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Journal of Educational Psychology 1972, Vol. 63, No. 4, 398­404

PERSONALITY AND IQ MEASURES AS PREDICTORS OF

SCHOOL ACHIEVEMENT

K. BARTON, T. E. DIELMAN, AND R. B. CATTELL

University of Illinois

One hundred and sixty­nine sixth graders and 142 seventh graders were given the High School Personality Questionnaire, the Culture Fair Intelligence Test, and then standardized achievement tests 2 months later. Regression analyses were performed to predict achievement from the personality and IQ variables. Conclusions were: (a) the personality factor "conscientiousness" and IQ predicted achievement in all areas (p > .O1); (b) grade­specific factors were important. (For example, "warmheartedness" predicted achievement in all areas in the sixth grade only [p > .O1]). and (c) certain specific achievement areas had their own unique set of predictor variables. For example, in mathematics; "adventurousness" was related to achievement in both grades (p < .O1).

1 Requests for reprints should be sent to Keith Barton, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois, 525 Psychology Building, Champaign, IIlinois 6182O

Many studies (Edwards &; Tyler, 1965; Shinn, 1956; Wellman, 1957; Wolking, 1955) have related measures of IQ to measures of achievement in school. On the average, such studies indicated a correlation of approximately .7O between IQ and achievement. As this figure shows that only about 5O% of the variance in achievement scores can be accounted for in terms of IQ, several investigators looked elsewhere for other determining variables. Thus, in the 194Os and 195Os, attempts were made to link the prediction of achievement with personality variables. At first this attempt did not seem to meet with much success. Middleton and Guthrie (1959) summarized the results of many studies and concluded that "'the principal difficulty is probably the heterogeneity of the criterion, the antiquity of the personality measures used and the nonsummative or non­linear predictions [p. 66]." In the last 1O years or so, however, results have been more consistent and there is now quite a substantial amount of literature relating personality factors to school achievement. Warburton (1961; 1962a; 1962b) reviewed this area in detail. More recent work has been done by Cattell and Butcher (1968) and it is this work that provided the major impetus for the present study. Cattell and Butcher attempted to predict both school achievement and creativity from ability, personality, and motivation measures. The authors met with considerable success in indicating the importance of personality factors in school achievement and showed that the addition of such personality measures in the prediction equations resulted in significantly greater multiple Rs than when ability measures alone were used. In the attempt to link motivation measures to school achievement, however, results were disappointing on the whole. The correlations that did exist between motivation measures and achievement were generally low and insignificant.

The present study was designed to assess more fully the relative importance of ability and personality variables in the prediction of school achievement in a variety of areas. The specific hypotheses to be tested were (a) by using a combination of intelligence and personality variables to predict school achievement, better predictions would be obtained than when intelligence variables were used alone; and (b) achievement in different subject areas will be predicted best by a set of personality and intelligence variables unique to each area.
 


METHOD

Subjects

The subjects in the study consisted of 169 sixth and 142 seventh­grade students enrolled in Woodrow Wilson Junior High School in Decatur Illinois. Approximately an equal number of boys and girls were involved. Socioeconomic status ranged from upper­middle class to lower class in about equal proportions.

Measures

All subjects completed the Culture Fair intelligence Test and the High school Personality Questionnaire, in January, 197O. In addition, four standardized achievement tests (Educational Testing Service) in the areas of mathematics, science, social studies, and reading were given in March 197O, thus allowing a 2­month interval between the predictors and the criteria.

The High School Personality Questionnaire measures a set of 14 factorially independent dimensions of personality. A brief description of these factors is shown in Table 1.
Table 1.

