Date of Award


Document Type




First Advisor

Wilson McDermut

Second Advisor

Raymond DiGiuseppe

Third Advisor

Marlene Sotelo-Dynega


The relationships between personality, learning styles, and their impact on academic achievement were explored. College students from St. John’s University in Queens, NY (91 undergraduates) completed the International Personality Item Pool Representation of the NEO PI-R (IPIP-NEO), the Inventory of Learning Processes (ILP), and reported their grade point average (GPA). Two of the Big Five traits, conscientiousness and extraversion, were positively correlated with all four learning styles (synthesis analysis, methodical study, fact retention, and elaborative processing), whereas neuroticism was negatively related with all four learning styles. In addition, openness and agreeableness were positively correlated with synthesis-analysis. Conscientiousness was the only personality factor positively correlated with GPA. The Big Five together explained 9% of the variance in GPA, and learning styles explained an additional 7%, which suggests both personality and learning styles contribute to academic achievement. Additionally, the relationship between conscientiousness and GPA was suppressed by elaborative processing. These results suggest that being dutiful and hardworking diminishes academic performance when students combine this work ethic with relating information to their personal experiences. Implications of these results are discussed in the context of school psychology and curriculum design.

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