Gender, Personality and Academic Confidence

Paul Sander, Jesús de la Fuente

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Abstract: Within a socio-situational and socio-behavioural context, the relationships between the Big Five personality traits and the academic confidence of university students and how they differed by sex of the student was explored. Previous research has identified both Conscientiousness and academic confidence as being linked to university performance. In respect of sex, female students have been found to score higher on all of the Big Five measures, whereas the relationship between sex and academic confidence has been mixed. Using self-report measures of personality and academic confidence from 1523 Spanish students, it was found that the female students were more confident in their Grades, Studying and Attendance components of academic confidence and had higher scores for Conscientiousness, Agreeableness and Neuroticism personality measures. Multiple regression analysis found that personality predicts academic confidence with Conscientiousness being the trait that statistically loaded the most strongly. This research further confirms the validity of the Academic Behavioural Confidence scale, and suggests that measures of personality and especially academic confidence could be usefully used in student support situations to help students acquire the strategies and skills that lead to successful university study. It is suggested that further research in the area needs to include outcome or achievement measures and measures of hypothetical constructs such as personality and academic confidence that go beyond self-report measures.
Keywords: Sex differences; Academic confidence; Personality; University students
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


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