Interplay between personality traits and learning strategies: the missing link

Read A. Albar (Lead / Corresponding author), Ayman M. A. Mohamed, Mohieddin A. B. Albarazi, Sean McAleer, Hassan S. Shaibah

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Abstract

Students with varying personality traits are likely to employ diverse learning and study strategies. However, this relationship has never been explored in the medical education context. This study's aim was to explore the relationship between learning strategies and personality traits among medical students. This study was a cross-sectional study, and a quantitative approach was employed using two self-administered questionnaires: one to assess the personality traits from the Five-Factor Model (Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, and Agreeableness), and the other to assess 10 learning strategies (Anxiety, Attitude, Concentration, Information Processing, Motivation, Selecting Main Ideas, Self-Testing, Test Strategies, Time Management, and Using Academic Resources). A stratified random sampling technique was used to recruit medical students at Alfaisal University in the preclinical and clinical years (N = 309). Pearson correlation coefficient was used to measure the relationship between variables, and linear regression was used to evaluate how personality traits predicted learning strategy selection. Personality traits predicted the selection of learning strategies, especially Conscientiousness and Neuroticism. Conscientiousness showed a positive correlation with seven learning strategies and was the most important predictor of learning strategies students employ. Neuroticism correlations and predictions were negative. The other three traits showed weaker correlations. These correlations were between Extraversion and Using Academic Resources (r = 0.27), Information Processing (r = 0.23), and Attitude (r = 0.19); Openness and Information Processing (r = 0.29); and Agreeableness and Attitude (r = 0.29). All personality domains influence at least one learning strategy, especially Conscientiousness and Neuroticism. This study helps build a foundation for individualized coaching and mentorship in medical education.NEW & NOTEWORTHY This study aspires to build a foundation for individualized coaching and mentorship in medical education through utilizing personality traits to empower academic success. We demonstrate that all personality domains influence students' selection of at least one learning strategy, especially Conscientiousness and Neuroticism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)637-646
Number of pages10
JournalAdvances in Physiology Education
Volume46
Issue number4
Early online date22 Sep 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Personality
  • Students, Medical
  • Universities
  • learning strategies
  • mentorship
  • personality
  • individualized support

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