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There is an international concern on academic performance of students (Romerhausen, 2013). Globally and Nigeria in particular, improving the quality of education and investment on educational and human resources are regarded as effective factors paving the way for a country’s pervasive development. Improvement of students’ academic performance is also among the basic goals of educational planning. And it’s through academic performance that students can fully actualize their talents and capabilities in line with educational goals. Notably, academic performance is considered as one important criteria of educational quality. Therefore, without doubt academic performance presently is a major issue among students, teachers, parents, school administrators, and the community at large. Researchers have made several attempts to unravel the complexities surrounding academic performance (Ikpi, Enya & Johnny, 2014). For example, psychology researchers have put forward a lot of reasons why disparities in achievement among young people exist (Ikpi, Enya & Johnny, 2014). As noted by these researchers, a lot of attention had been paid to external factors such as type of school, teaching methods, school location, instructional materials, quality of lecturers and their experience.
Academic performance is considered an intellectual competence indicator. Opinions vary as to why some students excel academically while others appear to be underachievers. As a result, many psychologists have consistently attempted to identify the major predictors of individual academic performance. Academic performance on examinations is the result of interactions among multiple variables such as learning. Learning occupies a significant role in the life of students (Mangal & Mangal 2009). It means modification of behaviour (Dutt, 2007) that is measured using the yardstick of academic performance. People have different learning styles that are reflected in different academic strengths, weaknesses, skills, and interests. It has often been asserted that academic performance can be explained largely by factors such as individual initiative, effort, and merit (Timothy, & Kammeyer-Mueller, 2007)
Although education is not the only road to success in the working world, much effort is made to identify, evaluate, track and encourage the progress of students in schools (Bell, 2017). Parents care about their child’s academic performance because they believe good academic results will provide more career choices and job security (Bell, 2017). Similarly, schools invested in fostering good academic habits for the same reason. For example they often influence concerns about school’s reputation and the possibility of monetary aid from government institutions, which shows the overall academic performance of the school.
In the past, academic performance of secondary school students was not measured using the present form of using numerical method. Teachers’ observations made up the bulk of the assessment, and today’s summation, or numerical, method of determining how well a student is performing is a fairly recent invention. Grading systems came into existence in the United States in the late Victorian period and were initially criticized due to high subjectivity. However, performance results also allow students to be ranked and sorted on a scale that is numerically obvious, minimizing complaints by holding teachers and schools accountable for the components of every grade.
Academic performance for some researchers is defined by students’ reporting of past semester CGPA/GPA and their expected GPA for the current semester. The grade point average or GPA is now used by most of the tertiary institutions as a convenient summary measure of the academic performance of their students. The GPA is a better measurement because it provides a greater insight into the relative level of performance of individuals and different group of students.
Academic performance is the extent to which a student has achieved their short or long-term educational goals (Ward, Stoker, & Murray-Ward 1996). Cumulative GPA and completion of educational degrees such as High School and bachelor’s degrees represent academic performance.
Academic performance is commonly measured through examinations or continuous assessments but there is no general agreement on how it is best evaluated or which aspects are most important — procedural knowledge such as skills or declarative knowledge such as facts (Bhagat 2013) . Furthermore, there are inconclusive results over which individual factors successfully predict academic performance, elements such as test anxiety, environment, motivation, and emotions require consideration when developing models of school performance (Mosche, 1998). But individual differences in academic performance have been linked to differences in intelligence and personality (Sophie, Benedikt, & Tomas 2011). Students with higher mental ability as demonstrated by IQ tests and those who are higher in conscientiousness (linked to effort and achievement motivation) tend to achieve highly in academic settings. A recent meta-analysis suggested that mental curiosity (as measured by typical intellectual engagement) has an important influence on academic achievement in addition to intelligence and conscientiousness (Sophie, Benedikt, & Tomas 2011). Cognitive factors or learning factors are the extent to which a person’s individual capabilities can influence their academic or learning performance. These factors include cognitive functions like attention, memory, and reasoning. Undergraduate students with high academic performance present mature learning beliefs, and a strong knowledge integration (Brenda Ann Marie 2014). Research has also found that students with higher academic performance, motivation and persistence use intrinsic goals rather than extrinsic ones (Leslie & Ingrid 2013). Furthermore, students who are motivated to improve upon their previous or upcoming performance tend to perform better academically than peers with lower motivation (Barry, & Rhonda 2011). In other words, students with higher need for achievement have greater academic performance.
