Aberrant personality tendencies and academic success throughout engineering education

T. Bipp (Corresponding author), Ad Kleingeld, Chris Snijders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Objective: In a longitudinal field study, we investigated the predictive associations
between six aberrant personality tendencies (schizotypal, avoidant, borderline, antisocial, narcissistic, obsessive‐compulsive) and academic success of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics students.
Method: Bachelor students of Industrial Engineering at a Dutch technical university (N = 432, Mage = 18.45; 87.3% male) filled out the NEO‐PI‐R and aberrant tendencies were operationalized by the five‐factor model (FFM) compound technique. Indicators of academic achievement (grades) and persistence (credit points earned per year, re‐enrollment, study duration) were made available by the academic office.
Results: Validities across the 3 years of the study program consistently support the role of two aberrant tendencies: Individuals with high antisocial tendency reached lower academic achievement, took longer to finish their study, and had a higher risk of dropout. The obsessive‐compulsive tendency was associated with higher grade‐point average, faster study progress, and higher retention rates and effects were still visible while controlling for known predictors (high school grades, Conscientiousness). Contrary to our expectations, we found no evidence for inverted U‐shaped relationships.
Conclusions: We used the compound technique for aberrant tendencies based on the FFM in the academic context and our findings support the importance of personality‐based psychopathological tendencies for academic success.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1-16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Personality
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 7 May 2019

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academic success
academic achievement
personality
engineering
study program
bachelor
drop-out
persistence
credit
education
student
school grade
mathematics
university
science
evidence

Keywords

  • aberrant personality tendencies
  • academic success
  • longitudinal validation
  • STEM students

Cite this

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Aberrant personality tendencies and academic success throughout engineering education. / Bipp, T. (Corresponding author); Kleingeld, Ad; Snijders, Chris.

In: Journal of Personality, 07.05.2019, p. 1-16.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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N2 - Objective: In a longitudinal field study, we investigated the predictive associationsbetween six aberrant personality tendencies (schizotypal, avoidant, borderline, antisocial, narcissistic, obsessive‐compulsive) and academic success of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics students.Method: Bachelor students of Industrial Engineering at a Dutch technical university (N = 432, Mage = 18.45; 87.3% male) filled out the NEO‐PI‐R and aberrant tendencies were operationalized by the five‐factor model (FFM) compound technique. Indicators of academic achievement (grades) and persistence (credit points earned per year, re‐enrollment, study duration) were made available by the academic office.Results: Validities across the 3 years of the study program consistently support the role of two aberrant tendencies: Individuals with high antisocial tendency reached lower academic achievement, took longer to finish their study, and had a higher risk of dropout. The obsessive‐compulsive tendency was associated with higher grade‐point average, faster study progress, and higher retention rates and effects were still visible while controlling for known predictors (high school grades, Conscientiousness). Contrary to our expectations, we found no evidence for inverted U‐shaped relationships.Conclusions: We used the compound technique for aberrant tendencies based on the FFM in the academic context and our findings support the importance of personality‐based psychopathological tendencies for academic success.

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