ERIC Number: ED550940
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Abstractor: As Provided
The Effects of Personality on Perceptions of Serendipity in College Students
Kahn, Lance W.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, North Carolina State University.
The study explores the potential relationship between personality and perceptions of serendipitous influence on academic and career decision-making. The study was conducted with 107 participants who were enrolled full-time at a rural, church affiliated private college in eastern North Carolina. The participants represented an accurate cross-section of the college in terms of age (mean = 21), sex (72% female, 28% male) and ethnicity (majority white, 26% African American, 7% Hispanic, 2% Native American, 1% Asian). Personality was defined as the Big Five Personality Factors and measured by the NEO-FFI-3. Perceptions of serendipity were measured using the Serendipitous Event Inventory (SEI), which was developed specifically for this study through a focus group and pilot study with participants from the same college. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted on the inventory resulting in a 14-factor solution accounting for 63% of the variance. The results indicate that there is a statistically significant difference between male and female perceptions of serendipitous influence with males reporting a greater number of serendipitous influences on average. With all data combined there was no significant relationship between personality factors and the sum of positive responses on the SEI. A correlation was then conducted between the personality factors and serendipity factors resulting in five weak, but statistically significant relationships. The data was then separated by sex and the personality factors were again compared to perceptions of serendipity resulting in moderate (r = 0.38) relationships between both Agreeableness and Conscientiousness and the sum of positive responses on the SEI. In addition, 44 weak and moderate relationships between personality factors and serendipity factors when data was separated by sex. Aside from the Agreeableness and Conscientiousness factors, no consistent pattern of relationships emerged. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
Descriptors: Higher Education, Personality, Personality Traits, College Students, Correlation, Student Attitudes, Discovery Learning, Age Differences, Private Colleges, Rural Schools, Church Related Colleges, Decision Making, Career Choice, Gender Differences, Ethnicity, Measures (Individuals), Focus Groups, Factor Analysis, Statistical Significance
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina