Aptitude is Not Enough: How Personality and Behavior Predict Academic Performance

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



The study investigated the incremental validity of Big Five personality traits for predicting academic criteria (college GPA, course performance) while controlling for academic ability (SAT). Results showed that conscientiousness incrementally predicted each criterion over SAT. Results also showed that behavior (attendance) incrementally predicted GPA and course performance and it mediated the relationship between conscientiousness and both academic criteria. Personality measures are promising predictors of academic outcomes and they may have usefulness in admissions and student development.


The version posted is the author's uncorrected proof. Published in its final version as: Conard, M. A. (2006). Aptitude is not enough: How personality and behavior predict academic performance. Journal of Research in Personality, 40(3), 339-346. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2004.10.003

Support for this research was provided by a University Research and Creativity Grant and an Arts and Sciences Course Release from Sacred Heart University.