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Literature Review: The Relationship Between the Big Five Personality Traits and Academic Motivation in University Students

The various studies have examined academic performance, focusing on academic achievement and not motivation; most of the motivation researches have focused on the middle, elementary, high school students forgetting the university students. (Zare et al.,2019) The research focuses on the academic issues related to university students’ motivation and personality, focusing on personality and learning, personality and academic performance, and performance. According to Sivrikaya (2019), other research indicates the five big traits, agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness, extraversion, and neuroticism, that usually reflect the core aspects of strong influences and human personality on the behavior Stajkovic et al., 2018. Different researches have explored the Big five role in predicting academic success.

Conscientiousness has a positive and consistently predicted performance examination, academic success, and grade point average. According to Zare (2019) openness is also related positively with high scores by using learning methods that usually emphasize critical thinking. Moreover, the Neurotic is related to the reduction of the students’ performance. At the same time, agreeable is positively associated with the grades. By using good study methods, Stable introverts achieve a high performance compared to emotionally unstable students or extroverts. (Stajkovic et al., 2018) There is a significant positive correlation between performance and sociability in the seminar class. Various studies focus on the additional emotional and social factors and personality traits. The perfectionist usually attains higher grades and tends to love school and stay at school, whereas the low self-esteem students are likely to be more emotionally unstable( Rahman et al., 2018). The work drive has also reported a significant variance in the GPA beyond the big traits and intelligence.

Other researches show that self-control, exhibitionism, dominance, and achievement are significant classroom performance predictors. The modest relationship between the intellectual ability measure and personality. According to Zare (2019) Many researchers conclude that the intellectual abilities, personality, and interest are interrelated and that the personality traits and intellectual ability level determine success, while the interest determines the motivation task. According to Stajkovic (2018), the Learning style and personality of a few studies have determined the importance of self-esteem and self-confidence in describing the person’s differences in the learning styles. It was found that the university students usually have high achievement and high esteem motivated usually prefer a deeper learning process learning .according to (Klobas et al., 2018). however, the students with low esteem and have low doubt usually prefer a surface processing style. Similarly, students with high confidence in their intelligence prefer learning rather than performing goals, and professors prefer professors who usually emphasize learning.

Several studies explain the significance of adjusting the learning environment in matching the person’s differences. According to Rahman (2018), extroverts tend to be actively reflective, as introverts, are usually reflective. Individuals have a high psychoticism in the data evaluation, while persons low on the systematic processing of psychoticism. Open and conscientious individuals usually prefer surface-style learning ( Yousefi et al., 2018). Agreeableness is associated negatively with the achieving style that emphasizes high grades. Regarding openness, the thinking styles of being open are positively affected by the syles of thinking emphasizing the structural environment. Moreover, the research also explains the significance of the preferred matching of the learning strategy with the complementary techniques on teaching.

The personality and motivation, various studies examine the personality variable concerning the academic motivation aspects such as test anxiety, performance goal, achievement motivation, and related variable to the academic performance.“Introverted people are usually timid and not cold, independent and no observant, slow-paced but not numb,” according to Kircaburun (2020). People who get higher scores from the dimensions of agreed desired traits are observed, such as tolerance, reliability, and help. Those who get lower scores from the various dimensions are usually noted to doubt other people’s express and behavior hostile attitude and maladaptive according to Sivrikaya (2019). Conscientiousness is observed where the degree of discipline and control is possessed in our behaviors. Individuals at the high edges of the dimensions are determined, organized, and act in plans line. However, the one at the low edges, it is easy to lose concentration, and it is difficult in the self-control and where it is focused. The neuroticism dimension places individuals between emotional stability or personal harmony in comparison to emotional imbalance and maladaptive. According to Zare (2019), people with high scores in neuroticism experience sadness, emotional imbalance, guilt, shame, fear, anger, and hate.

People with a higher score from the openness dimension experience/development have aesthetical, curious and have creative ideas are independent, wide imagination, liberal, have a broad range of interests, excited, and fond of change. (Rahman et al., 2018). The self-determination theory is a theory that describes both motivation and personality. Thus, it generally researches the different reasons that may rely on individual behaviors. The questions, why the theory is significant, and the three primary psychological needs recommended as the answers to those questions are; competence, relatedness, and Autonomy, according to Kircaburun (2020). Therefore, the autonomy need is the characteristic that shows a high relationship with motivation. Motivation and self-determination perspectives are classified based on the level of Autonomy between the entire external and internal levels of motivation. According to Zare (2019), another motivation is motivation, which is an apparent disconnection between outcomes and actions. They usually attribute their achievement to natural abilities or luck and therefore conclude that they are not earned through efforts.

