survey study examined the relationship between the Big Five Personality Traits
and intelligence among 254 undergraduates in Benue State University, Makurdi.
The respondents were in the age range of 16 and above. Out of the 254
participants that received the questionnaires, only 250 of the participants
returned the questionnaires, 123 (48.4%) were males while 127 (50.0%) were
females. The Big Five Inventory and Multiple Intelligence Profile Instrument
III (MIPQ III) were used for data collection. Five hypotheses were tested. The
results of the hypotheses tested showed that firstly, there was a significant
relationship between extraversion and intelligence (r (248) =.977; P< .05; secondly,
there was a significant relationship between neuroticism and intelligence (r(248)
= .612; P< .05; thirdly, there was a significant relationship between
openness and intelligence (r (248) =.980; P<.05; fourthly, there was a
significant relationship between agreeableness and intelligence (r (248) =
.834; P<.05 and fifthly, there was a significant relationship between
conscientiousness and intelligence (r (248) =.964; P<.05. Based on these
findings, it was therefore recommended that Psychologists and other social
workers should research more on people’s personalities and intelligence. This
will help in improving their understanding of various people and their
behaviour which will help them work effectively. It was concluded that
extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, openness and conscientiousness had
significant relationships with intelligence.INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Study
A central problem that has returned to the field of individual differences and psychology in the last ten years is whether and how personality traits and intellectual abilities (intelligence) are, or are not, related (Hofstee, 2001). Although this question is nearly as old as the study of intelligence and personality, both constructs have been traditionally investigated independently, prompting the development of different methods and unrelated theories (Ackerman and Haggetad, 1997; Cronbach, 1949; Zeidner and Matthews, 2000; Hofstee, 2001). Whereas general intellectual ability appears to be theoretically unrelated to non-cognitive traits (Zeidner and Matthews, 2000), traits have been proven to relate to test performance and since intellectual ability (intelligence) is measured through performance (ability/IQ), it is not surprising that traits are significantly correlated to intelligence. There is experimental evidence suggesting that neuroticism (trait anxiety), for instance, is likely to affect performance negatively on examination (Wells and Matthews, 1994). Furthermore, individual differences in extraversion/introversion have been found to relate to different test taken styles (Furnham, Forde and Cotter, 1998). Despite this, meta-analytical study (notably Ackerman and Haggetad, 1997) have show that personality trait are, at best, only modestly related to general intelligence. Accordingly, personality variables should be considered with IQ as predictors of other, more general or long term, types of everyday performance (i.e. occupational, academic success) (Furnham, 2003).
In 1994, a group of 52 experts in the study of intelligence and related fields endorsed the definition of intelligence (Gottfredson, 1997) as intelligence is a very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. It is not merely book learning, a narrow academic skill, or test-taking smarts. Rather it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings, “catching on,” “making sense” of things, or “figuring out” what to do. This definition emphasizes that intelligence represents the ability to solve problems (including problems of comprehension) by thinking. Intelligence is widely considered to occupy the apex of a hierarchy of more specific abilities that are all related to each other (Carroll, 1993). Indeed, the concept of a general intelligence, or “g,” was first elaborated in psychology because of the so called “positive manifold,” the tendency for performance on all cognitive tests to be positively correlated, regardless of their content (Jensen, 1998). Intelligence is posited as the general ability that accounts for the covariation of the many specific abilities. However, specific abilities covary to different degrees, and g cannot account for all of the shared variance among them. Thus, below g in the hierarchy are a number of more specific but still fairly general abilities; below these are the many specific abilities, and below these are various different instances or measures of those specific abilities (Carroll, 1993; Johnson and Bouchard, 2005).
The most widely used distinction between abilities, at the level of the hierarchy immediately below g, is between fluid and crystallized intelligence (Horn and Cattell, 1966), though other factors may also be identified at this level (Carroll, 1993). Fluid intelligence describes abilities that are innate and not dependent on prior education or experience (and thus, in theory, cannot be modified by experience), whereas crystallized intelligence describes abilities that rely on knowledge or skill acquired from experience. Traditional measures of fluid and crystallized intelligence are differentially related to various other traits, and this finding has led to the incorporation of these concepts in many theories regarding the relation of intelligence to personality. However, recent evidence from factor analysis suggests that individual differences in ability do not, in fact, covary according to whether they are fluid or crystallized, but rather according to whether they are verbal or nonverbal (Johnson and Bouchard, 2005).