Personality Factors Measured by the High School Personality Questionnaire

Low­score description Alphabetic designation of factor High­score description
Reserved 
A
Warmhearted
Low intelligence 
B
High intelligence
Emotionally unstable 
Emotionally stable
Undemonstrative 
D
Excitability
Submissive
E
Dominance
Desurgeney 
F
Surgency
Weak superego 
Strong superego
Shy 
H
Socially bold
Toughminded 
I
Tenderminded
Zestful
J
Reflective
Self­assured 
O
Apprehensive
Group dependency 
Q2 
Self ­sufficiency
Uncontrolled 
Q3 
Controlled
Relaxed
Q4
Tense

Procedure

All tests were computer-scored and correlations obtained among the personality, ability, and achievement variables.2 Multiple­regression analyses were performed to obtain measures of effectiveness of each variable and different combinations of variables in the prediction of school achievement. These are shown for each achievement test in Table 2 and 3. The correlations of individual personality and IQ variables with the achievement scores are shown in Table 4.

The regression analyses shown in Tables 2 and 3 were designed to test several hypotheses relating to the predictive value of different intelligence and personality variables in the area of school achievement.

Model 1 (Culture Fair Intelligence Test + High School Personality Questionnaire versus Culture Fair Intelligence Test) was designed to indicate whether an increase in prediction of achievement was made when the whole High School Personality Questionnaire was added to the Culture Fair In Test results.
 

2 The correlations among the personality and Culture Fair Intelligence Test measures for each grade may be obtained by ordering document NAPS 01794 from ASIS­National Auxiliary Publications Service, c/o CCM­Information Corporation, 866 Third Avenue, New York, New York 1OO22; remitting $2 for each microfiche or $5 for each photocopy.
 

Model 2 (Culture Fair Intelligence Test + High School Personality Questionnaire versus Culture Fair Intelligence Test + B) indicated whether the addition of just the non-intelligence factors in the High School Personality Questionnaire increased achievement prediction over and above that obtained when both the Culture Fair Intelligence Test and Factor B were used.

Model 3 ( [Culture Fair Intelligence Test + (High School Personality Questionnaire ­ B)] versus Culture Fair Intelligence Test) allowed for the assessment of the non-intelligence factors in the High School Personality Questionnaire over and above the effectiveness of the Culture Fair Intelligence Test alone.

Model 4 (Culture Fair Intelligence Test + B versus Culture Fair Intelligence Test) showed the effectiveness of adding Factor B to the only other intelligence measure, the Culture Fair Intelligence Test.

Models 5, 6, 7, and 8 indicated, respectively, the effectiveness in prediction of achievement of the High School Personality Questionnaire alone, the High School Personality Questionnaire non-intelligence factors alone, Factor B alone, and the Culture Fair Intelligence Test alone.