As noted earlier, research showed that there are also non-cognitive factors, personality for example responsible for high academic performance. Personality is now a relevant factor studied in relationship with academic performance. For some researchers another major factor that is believed to be responsible for academic performance in students is their personality traits.
There is some evidence that personality intricately tied with individual differences in learning styles, and it is recommended that educators go beyond the current emphasis on cognition and include this variables (type A and type B personalities) in understanding academic behaviour (Komarraju, Karau, Schmeck, & Alen 2011).
Personality is the sum total of the behavioural and mental characteristics that are distinctive of an individual (Colamn, 2009). It refers to individuals’ unique and relatively stable patterns of behaviour, thoughts and feelings (Baron, 2006). The nature of individuals varies, the personality of the individuals too varies and this is the law of nature and this varying nature has a tremendous impact on making life a success or a failure, including the life of the students.
Academic performance criteria differ substantially and may have conflicting relationships with the independent variable, personality types (Trapmann et al., 2007, Clark and Schroth, 2010; Komarraju & Karau, 2005). Extraversion (type A personality) and introversion (type B personality) factors may relate in different ways to performance, given different aspects of it (Komarraju & Karau, 2005). Extraversion-Introversion (EI) represents the process through which a person is energized. Is the individual’s primary interest in the outer world of people and things or the inner world of ideas and concepts?
The multitude of individuals’ personality may be classified as introverts and extroverts, a classification originally made by Carl Jung, and reinforced by Eysenck. Although Eyesenck believes that the concepts of Introversion-Extroversion did not originate in Jung but had a 2000 years history in Philosophy and Medicine of Hippocrates and Galden that combined Biological Constitution and Psychology (Dandapandi, 2006). The theory of person-situation interaction predicts that the extrovert will adapt best when he is asked to collaborate with others and that the introvert will adapt best when she is asked to carry out tasks independently (Santrock, 2006). Extroverted individuals are outgoing, sociable and assertive; introverts are quiet and shy (Robbins, 2005). Extraverts prefer to be in the company of others while the introverts in being alone or with a chosen few. John Bearden places ‘extroversion and introversion’ as the first dimension, considering its significance and value.
Empirical studies confirm that personality contributes to personal achievement to at least some degree in education (e.g. Neuenschwander et al., 2013, Laidra et al., 2007), to decisions about the choice of academic major and profession (e.g. Borges & Gibson, 2005, Cano & Garton, 1994, Hartung et al., 2005, Dunning, 2001, Hinton & Stockburger, 1991, Sears et al., 1997, Ditiberio & Hammer, 1993, Borges & Savickas, 2002), to performance in vocational, professional and higher education (e.g. Borg & Shapiro, 1996, Borg & Stranahan, 2002a, Borg & Stranahan, 2002b, Ziegert, 2000, Ditiberio & Hammer, 1993).
The present study is aimed at studying the influence of personality type on academic performance of students. The study would yield findings, based on which academic performance of students could be improved in tune with their personality types as ‘research is directed towards the solution of a problem (Best & Kahn, 2001).
Personality can be defined as organized patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviors. It is consistency in a person’s way of being, that is his particular ways of perceiving, thinking, acting and reacting as a person (Hofstee, & Willem, 1994) accounted for this negative relationship; in other words, highly extroverted students are more likely to spend their time on social and extra-curricular activities in comparison to less extroverted students.
