Psychology Project Topics

Impact of Personality Traits on Interpersonal Dependence Among Undergraduates in Ghana

Impact of Personality Traits on Interpersonal Dependence Among Undergraduates in Ghana.

Impact of Personality Traits on Interpersonal Dependence Among Undergraduates in Ghana

Chapter One 


The objective of the study is to find out the following:

  1. To examine the relationship between personality traits and interpersonal dependence among undergraduates in Ghana.
  2. To find out whether there is any significant relationship between conscientiousness and students’ academic achievement.
  3. To find out whether there is any significant relationship between agreeableness and students’ academic achievement in Ghana.




A vast number of studies have sought to determine the predictability of academic performance by personality traits. Personality has been recognized as a determining factor on how people learn (Lawrence, 1997; Myer et al, 1998). College students tend to prefer learning environments consistent with their own personality type preference. Many scholars have accepted five-factor model of personality as a replicable and unifying taxonomy of personality (Digman, 1990; Goldberg, 1992; Witt et al, 2002) and have found personality traits to be significantly related to successful job and school performance, both logically and statistically (Hogan & Hogan, 1989; Day & Silverman, 1989). Traits like stinginess, curiosity, assertiveness or laziness are virtually perfect examples of personality and traits of psychological properties are sociability, loyalty, humor, musical ability and respects for his parents(Robins, & Trzesniewski, 2005). Need for achievement and manifest anxiety can also be considered as trait (Wolters, 2004). Intelligence, interest and aptitude are regarded as traits (Rindermann & Neubauer, 2001). In terms of academic success, personality would appear to play a greater role than intelligence (Cattell, 1978; Eysenck, 1992). Mouw and Khanna (1993) showed the impossibility of predicting successful performance based on personality variables. At a higher level of education, Noftle & Robins (2007) studied the relationship between personality and academic aptitude and achievement. Blechner and Carter, 1956; Osborne and Sanders, 1949; Shoemaker and Rothrer, 1948; Sopchak, 1958; Thompson, 1947, 1948a, 1948b, 1951) made an attempt to relate personality characteristics as measured by projective tests, with academic achievement. Conscientiousness and openness were the most important personality correlates of academic achievement across different informants (self, teacher, and parent) also in a study conducted by Barbaranelli, Caprara, Rabasca, and Pastorelli (2003).