Most tests traditionally considered to measure crystallized intelligence are verbal, whereas most tests traditionally considered to measure fluid intelligence are nonverbal. Thus, most past findings regarding fluid and crystallized intelligence and personality can be translated cleanly into a verbal-nonverbal framework, simply by replacing terms. “Crystallized” and “fluid” are not good labels for the two commonly used types of test, not only because of the verbal-nonverbal factor structure identified by Johnson and Bouchard (2005), but also because both verbal and nonverbal intelligence are determined by a combination of innate ability and acquired knowledge and skills. Verbal intelligence cannot be entirely crystallized (dependent on experience), given that it is just as heritable (genetically influenced) as nonverbal intelligence, even when controlling for g (Johnson and Bouchard, 2007) and nonverbal intelligence cannot be entirely fluid (independent of experience), both because it is influenced by environmental factors in studies of heritability (Johnson and Bouchard, 2007) and because it may be improved by schooling (Ceci, 1991) and by training on video games (Feng, Spence, and Pratt, 2007), working memory tasks (Jaeggi, Buschkuehl, Jonides, and Perrig, 2008; Moody, 2009) and other mentally stimulating activities (Tranter and Koutstaal, 2008). The fact that, on average, nonverbal intelligence declines with age after the mid-20s, whereas verbal intelligence increases or remains stable until very old age (Berg, 2000), does not provide sufficient evidence to claim that verbal intelligence is exclusively crystallized whereas nonverbal intelligence is exclusively fluid. The underlying brain systems responsible for these two types of intelligence are at least partially distinct (Choi, 2008) and may age differently, despite the fact that both incorporate fluid and crystallized processes.
Personality is a broader concept than intelligence, as defined by McAdams and Pals (2006). Personality is an individual’s unique variation on the general evolutionary design for human nature, expressed as a developing pattern of dispositional traits, characteristic adaptations, and integrative life stories, complexly and differentially situated in culture (McAdams and Pals, 2006). This definition highlights three distinct levels at which personality can be described; traits, characteristic adaptations, and life stories. Characteristic adaptations and life stories both describe the individual’s adaptation to his or her particular socio-cultural context (e.g., as a lawyer). Traits describe relatively stable patterns of behavior, motivation, emotion, and cognition (Pytlik, Hemenover, and Dienstbier, 2002; Wilt and Revelle, 2009) that are not bound to a particular socio-cultural context but could be observed in any such context (e.g., argumentativeness). This is not to say that all traits will be evident to the same extent or with identical manifestations in all cultures, nor that all traits can be observed in any situation, but rather that any trait can be observed in a subset of situations in any culture.
A central project in personality psychology has been the development of a comprehensive taxonomy of traits. To develop such taxonomy, one needs a reasonably comprehensive set of traits to be classified. The lexical hypothesis states that natural language (as represented in dictionaries) provides a reasonably comprehensive pool of trait descriptors, which can be used to determine the general factors that underlie the co-variation among many specific traits (Saucier and Goldberg, 2001). Another promisingly large and broad pool of traits in which to locate general factors can be found in existing personality questionnaires. Lexical and questionnaire research have both provided evidence for a five factor solution, leading to a taxonomy known as the Five Factor Model or Big Five, which includes the broad trait domains of Extraversion, Neuroticism, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Openness/Intellect (Digman, 1990; Goldberg, 1990; John, 2008; Markon, Krueger and Watson, 2005). The Big Five are strongly genetically influenced (Rieman, Angleitner and Strelau, 1997), and the genetic factor structure of the Big Five appears to be invariant across European, North American, and East Asian samples, suggesting the biological universality of this model (Yamagata, 2006).Personality traits are hierarchically organized, with more specific traits (e.g., talkativeness, sociability, enthusiasm) varying together, such that one can deduce the presence of broader traits (e.g., Extraversion, for the three traits just mentioned) that account for their covariance. Higher order traits may exist above the Big Five (DeYoung, 2006), but they do not appear to be related to intelligence (DeYoung, Peterson, Séguin and Tremblay, 2008). For the
INFLUENCE OF BIG FIVE PERSONALITY TRAIT ON INTELLIGENCE
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