Objective: To examine the correlation between personality and learning styles of students with their academic performance.
Study Design: Descriptive correlational study.
Patients and Methods: After informed consent, data was collected from 136 final year students of a business administration course using the self-report ‘Learning Styles Questionnaire’ and ‘Big Five Inventory’. The academic performance was recorded using end of the semester grade point average (GPA). Data was analyzed using SPSS 20.
Results: The mean age of participants was 20.74 years with mean GPA being 2.72. Of all, 70 (51.4%) were females and 66 (48.5%) were males. The participants were found to use all the four learning types namely activist, theorist, reflector and pragmatist. The most common combination of learning style preferences in decreasing order of frequency were: Theorist/Reflector, Theorist/Pragmatist, Reflector/Pragmatist and Pragmatist/Activist. Significant positive correlation (r=±0.243, p<0.01) was found between theorist learning style and academic performance while the rest of the learning styles were not significantly correlated with the academic performance of the students. As regards personality domains, the zero-order Pearson correlations showed significant positive correlation between conscientiousness and academic performance (r=0.413, p<0.01) whereas Neuroticism and GPA exhibited a negative correlation (r=-0.278, p<0.01).
Conclusion: The students using predominantly theorist learning style fared better in end semester GPA. Conscientious students had better grades, while higher level of neuroticism was correlated with poor academic performance. Facilitating specific educational needs of students based on their personality and learning styles may improve academic performance.
Keywords : Academic performance, Educational psychology, Learning, Personality.