RESULTS

Before examining the regression analyses results, several inferences can be made from the correlations shown in Table 4. It should be noted that the correlations between any given personality factor and achievement score are of the same general magnitude and
TABLE 2
PREDICTION OF ACHIEVEMENT FROM IQ AND 
PERSONALITY MEASURES FOR GRADE 6A
Model Social studies Science Mathematics Reading
R2 p R2 p R2 p R2 p
Full Model Reduced Model Full Model Reduced Model Full Model Reduced Model Full Model Reduced Model
1 CFIQ + HSPQ versus CFIQ .42 .19 <.001 .37 .15  <.001 .53 .36 <.001 .50 .27 <.001
2 CFIQ + HSPQ versus CFIQ + B .42 .35 .1OO .37 .29 .131 .53 .47 .O9O .50 .41 .O16
3 CFIQ + (HSPQ­B) versus CFIQ .34 .19 .OO2 .27 .15 .027 .46 .36 .O17 .43 .27 <.001
4 CFIQ + B versus CFIQ .35  .19 <.001 .29 .15  <.001 .47 .36 <.001 .41 .27 <.001
5 HSPQ versus O .40  O.OO <.001 .35 O.OO  <.001 .44 O.OO <.001 .46 O.OO <.001
6 HSPQ­B versus O .23 O.OO <.001 .16 O.OO .02 .19 O.OO .002 .28 O.OO <.001
7 B versus O .33  O.OO <.001 .27 O.OO  <.001 .19 O.OO <.001 .36 O.OO <.001
8 CFIQ versus O .19 O.OO <.001 .15 O.OO  <.001 .36 O.OO <.001 .27 O.OO <.001
Note.­CFIQ = Culture Fair Intelligence Test; HSPQ = High School Personality Questionnaire. N = 169.
TABLE 3
PREDICTION OF ACHIEVEMENT FROM IQ AND PERSONALITY MEASURES FOR GRADE 7A
Social studies Science Mathematics Reading
R2 R2 R2 R2
Model Full Model Reducted model p Full Model Reducted model p Full Model Reducted model p Full Model Reducted model p
1 CFIQ + HSPQ versus CFIQ .38 .22 .004 .44 .29 .005  .55 .43 .004 .59 .42 <.001
2 CFIQ + HSPQ versus CFIQ + B .38  .29 .123 .44 .36 .258  .55 .46 .020 .59 .50 .105
3 CFIQ + (HSPQ­B) versus CFIQ .32  .22 .150 .37 .29 .205  .54 .43 .010 .52 .42 .018
4 CFIQ + B versus CFIQ .29  .22 <.001 .36 .29 <.001 .46 .43 .O1O .5O .42 <.001
5 HSPQ versus O .37 O.OO <.001 .40 .OO <.001 .43 O.OO <.001 .51 O.OO <.001
6 HSPQ­B versus O .20 O.OO .008 .21 O.OO .004 .27 O.OO <.001 .25 O.OO <.001
7 B versus O .25 O.OO <.001 .30 O.OO <.001  .28 O.OO <.001 .38 O.OO <.001
8 CFIQ versus O .22  O.OO <.001 .29 O.OO <.001  .43 O.OO <.001 .42 O.OO <.001
Note.­Abbreviations: CFIQ = Culture Fair Intelligence Test; HSPQ = High School Personality Questionnaire. a N = 142.

sign over all four types of achievement tests within any grade (ignoring nonsignificant correlations). Factors that are significantly related (p < .O1) to all four measures of achievement in both grades are the two measures of IQ (Factor B of the High School Personality Questionnaire and the Culture Fair Intelligence Test) and Factor G of the High School Personality Questionnaire, a measure of conscientiousness.

In the sixth grade, Factor A (warmhearted participation) is significantly related to all four measures of achievement (p < .O1). In addition, Factor H (adventurousness) is significantly related to achievement in mathematics (p < .O5) and Factor Q4 (anxiety) is significantly related (p < .O1) to social studies.

In the seventh grade, Factor C (emotional stability) is significantly correlated with mathematics and reading (p < .O1 ) and with social studies and science (p < .O5). Factor E (dominance) is significantly related to mathematics (p < .O1). once again, as in the sixth grade, Factor H is significantly related to mathematics (p < .O5). Factor I (toughmindedness) is significantly related to mathematics (p < .O1) and science (p < .O5), and Factor J (desire for group action) is significantly related to mathematics and science (p < .O1) and to social studies (p < .O5). Factor O (self­assuredness) is significantly related to all achievement measures as is Factor Q3 (exacting willpower).

In both the sixth and seventh grades, Model 1 indicates that the addition of the High School Personality Questionnaire to the Culture Fair Intelligence Test results in a significant increase (p < .O1) in the amount of variance accounted for in achievement in all four areas. In many cases this involves a doubling of the variance. Model 2 indicates that in the sixth grade, adding the non-intelligence factors of the High School Personality Questionnaire to the Culture Fair Intelligence Test and Factor B results in increased power of prediction for reading only (p < .O5). However, at the seventh grade this is true for both reading and mathematics (p < .O5). Model 3 indicates that even if only the non-intelligence factors are added to the Culture Fair Intelligence Test a significant increase (p < .O5) in variance is obtained in the sixth grade but this is only true for mathematics and reading in the seventh grade. The significance of just using the non-intelligence factors of the High School Personality Questionnaire alone is given by Model 6, and the tables show that in both grades and in all achievement areas this is significant (p < .O5). The effectiveness of the whole High School Personality Questionnaire is revealed in Model 5 and one can see that it is highly significant in both grades and for all subjects (p < .OO1). Models 7 and 8 show that in all grades and subjects each of the two measures of intelligence significantly predict achievement (p < .OO1), and it is interesting to note the Culture Fair Intelligence Test is superior to Factor B in the seventh grade for mathematics, whereas Factor B is preferable in the sixth grade for both social studies and science. Model 4 demonstrates that adding Factor B to the Culture Fair Intelligence Test results in a significant increase (p < .OO1) in prediction for all subjects and grades. This result is not too surprising as the Culture Fair Intelligence Test was designed to measure a different form of intelligence (fluid or innate) than was Factor B (a more crystalline measure influenced by environmental factors).

