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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Personality and GPA: The Predictive Roles of Academic Identity and College-Going Culture

  • Author(s): Burbidge, Alysia
  • Horton, Calen
  • Murray, Carolyn
  • et al.

Social psychology has established a theoretical relationship between personality and academicperformance, but it has yet to identify the process by which personality influences real-worldoutcomes, such as grade point average. This paper proposes a model that explicates academicidentity’s role as a mediator in the relationship between the Big Five Factors of personality andcollege GPA. Specifically, the current paper focuses on the ability of personality to predict academicidentity. A college-going culture, or the extent to which a student’s high school cultivates a procollegeenvironment, is hypothesized to moderate the relationship between personality and academicidentity. To investigate the hypothesis, self-report measures related to personality and academicswere administered to 370 university students. Results generally supported the model, suggesting aprocess by which students’ personalities effect their academic attitudes. Educators are encouragedto foster college-going cultures which they can use to help students who are predisposed to adoptharmful academic identities.

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