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ERIC Number: EJ1175942
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Apr
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0663
Openness and Postsecondary Academic Performance: A Meta-Analysis of Facet-, Aspect-, and Dimension-Level Correlations
Gatzka, Thomas; Hell, Benedikt
Journal of Educational Psychology, v110 n3 p355-377 Apr 2018
Openness to experience has often been linked to academic achievement because it subsumes traits such as curiosity, open-mindedness, thoughtfulness, and intellectuality. However, recent meta-analyses have reported rather small true correlation estimates. In this article, we first provide a comprehensive rationale for a relationship between openness and academic performance with a distinct focus on specific components of openness (i.e., facets and aspects). We then extend prior research by presenting our own meta-analysis (k = 28, N = 5,861) on the relationship between 6 openness facets and postsecondary academic performance. Furthermore, we report results from meta-analytic structural equation modeling (k = 19, N = 3,627) that describe the effects of 2 openness aspects, which form an intermediate construct-level between dimension and facets, on academic achievement. Finally, we investigate 2 possible moderators in a dimension-level meta-analysis (k = 149, N = 50,449). Overall, our findings suggest that (a) only 2 openness facets are positive predictors of academic performance, (b) the 2 openness aspects have contrary effects on academic achievement, and (c) the correlation between openness and academic performance is moderated by openness scales and academic majors. We conclude that the true potential of openness for predicting academic performance is concealed within the heterogeneity of the construct and discuss according perspectives for future research. Educational Impact and Implications Statement This review suggests that being open to new experiences might both facilitate and hinder academic achievement in higher education. We found intellectual components of openness to be positively related with academic performance, whereas senso-aesthetic components showed a contrary effect. Furthermore, we conclude that openness is more important in learning environments that facilitate and reward critical reasoning, pluralistic perspectives and original argumentation than in environments that emphasize fact learning and definite solutions. Overall, our findings help to understand how and when openness as a fundamental personality trait is linked to students' performance in postsecondary education.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A