Finally, from the regression analyses, several conclusions can be made regarding which tests a teacher or counselor should use to best predict achievement in social studies, science, math, or reading.

Social Studies

The results indicate that measures of both IQ and personality are superior to either type of measure taken singly. However, a comparison between Models 1 and 5 indicates that the High School Personality Questionnaire taken alone (as it contains a measure of intelligence) is as effective as when it is taken in addition to the Culture Fair Intelligence Test. This is true for both sixth and seventh grades.
TABLE 4
CORRELATIONS OF PERSONALITY AND INTELLIGENCE VARIABLES WITH ACHIEVEMENT 
Variables A B C D E F G H I J O Q2 Q3 Q4 Culture Fair Intelligence Test
Grade 6(N= 169)
ETS Achievement tests
Social studies 21** 57** ­ O4 15 ­ O7 O5 25** O5 O2 OO 02 ­ O1 11 24** 44**
Science 20** 52** 03 ­ O2 ­ O8 ­ O1 20** O8 O8 O2 ­ O6 O4 O9 11 38**
Mathematics 26** 60** ­ O4 08 ­ O6 O9 28** 16* ­ O5 ­ O8 ­ O9 ­1O O6 11 60**
Reading 24** 60** O5 11 ­ O9 O6 41** O8 O7 ­ O1 ­ O6 ­ O3 11 12 52**
Grade 7 ((N = 142)
ETS Achievement tests
Social studies O8 50**** 18** O2 O5 O3 28** O8 ­ 14 ­ 17* ­ 19* ­ O6 24** ­ O4 47**
Science O7 55** 15** O6 11 1O 26** O6 ­ 15* ­ 20** ­ 19* ­ O8 15* ­ O2 53**
Mathematics O9 53** 23** ­ O5 22** O5 31** 17* ­ 21** ­23** ­ 31** ­ 13 19* ­ O3 66**
Reading O8 62** 21** OO 12 O3 40** 13 ­ O9 ­12 ­ 22** ­ O3 17* ­ O6 65**
Note.­Decimals are omitted.
* p < .O5. ** p < .O1.

Science

The results are essentially the same as for social studies in both grades, that is, the High School Personality Questionnaire provides a very adequate prediction instrument without the addition of the Culture Fair Intelligence Test.

Mathematics

Here the Culture Fair Intelligence Test measure considerably improves in its predictive value in both grades but personality variables (Model 6) are very important especially in the seventh grade. Model 1 compared to Model 5 indicates that in this area the best prediction of achievement can be obtained by using both the High School Personality Questionnaire and Culture Fair Intelligence Test measures together.

Reading

The results are essentially the same as for mathematics, that is, IQ and personality measures are both important and the Culture Fair Intelligence Test + High School Personality Questionnaire provides for the best prediction of achievement.

All in all, the results of this experiment are compatible with those found by Cattell and Butcher (1968). Intelligence quotient generally seems to account for approximately 20%­3O% of the variance in achievement scores but the addition of personality measures doubles this amount of the prediction.

Cross­Validation Analysis

As a cross­validation check, the sixth beta weights were applied to the seventh­grade data, and vice versa. The resultant R2 values are shown in Table 5. As can be seen in this table the original R2 values and those obtained from the beta weights from another grade are very similar in magnitude for any given achievement area. The full regression equations are given in Table 6.

