Verbal-numerical achievement in a required college physical science course and some personality correlates Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/7s75dg64r

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  • Considerable evidence exists to suggest the notion that selected personality traits may be related to specific aspects of academic achievement. This study was directed toward the investigation of this relationship in the case of non-science majors enrolled in a college course in physical science. Personality was assessed with the California Psychological Inventory (CPI) and academic achievement was defined in terms of the subjects' performance on the examinations regularly administered for grading purposes in the course, i. e. , the "midterm" and final examinations. Two aspects of academic achievement were measured by classifying all examination questions as either verbal or numerical. Examination questions were classified as "numerical" whenever the use of mathematics was a necessary requisite in selecting the correct response to an item, and verbal if they were not numerical. The population consisted of the students enrolled in the two sections of General Science 104 at Oregon State University during the fall term of 1966, The population was subdivided into four groups on the basis of sex and lecture section. Two hypotheses were tested in each of the four population subdivisions. A - There is no significant correlation between verbal achievement and personality; and there is no significant correlation between numerical achievement and personality. B - There is no significant correlation between the ratio of numerical achievement to verbal achievement and personality. In three out of four cases A was rejected, leading to the conclusion that personality and achievement in physical science are related. For males, five CPI scales correlated with achievement in physical science at the . 05 level. Four of them were related to verbal achievement and one was related to numerical achievement. Among the females, eleven significant correlation coefficients occurred between CPI scales and achievement in physical science. Six of them were related to verbal achievement and five to numerical achievement. B was accepted in all four null tests, but further interpretation of the results led to the conclusion that discrepant achievement, the ratio of numerical achievement to verbal achievement, is related to personality. The implications of this study relative to current public school science curricula were discussed. The need for further research based upon a theory of discrepant achievement was considered in light of its relevance to the problem of achievement in physical science.
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