1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Personality traits are distinguishing qualities or characteristics that are the embodiment of an individual’s. They are your habitual patterns of behaviour, temperament and emotion. Skills, on the other hand, are the learned capacity to carry out specific tasks. Personality, in the other hand, is a set of individual differences that are affected by the development of an individual: values, attitudes, personal memories, social relationships, habits, and skills (McAdams & Olson, 2010; Mischel & Smith, 2004).
Academic motivation is one of the effective factors on students’ achievement. Learners need to be interested in learning; otherwise, all efforts of the educational system would fail. So, understanding and developing the knowledge about factors that affect academic motivation can help to improve educational performance. Although ability and intelligence are considered as predictors of academic achievement, there is evidence that personality variables also play a role (O’connor & Paunonen, 2007). The literature also suggests that personality traits affect the academic motivation and performance (e.g., Costa & McCrae, 1992; Komarraju & Karau, 2005; Chamorro-Premuzic & Furnham, 2003, 2008). Therefore, the study tries to investigate the impact of personality traits on interpersonal dependence of undergraduate in Imo State.
There is evidence that personality traits can predict academic motivation and achievement (Costa & McCare, 1992). Grozier (1997) mentions motivation as a core trait in the Big Five factor model of personality knowing that conscientious individuals are organized, hardworking, self-disciplined, ambitious and persevering. In addition, motivation has an important influence on a learner’s learning behavior and achievement (Vallerand et al., 1992). O’Connor and Paunonen (2007) consider three rationales for the evaluation of personality traits as predictors of post-secondary students’ academic achievement. First, there are behavioral tendencies reflected in personality traits that can affect certain habits that influence academic achievement such as perseverance, conscientiousness, talkativeness. Second, whereas cognitive ability reflects what an individual can do, personality traits reflect what an individual will do. Third, personality as well as cognitive proficiency would predict subsequent performance better in older students, especially motivation-related personality variables.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The problem of underachievement has assumed a worrisome dimension in the Nigerian educational system. Desperate to make it anyhow, students have devised various illegal means to succeed in examinations, even when they are not academically competent. And unfortunately, the system has buckled under the pressure. Examination malpractice has risen steadily to become a seemingly untamable monster. It is increasingly becoming difficult to equate competence of people with supposed academic performance as represented in their certificates. Many candidates are unable to defend the result they supposedly acquired honorably. And of course this has consistently led to inability to compete effectively in the job market which has become a serious issue. Several factors have been researched into in the past as to the cause of this social malaise, but there seem to be indications that some hidden factors may be responsible that needs unraveling. This desire to see this problem curbed gave rise to this study and the researchers’ aim is to see if there is a way in which the big five personality traits can help, especially from the perspective of the analytical and scientific approach of measurement and evaluation.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objective of the study is to find out the following:
1. To examine the relationship between personality traits and interpersonal dependence among undergraduates in Imo State.
2. To find out whether there is any significant relationship between conscientiousness and students academic achievement.
3. To find out whether there is any significant relationship between agreeableness and students academic achievement in Imo State.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions were stated to guide this study:
1. Is there any relationship between personality traits and interpersonal dependence among undergraduates in Imo State?
2. Is there any significant relationship between conscientiousness and students academic achievement?
3. Is there any significant relationship between agreeableness and students academic achievement in Imo State?