CONCLUSIONS

From the correlational analyses, a personality description of high and low achievers in the four areas of social studies, science, mathematics, and reading can be obtained.
Table 5 Cross Validation Analysis
Sixth grade data Seventh grade data
Criteria R2 Original R2 using seventh grade data) F beta weights R2 Original R2 using sixth grade data) F beta weights
Social studies .42 .44 .38 .55
Science .37 .35 .44 .51
Mathematics .53 .49 .55 .68
Reading .50 .49 .59 .74

In the sixth and seventh grades it appears that the high achiever, in all the above four areas, is intelligent (Factor B and the Culture Fair Intelligence Test) and conscientious (Factor G). In addition, in the sixth grade, warmheartedness (Factor A) is also related to all four areas of achievement. In mathematics, it also helps if the child is adventurous (Factor H), and in social studies if he is a little anxious (Q4).

In the seventh grade it appears that Factor A no longer plays such a large part in achievement but emotional stability (Factor C), the desire for group action (Factor J), self­assuredness (Factor O), and strong willpower (Factor Q3) now are significantly related to achievement in all areas. In science and mathematics the high achievers are toughminded (Factor I) and it helps in mathematics if their dominance (Factor E) scores are high.

In brief, it would seem that three main conclusions can be made in relating personality to achievement in the sixth and seventh grades.

1. There does seem to be a general concept of achievement which is consistently related to a set of personality and intelligence measures over all four achievement areas. This set of variables includes IQ, and Factors B and G.

2. There are certain personality factors which follow a developmental sequence in their relationship to achievement. For example, in the sixth grade, Factor A is important but in the seventh grade it is not. In
TABLE 6
REGRESSION 
EQUATIONS
High School Personality Questionnaire variables
Achievement score Grade Culture Fair Intelligence Test A B C D E F G H I J O Q2 Q3 Q4
Social Studies 6 18 24 38 03 00 00 08 02 07 -04 10 00 21 14 26
7 17 07 34 05 10 -06 11 14 -10 -10 -05 -06 08 23 04
Science 6 16 21 42 01 -17 -06 06 -05 10 03 06 -08 23 00 18
7 24 05 33 03 12 -01 13 17 -15 -09 -07 -11 06 12 00
Mathematics 6 38 14 35 -13 -05 -04 05 04 17 -05 01 -10 12 -02 09
7 47 01 17 00 -01 06 -04 17 -05 -06 -07 -22 -04 02 13
Reading 6 25 13 36 08 00 -04 20 22 03 04 03 -05 19 03 09
7 37 03 34 09 06 00 06 28 01 02 06 -07 07 01 02

Note.­Decimal points have been

Grade 7, Factors C, J. O,, and Q3 become important although they were not in the sixth grade.

3. Some personality factors are specifically related to individual areas. Thus, in both the sixth and seventh grades, Factor H is related to achievement in mathematics.

REFERENCES

CATTELL, R. B., & BUTCHER, H. J. The prediction of achievement and creativity. Bobbs­Merrill,1968.

EDWARDS, M. P., & TYLER, L. E. Intelligence, creativity and achievement in a non­selective public junior high school. Journal of Educational psychology, 1965, 56, 96­99.

MIDDLETON, G., & GUTRIE, G. M. Personality syndromes and academic achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 1959, 60, 66­69.

SHINN, E. O.. Interest and intelligence as related to achievement in tenth grade. California Journal of Educational Research, 1956, 7, 217­22O.

WABBURTON, F. W. The measurement of personality. I. Educational Research, 1961, 4, 2­18.

WARBURTON, F. W. The measurement of personality. II. Educational Research, 1962, 4, 115­132.

WARBURTON, F. W. The measurement of personality. III. Educational Research, 1962, 4, 193­206.

WELLMAN, F. E. Differential prediction of high school achievement using single score and multiple factor tests of mental maturity. Personnel and Guidance Journal, 1957, 35, 512­517.

WOLKING, W. D. Predicting academic achievement with the differential aptitude and P.M.A. tests. Journal of Applied Psychology, 1955,39,115118.

(Received January 21, 1971)