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Personality and approaches to learning predict preference for different teaching methods

By Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Adrian Furnham and Martin Lewis


A total of 221 (111 female and 110 male) British Medical students completed the NEO-FFI personality inventory [Costa, P. T., Jr., and McCrae, R. R. (1992). Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) and NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) professional manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.], an abbreviated version of Biggs' [Biggs, J. B (1987). Study process questionnaire manual. Hawthorn, Vic: Australian Council for Educational Research.] approaches to learning scale, and a purpose-designed questionnaire to assess their preference for different teaching methods (e.g., lab classes, standard lectures, and discussion groups). Correlations between several personality traits and approaches to learning factors suggested that personality and learning approaches are distinct, but related, constructs. The deep approach to learning was associated with Emotional Stability, Openness, and Agreeableness. These personality traits were also negatively related to the surface approach to learning, whilst Conscientiousness was associated with deep and achieving learning approaches. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that preference for interactive teaching was associated with a combination of Emotional Stability, Agreeableness, and deep learning approach. Implications are discussed with regard to individual differences in educational contexts

Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2007
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.lindif.2006.12.001
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