The motivation of people does not look upon any relations between attainment and efforts of the rewards, according to Zare (2019)). External motivation refers to the engagement of activities for instrumental reasons. Internal motivation refer to the engagement in the activities for their own sake, satisfaction, and the pleasure derived when one participates in it, according to Stajkovic (2018). Various types of external motivation usually differ in terms of self-determination; identified regulation, external regulation, integrated regulation, and introjected regulation. The behavioral regulations may be viewed as a continuum that ranges from highly internal to highly external, according to Butz (2018). Considering that the correlations between personality and motivational levels are supported by various researches (Jiang et al.., 2018), self-determined motivational levels of individuals are to be is acquired from the total level of the special formula scores. According to Zare (2019) the relationship between motivation and personality has always been interesting.

The personal relationship between personality traits and academic motivation is a significant question when arranging the education environment. The research suggests that personality trait affects academic performance/motivation and can forecast academic achievements and motivation (Klobas et al., 2018). * found out that many internally motivated students are aggregable, open, extroverted, conscientious, and to the new experiences. Kircaburun (2020) observed the relationship between academic motivation and personality and found out that internal motivation is related positively to conscientiousness. Identified motivation is also related positively to introjected motivation, conscientiousness, and extroversion was related positively to neuroticism. According to Kircaburun (2020), the relationship between academic motivation and the Big Five personality traits found various vital relationships between motivation and personality in their investigation. Ideally.

Conscientious students are motivated by their achievements, whereas neurotic students have a high avoidance score. According to Zare (2019) their results they found out that those who are intrinsically motivated tend to be open and conscientious to the new experience; and for those who are extrinsic motivated are extroverted, conscientious, and neurotic; for those who lack motivation lack conscientiousness and are disagreeable (Yousefi et al., 2018). It is a problem of concern of whether the relationship is observed personality traits level and motivation indicated in the similar character in the various culture (Sivrikaya et al., 2019). Most unchangeable structures for the opinion and the Big five theory that Self Determination is universal in increasing its concerns even for more. These are why the studies have had a design of specifying the relationship between academic motivation and Five-Factor Personality traits in the universities.

Motivation and Personality traits are identified as significant education achievement and acquisition factors and educational. In recent years, the instructor has adapted the curriculums that prepare the student’s professional pursuits and academic presentations, and collaborative inquiry-based projects (Yousefi et al., 2018). The student works in groups it socially constructs to achieve stipulated outcomes and knowledge. It has become primary characterizes of the tertiary landscape of learning. It is argued that utilization of literature as a foreign language and university students’ Collaborative Inquiry-based Project and Big Five Inventory Questionnaire ratings are used in the performance prediction on the collaborative for an inquiry-based project that needs presentation. The results showed a revealed project and worked extraversion as the forecasters of the scores Presentation (Rahman et al., 2018). In addition, Conscientiousness and Extraversion emerge as a partial mediator between Presentation Scores and Project Work motivation. The findings underscore the extravert advantage in possessing the oral presentation situation and emphasize the significance of the effort and diligence in inquiry-based projects—the relationship between the big five personality traits and academic motivation in university students.


Butz, N. T., Hanson, S., Schultz, P. L., & Warzynski, M. M. (2018). Beyond the Big Five: does grit influence the entrepreneurial intent of university students in the US?. Journal of Global Entrepreneurship Research8(1), 1-16.

Isik, U., Tahir, O. E., Meeter, M., Heymans, M. W., Jansma, E. P., Croiset, G., & Kusurkar, R. A. (2018). Factors influencing academic motivation of ethnic minority students: A review. Sage Open8(2), 2158244018785412.

Jiang, Y., Rosenzweig, E. Q., & Gaspard, H. (2018). An expectancy-value-cost approach in predicting adolescent students’ academic motivation and achievement. Contemporary Educational Psychology54, 139-152.

Kircaburun, K., Alhabash, S., Tosuntaş, Ş. B., & Griffiths, M. D. (2020). Uses and gratifications of problematic social media use among university students: A simultaneous examination of the Big Five of personality traits, social media platforms, and social media use motives. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction18(3), 525-547.

Klobas, J. E., McGill, T. J., Moghavvemi, S., & Paramanathan, T. (2018). Compulsive YouTube usage: A comparison of use motivation and personality effects. Computers in Human Behavior87, 129-139.

Rahman, M. S., Mannan, M., Hossain, M. A., Zaman, M. H., & Hassan, H. (2018). Tacit knowledge-sharing behavior among the academic staff: Trust, self-efficacy, motivation and Big Five personality traits embedded model. International Journal of Educational Management.

Sivrikaya, A. H. (2019). The Relationship between Academic Motivation and Academic Achievement of the Students. Asian Journal of Education and Training5(2), 309-315.

Stajkovic, A. D., Bandura, A., Locke, E. A., Lee, D., & Sergent, K. (2018). Test of three conceptual models of influence of the big five personality traits and self-efficacy on academic performance: A meta-analytic path-analysis. Personality and individual differences120, 238-245.

Yousefi, A., Jamshidnejad, A., & Moatamed, N. (2018). Evaluation of Relationship between Academic Motivation and Achievement in Students of Zanjan University of Medical Sciences. Journal of Medical Education Development11(29), 54-62.

Zare, M., & Flinchbaugh, C. (2019). Voice, creativity, and big five personality traits: A meta-analysis. Human Performance32(1), 30-51.


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