cohen, Ph.D. The College of Staten Island, CUNY<br />Abstract<br />Regression: Coefficients<br />Hypotheses<br />Results<br /> This correlational study aimed to pair personality and cognitive factors in order to predict academic performance as measured by grade point average (GPA). Fluid intelligence (IQ) was measured by Cattell’s Culture Fair Intelligence Test (CFIT), and the Big Five personality factors were measured by Goldberg’s International Personality Item Pool (IPIP). I hypothesized that when people score high on intellect, conscientiousness, and IQ they will possess a high GPA. Further, I hypothesized that the CFIT will show no bias in testing between genders and ethnicities. Results were based on scores from 126 participants and indicated that GPA was predictable when intellect and conscientiousness interacted. Intellect was found to have a positive significant correlation with overall college GPA and a positive significant correlation with IQ.<br />HI: Participants with high conscientiousness, high intellect, and high IQ will possess high academic performance measured by grade point average (GPA).<br />H2:The Cattell’s Culture Fair Intelligence Test (CFIT) will show no bias between genders and no bias between ethnicities when testing IQ. <br />Measures<br />The graph above outlines the diverse ethnicities of the 126 participants. White-non-Hispanic = 68 (54%), Asian-Americans = 13 (10.3%), Latino-Americans = 23 (18.3%), African-Americans = 9 (7.1), and West Indian = 1 (.8%).<br />Dependent variable : Overall College Grade Point Average<br />Ϯ p< .1, *p< .05, **p< .05 <br />Cattell’s Culture Fair Intelligence Test (CFIT):The CFIT has been found to be free of gender biases and is deemed the best available measure of fluid intelligence. CFIT is a 12minute 30second timed non-verbal test that measures fluid intelligence (IQ). <br />Discussion <br />Means & standard deviations<br /> This study found that intellect is correlated with academic performance but the predictive ability of intellect on academic performance is positively mediated when paired with conscientiousness. Hypothesis one was partially supported by the findings. (CFIT) indicated no significant correlation between gender and (IQ); and no significant correlation between ethnicity and (IQ). These findings support previous research that gender differences did not exist when testing fluid intelligence using the CFIT. Hypothesis two was supported due to these findings. This study has shown the CFIT to exhibit no bias in cognitive testing which is a quality that is highly sought after in the area of testing intelligence because other cognitive ability tests have been shown to have biases that negatively affect minority groups.<br />Questions from CFIT<br />Introduction<br />Correlations<br />Cognitive ability tests (CAT): Are the strongest predictors of performance with a mean validity coefficient at .30. These tests produce large score differences between racial groups. Cognitive ability scores for Blacks are found to be one standard deviation lower than Whites and Hispanics cognitive ability scores have been found to be two thirds of a standard deviation lower than Whites.<br />Five Factor Model (FFM): This model has been found to be stable and robust across different frameworks and models. Research has demonstrated that the five-factor model is relatively free of biases, and cross-culturally valid.<br />Grade point average (GPA): Used in selecting prospective employees at the entry-level. GPA has a corrected validity correlation in the mid .30s when predicting job performance. GPA is correlated with starting salary in the mid .20s. <br />.<br />Selected References<br />International Personality Item Pool (IPIP): 70 items - measuring Big Five personality traits: Extroversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, Intellect. (<br />Colom, R., Garcia-Lopez, O., (2002). Sex differences in fluid intelligence among high school graduates. Personality and Individual Differences, 32, 445-451.<br />Hough, L.M., Oswald, F.L., Ployhart, R.E. (2001).Determinants, detection and amelioration of <br />adverse impact in personnel selection procedures: issues, evidence and lessons learned. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 9, 152-194.<br />Roth, P.L., Bobko, P. (2000). College grade point average as a personnel selection device: ethnic group differences and potential adverse impact. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85, 399-406. <br />Sackett, P.R., Schmitt, N., Ellingson, J.E., Kabin, M.B. (2001). High-stakes testing in employment, credentialing, and higher education: prospects in a post-affirmative-action world. American Psychologist, 56, 302-318.<br />The correlation between gender and IQ was not significant. The table above shows a significant positive correlation between Intellect and IQ at the .05 level*. Additionally, there is a significant positive correlation between Intellect and GPA at the .01 level**. <br />Questions from IPIP<br />Conscientiousness<br /><ul><li>I am always prepared. [SD] [D] [N] [A] [SA]
  2. 2. I pay attention to details. [SD] [D] [N] [A] [SA]
  3. 3. I get chores done right away. [SD] [D] [N] [A] [SA]</li></ul>Correlations<br />Intellect<br /><ul><li>I love to read challenging material. [SD] [D] [N] [A] [SA]
  4. 4. I am good at many things. [SD] [D] [N] [A] [SA]
  5. 5. I have difficulty understanding abstract ideas. [SD] [D] [N] [A] [SA]</li></ul>Ethnicity & CFIT (IQ) p= .759ns; Ethnicity & GPA p=.897ns; CFIT & GPA p= .348ns<br />The table above shows the absence of correlation between ethnicity and CFIT which is evidence that the CFIT is free of bias between ethnicities. The CFIT was not significantly correlated with GPA.<br />