PERSONALITY TRAITS AND UNIVERSITY PROGRAM1,2

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Abstract

Participants were 147 undergraduates majoring in programs classified as more professional (education, n = 28; business, n = 33) or less professional (natural sciences, n = 36; social science, n = 50) and more people-oriented (education, social sciences) or less people-oriented (business, natural sciences). They completed self-report tests for 13 personality constructs (five from Goldberg's version of the Five Factor Model, three from Eysenck and Eysenck's theory, and five others). Students in less professional disciplines scored higher on openness to experience (intellect/imagination) than those in more professional disciplines. Students in more people-oriented disciplines scored higher on empathy than those in less people-oriented disciplines. Women scored higher than men on conscientiousness, industriousness, and empathy, but lower than men on independence. Critical comments are offered and suggestions for research are made.

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