Personality Outsmarts Intelligence in the Classroom

personality counts in class

A recent study found that personality is more important than intelligence when it comes to children’s success in the classroom.

Personality, such as a child’s ability to be open and conscientiousness, has the biggest influence on learning and academic success. Children who tend to be more helpful and conscientiousness are also more likely to put more time and effort into their school work, findings suggest.

The researcher believes these personality traits predict students’ success in higher education and in their future careers, as well. In fact, the researcher found that students with the most helpful personality tend to earn a full letter grade higher than average students.

The study, published in the journal Learning and Individual Difference, is the largest ever, thus far, to examine and review the results of children’s personality and academic performances. The researcher specifically focused on reviewing fundamental personality traits (e.g., openness, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and extraversion) as potential indicators of academic success.

The findings from this study indicate that a child’s intelligence and future success extends far beyond IQ tests and standardized testing.

Children who do not score well on standardized tests may feel as though they must work harder to reach their end goals or will find alternative avenues to pursue to compensate for low test scores. These students often label and view themselves as hard workers. Students who view themselves as hard workers often get progressively better at tasks because they devote more time and energy to the tasks at hand.

Alternatively, students who label themselves as smart can often stop putting forth as much effort, or stop trying altogether, which can lead a decline in their performance over time. 

Furthermore, the results of this study show that children may be able to develop and learn key traits, compared to intelligence that is often viewed as a fixed trait. Children can become open and willing to put forth the time and effort it takes to be successful in the academic setting. 

NeuroNet Note

Similarly, while the goal of an individualized NeuroNet program is to help your child become an independent learner — demonstrating improvements in reading, math, and handwriting — children also develop a “can-do” attitude toward learning. Children learn to predict that they can be successful in learning.

Watch how NeuroNet has helped the students at the Westminster School:

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