Some studies have indicated that academic performance is positively associated with extroversion (Laidra et al. 2007; Lounsbury et al. 2003a). According to Duckworth and Seligman (2005) extroversion is one of the Personality factors having the most interesting relationship with academic performance. Although Melissa, Sampo & Panonon (2007) found a negative relationship between these two variables, Chomoro & Furnham (2003a) reporting the reverse. Based on previous studies, Dunsmore (2005) relates higher levels of extroversion to higher academic performance among students (especially at lower academic levels), and to lower academic performance at higher educational levels. Such model of results might reflect transition from informal, interactional and class-oriented environment at elementary schools to a more academic, study-oriented and knowledge-based environment at high schools and college settings. Furnham, Zhang, & Chamoro, (2006) found a negative relationship between extroversion and achievement at higher education; they believed students’ interpersonal as well as intrapersonal skills accounted for this negative relationship; in other words, highly extroverted students are more likely to spend their time on social and extra-curricular activities in comparison to less extroverted students.
Although results of studies trying to predict academic performance have yielded different results, they have consistently pointed out the role of personality characteristics in academic performance (Paunonen & Ashton, 2001). Educators have always asked whether people’s personality characteristics can help them attain higher academic achievement.
Elements of personality type can influence outcomes on aptitude tests, which measure a student’s ability to learn (ie, future performance), as well as achievement tests, which identify what a student has learned. The correlation with the overall grade of the final academic year reveals that there is no significant relationship between extraversion and the performance during the entire final academic year. Hence, the relationship between extraversion and academic performance is controversial. Several studies have concluded that there is no reason to talk about a relationship between extraversion and academic performance (Heaven, Mak, Barry & Ciarrochi 2002; Ackerman & Heggestad 1997). Others suggest that extraversion is not clearly linked with academic performance or whether the correlation between these two variables is positive or negative. Studies have found both positive and negative correlations between this personality factors and academic performance. The inconsistency of extraversion can be explained by two ideas. First, extraversion can be a predictor of high academic performance because extraverts are more active, ask more questions, which can help them learn more effectively (Chamorro-Premuzic & Furnham 2005). Secondly, extraverts often have an active social life, and this can interfere with activities devoted to studying because the time spent for learning or documentation is reduced. For this reason, extraverts tend to have a higher number of absences in school. Introverts, by failing emphasis on socialization, have more time for themselves, time they can spend on studying (Chamorro-Premuzic & Furnham 2003, 2005]).
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The problem of underperformance/achievement has assumed a worrisome dimension in the Nigerian educational system. Desperate to make it anyhow, students have devised various illegal means to succeed in examinations, and academic activities even when they are not academically competent. And unfortunately, the system has buckled under the pressure. Examination malpractice has risen steadily to become a seemingly untameable monster. It is increasingly becoming difficult to equate competence of people with supposed academic performance as represented in their certificates. Many candidates are unable to defend the result they supposedly acquired honourably. And of course this has consistently led to inability to compete effectively in the job market which has become a serious issue. Several factors have been researched into in the past as to the cause of this social malaise, but there seem to be indications that some hidden factors may be responsible that needs unravelling. This desire to see this problem curbed gave rise to this study and the researchers’ aim is to see if there is a way in which the personality traits can help, especially from the perspective of the analytical and scientific approach of measurement and evaluation. The researcher has consequently chosen to explore this problem among the students. Academic performance among students has become crucial and can be very beneficial in career pursuit after school as well in repositioning the life of students. Over there have been stories of Nigerian students who performed excellently in various disciplines. But the percentage of these excellent performing students is still far compared to the teeming population of students in our country. Hence, one could imagine if these excellent students are of different personality. Therefore, the present study is aimed at examining the impact of personality traits on academic performance of students.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study is to find out whether; extrovert personality type and introvert personality type will significantly impact on academic performance of students.
OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Personality: This is defined in this study as the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character which can be extroverted or introverted as measured by type A behaviour scale developed by (Omoluabi 1997).
Academic Performance: This is operationalized as the extent to which a student has achieved in his/her educational goals for the period of the study as indicated by the student’s cumulative grade point.
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