Investigating personality factors and student attitudes

Christine Perakslis, Johnson & Wales University

Abstract

Higher education is considered a key contributor to the development of group skills in members of the workforce (Newman, Couturier, & Scurry, 2004). Student groups typically do not function effectively on their own; negative experiences are often the outcome (Huff, Cooper, & Jones, 2002). A need existed to investigate personality assessments to influence group experiences. Positive group experiences yield such benefits as retention, and higher levels of student satisfaction (Amato & Amato, 2005).^ The purpose of this study was to investigate differences between and among personality factors and student attitudes toward group experiences. The primary research questions were: (1) What are the differences between and among personality factors and student attitudes toward group experiences? and; (2) What are the differences between and among personality factors and freshman attitudes toward group experiences?. This study took place with hospitality students at a midsize, private university in the Northeast.^ This quantitative, descriptive study employed two instruments: one measured student attitudes toward group experiences; the second measured personality factors utilizing the Predictive Index. Descriptive statistics, including measures of central tendency, measures of variability, and frequency counts were run and t-tests were used to determine if there were significant differences in attitudes toward group experiences based on personality factors.^ Hospitality students (N=246) with an A-low factor (low levels of dominance) reported significantly more positive attitudes about the value of group experiences (M=3.58, t=2.61, p=.01, d=.33) than those without the factor ( M=3.26). Freshman students (n=98) with a C-high factor (high levels of patience) reported significantly less positive attitudes about trustworthy attributes in others (M=2.99, t=-3.21, p=.01, d=.65) than those without the factor (M=3.50); significantly less positive attitudes about benefits of groups (M=3.75, t=-1.97, p=.05, d=.40) than those without the factor ( M=3.99); and significantly less positive attitudes about valuing other students (M=3.34, t=-2.37, p=.01, d=.47) than those without the factor ( M = 3.70).^ This study provided an institution with proposed practices designed to influence group experiences positively based on findings about student attitudes when taking into account personality. This research responded to recommendations in the literature by proposing practices using personality assessments to improve group experiences. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Behavioral|Education, Leadership|Education, Educational Psychology|Psychology, Personality

Recommended Citation

Christine Perakslis, "Investigating personality factors and student attitudes" (January 1, 2010). Dissertation & Theses Collection. Paper AAI3390665.
http://scholarsarchive.jwu.edu/dissertations/AAI3390665

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