Personality traits and academic performance: Correcting self-assessed traits with vignettes

Johan Coenen, Bart H. H. Golsteyn*, Tom Stolp, Dirk Tempelaar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


In this study, we investigate whether Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability and Risk Preference relate to student performance in higher education. We employ anchoring vignettes to correct for heterogeneous scale use in these non-cognitive skills. Our data are gathered among first-year students at a Dutch university. The results show that Conscientiousness is positively related to student performance, but the estimates are strongly biased upward if we use the uncorrected variables. We do not find significant relationships for Emotional Stability but find that the point estimates are larger when using the uncorrected variables. Measured Risk Preference is negatively related to student performance, yet this is fully explained by heterogeneous scale use. These results indicate the importance of using more objective measurements of personality traits.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0248629
Number of pages13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2021

JEL classifications

  • i21 - Analysis of Education

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