Academic journal article Business Education & Accreditation

The Relationship between Intelligence, Emotional Intelligence, Personality Styles and Academic Success

Academic journal article Business Education & Accreditation

The Relationship between Intelligence, Emotional Intelligence, Personality Styles and Academic Success

Article excerpt


This paper assesses the effects of general and emotional intelligence and personality preferences on academic performance. The question is examined using surveys among students in economics at the University of Debrecen, Hungary. In our examination we primarily used regression analysis. With our results we answer the question of what kind of relationship exists between the aforementioned variables and academic performance. Based on our findings we can conclude that academic performance was significantly influenced by the sex, intellectual intelligence, introvert or extrovert orientation, thinking or feeling personality preference and, in some parts of the sample, by the emotional intelligence, and perceiving or judging personality preference of the student.

JEL: A22

KEYWORDS: Higher Education, Intelligence, Emotional Intelligence, Personality

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)


The objective of this paper is to assess the question of what personality traits and abilities are associated with successful academic performance. Our everyday experiences suggest that success in the education system depends on the existence of certain kinds of abilities (i.e. it seems to be trivial that quick understanding is important). Moreover, some personal characteristics - more hidden to the observer - may also influence educational performance (see e.g. Rosander et al., 2011, Farsides and Woodfield, 2003).

The concrete research question of our empirical examination is: can the average academic achievements (estimated by the mean of average grades from the last two university semesters) be predicted with the help of the intelligence quotient (hereinafter IQ), the emotional intelligence quotient (hereinafter EQ), and the personality preferences, and if yes, to what extent? Our hypothesis is that academic performance is associated with IQ and EQ measured by the appropriate tests, and the personality preferences, taking into account the sex, academic year, place of residence, number of graduate parents and grandparents, and whether or not the student is 'deferred'. We referred to a person as 'deferred' if he/she was bom between 31 May and 31 December because in this case he/she attends the same class as those who were bom between 1 January and 31 May in the following year. The reason behind asking this in the questionnaire is that the slightly higher age may influence academic performance. The possible relationship between age and academic achievement was confirmed by Pellizzari and Biliary (2012), among others.

A brief summary of the literature on the general intelligence, emotional intelligence and personality traits follows in the next section. The data collection method and the introduction of the sample are included in the third section. In the Results section we demonstrate the statistical analysis of two models and determine the role of the above mentioned features in influencing academic performance for the examined population. We draw our conclusions in the last section.


There is no ultimate definition of intelligence, but most researchers accept that it is an ability to solve problems (including problems of comprehension) by thinking (DeYoung, 2011). In other words it is "a very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, leam quickly and leam from experience" (Gottfredson, 1997, p. 13). General intelligence, also known as general cognitive ability, intellectual ability, general mental ability (GMA) or the g-factor (henceforth mainly referred to as intelligence) is a well-researched constmct with impressive supporting evidence for its capability to predict labor market performance on both an individual (e.g. Bowles et al., 2001, Ferris et al., 2001, O'Reilly and Chatman, 1994) and a national level (e.g. Garett, 2012, Hanushek and Woessmann, 2007, Lynn and Vanhanen, 2012), as well as being a generally accepted determinant of academic success on every level of the education system (Malcolm et al. …

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