College and Personality

The Influence of college as a social organization, on personality is a matter over which there has been considerable controversy. While Jacob (1957) concluded that college has little impact on values and personality attributes, others believe that students are shaped by the college, since it helps them to break from the family and the local community, and also equips them with new personal qualities such as new thoughts, attitudes, motives, and skills which are required for their future positions and social statuses (Wallace, 1966; Feldman, 1972; Meyer, 1972). After a survey of literature, Webster (1961) found out that there are systematic and meaningful personality changes occurring during the college years. Webster (1958) studied attitude change in college students and concluded that substantial changes occur through the college years, and attitudes expressed vary with age, sex, and culture. He rejected the idea that college causes the similarity of general attitudes in college students. According to a report by the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry (1962), college is a place where the individual moves from the dependence of the early adolescent to the independence of the adult; and during this transition radical changes occur. Longitudinal studies of personality change during the college years have shown that there are different factors which, simultaneously, affect the direction of change. Stewart (1964) studied the changes in personality test scores by using 3 different inventories: Allport-VernonLindzey, Omnibus Personality Inventory (OPI), and Strong Vocational Interest Blank (SVIB), over a period offbur years; and he reported that first, considerable changes do occur during the college years and second, these changes are related to the college experience, and to the individual’s characteristics before he enters the college. Miller. (1959) administered the Allport-Vernon-Lindzey Study of Values, Wechsler-Bellevue Scale, Form II, Rorschach Method of Personality Diagnosis, Machover Personality Projection in the Drawing of the Human Figure, and two Thematic Apperception Test pictures to a small sample of freshmen and, again, four years later to the seniors from the original group. He found that change in groups was insignificant, but each member of the group showed changes over the fouryear period. Individual scores showed that students became either less certain, less positive, less anxious, or more outwardly conforming, and had control over their emotional reactions. Freedman (1967) argues that by age sixteen personality is fairly well shaped, and except in therapeutic situations nothing else can change it effectively. Consequently, personality does not change, rather develops during the college years. His study of personality change through the college years showed that seniors were more aggressive, dominant, and interested in sex than the freshmen who scored higher in authoritarianism. He also concluded that on Hypochonodriasis, Depression, Hysteria, Psychopathic Deviate, and Mania Scales, seniors scored higher than the freshmen. Sanford, Freedman, and Webster (1956) as a part of their study employed the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), the California Personality Inventory (CPI), and Developmental and Impulse Expression scales in order to measure psychological changes of college students both as freshmen and seniors. They concluded that, as freshmen, students are optimistic, friendly, complaisant, and have respect for traditional values. As seniors, students showed a rise on all MMPI scales except the Suppressor scale K. They also gained confidence, threw off traditional values, increased conscious emotional experiences, became less “feminine,” less stable, and finally more mature and more disturbed. Webster, Freedman, and Heist (1962) argue that because of the varieties of individual characteristics at the time of college entrance, and because of the differences among the colleges, we should not expect the same changes in all students. Change as a result of college culture would be accepted if it does not lead to “maladjustment.” According to a study by Nelson (1938), in which he used data from 18 different institutions, differences between the four college classes were greatest in state universities and Quaker colleges than the other higher institutions.




Research design

The researcher used descriptive research survey design in building up this project work the choice of this research design was considered appropriate because of its advantages of identifying attributes of a large population from a group of individuals. The design was suitable for the study as the study sought impact of personality traits on interpersonal dependence among undergraduates in Ghana

Sources of data collection

Data were collected from two main sources namely:

(i)Primary source and

(ii)Secondary source

Primary source:                          

These are materials of statistical investigation which were collected by the research for a particular purpose. They can be obtained through a survey, observation questionnaire or as experiment; the researcher has adopted the questionnaire method for this study.

Secondary source:

These are data from textbook Journal handset etc. they arise as byproducts of the same other purposes. Example administration, various other unpublished works and write ups were also used.

Population of the study

Population of a study is a group of persons or aggregate items, things the researcher is interested in getting information impact of personality traits on interpersonal dependence among undergraduates in Ghana.  200 students of University of Accra, Ghana was selected randomly by the researcher as the population of the study.




Efforts will be made at this stage to present, analyze and interpret the data collected during the field survey.  This presentation will be based on the responses from the completed questionnaires. The result of this exercise will be summarized in tabular forms for easy references and analysis. It will also show answers to questions relating to the research questions for this research study. The researcher employed simple percentage in the analysis.




It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain impact of personality traits on interpersonal dependence among undergraduates in Ghana. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing personality traits on interpersonal dependence among undergraduates


This study was on impact of personality traits on interpersonal dependence among undergraduates in Ghana. Three objectives were raised which included: To examine the relationship between personality traits and interpersonal dependence among undergraduates in Ghana, to find out whether there is any significant relationship between conscientiousness and students’ academic achievement and to find out whether there is any significant relationship between agreeableness and students’ academic achievement in Ghana. In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 students of University of Accra, Ghana. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made final year students, year four students, year three students and year two students were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies


 High achiever group was found to be reserved, detached, more intelligent, emotionally more mature, dominant in nature, stronger super ego strength, bold, careless, depressed, liberal in nature, higher self-concept and they were found to be tense and restless. Whereas low achiever group was sober, prudent, having doubtful personality and experienced


Schools should not only assist students to acquire knowledge and skills required by the job market but also guide them to take vocational licenses and participate in various skills contests, which could help enhance students’ leadership competence and boost their confidence and competitiveness in the job market.


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