Academic journal article International Journal of Psychological Studies

The Distinguishing Personality Traits of Intelligent Fresh Graduates. A Comparison Study of High and Low GMA Individuals

Academic journal article International Journal of Psychological Studies

The Distinguishing Personality Traits of Intelligent Fresh Graduates. A Comparison Study of High and Low GMA Individuals

Article excerpt


The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between mental ability and personality traits and to decide whether there are differences in some personality traits between individuals who were classified as having high verses low general mental ability (GMA). 209 individual who achieved high score (percentile 84 or higher) on a general mental ability test were compared with 136 individuals who achieve low score (percentile 16 or less) on the same test. 15 personality characteristics were measured in both groups using the Jackson Personality Inventory. The results indicate that there are significant differences between high and low GMA individuals on the personality traits. Fresh graduates with high GMA have higher levels on the following traits: innovation, traditional values, responsibility, complexity, tolerance, breadth of interest, organization, energy level, social confidence, and risk taking. On the other side, low GMA have higher levels on traits of anxiety and cooperation. Furthermore, gender seems to have impact on personality traits. While the dominant traits of intelligent females are innovation and responsibility, the dominant traits of males are risk taking and innovation. The current results may help in better employee selection and career counseling for fresh university graduates. Some theoretical and empirical implications of the results are further discussed.

Keywords: general mental ability, intelligence, personality traits

1. Introduction

Intelligence is an important issue in academia, business, and day to day life. Societies, companies, organization and academia emphasize the importance of intelligence in order to keep up with development in technology and fast learning societies (Gottfredson, 1997). Research has indicated that fresh graduates with high mental abilities are more likely to leave better impressions during job interviews and show increased job performance in the future (Sjoberg et al., 2012; Marcus et al., 2009; Cook, 2009; Schmidt, Shaffer, & OH, 2008; Rode et al., 2008; Gerald, Witt, & Hochwarter, 2001; Livenes, Highhouse, & De Corte, 2005; Schmidt & Hunter, 2004; Gottfredson, 1997). Companies realize long ago that intelligent fresh graduates learn new tasks faster than low mental abilities graduates and make fewer mistakes (Salgado et al., 2003; Brand, 1987). Because of increasing job complexity, companies and organizations strongly address mental ability strongly and most companies in the United States are use some type of mental ability test or personality questionnaire in their recruitment procedures. The same applies to North Europe and the rest of the world is starting to follow (see Cook, 2009).

Intelligence has been linked to many influences such as gens and heredity, environment, interests, motivation, and personality traits (Johnson et al., 2007; Gilbert et al., 2006; Ackerman, 2009; DeYoung, 2011). Most of the research conducted on personality and intelligence show that the two variables are correlated. Some researchers believe that mental abilities influence personality traits. Therefore, some early theorists considered personality to include intelligence (e.g. Cattell, 1950; Guilford, 1959). However, other researchers rejected this idea and did not consider intelligence to be part of personality, instead asserting either that intelligence is unrelated to personality (e.g., Eysenck, 1994) or that intelligence and personality are related but categorically distinct (e.g. DeYoung, 2011; Chamorro-Premuzic & Furnham, 2005).

So far, most of the research linking personality to intelligence has used correlational designs to determine potential relationship between General Mental Ability (GMA) and some personality traits. Therefore, the current study employs a comparative design to decide whether there are personality trait differences between individuals who vary in their GMA. This approach has important advantages over cross-sectional studies relating personality to intelligence as the utilization of a comparative design allows for the examination of the traits that differentiate individuals of high GMA from those who have low GMA. …

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