A longitudinal study of the personality and the attainments and attitudes of junior school children.

  • Derek Sharples

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Extraversion and stability have been associated with higher attainment up to age 13, when a 'crossover' to superiority of neurotic introverts occurs. If this effect arises from differential rates of attainment amongst personality types this will be detected through longitudinal rather than cross-sectional studies. If schooling is related to the personality v attainment interaction then this will be evidenced in data from particular schools but will be submerged in large samples. 234 children in five schools completed tests of personality, attainments and attitudes at 8+, 9+ and 10+. Results were examined by analyses of variance and co-variance, considering sex and three levels of each of extraversion and neuroticism. Personality scores were unstable, but this was not related to attainment levels. Interactions of attainment and extraversion were consistently linear and in favour of extraverts, being greatest during the 9+ to 10+ year. No clear trends emerged in relation to neuroticism. Results within schools showed different patterns, in one school extraversion was closely related to success, in another no association emerged. There was no evidence of different patterns of association for different attainment areas, schooling appearing to favour stable extraverts irrespective of subject and this trend being stronger in a 'traditional' school. Slight evidence indicates a more rapid gain in attainment amongst extraverts at 9+, and at 10+ slight changes in trend of association may pressage the 'crossover'. No consistent patterns of association were found between attitudes and personality, there was a suggestion that introverts held more favourable attitudes in some areas. Findings are limited by restriction of the sample, the range and stability of the tests and the approximations within the analyses. Follow-up studies, larger-scale replications and analyses of school effects are required.
Date of Award1971
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath

Cite this