Journal of Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 43 Issue 8 (August 2013), Pages 1553-1759

Importance of race, gender, and personality in predicting academic performance (pages 1736-1744)


Substantial research has demonstrated that African American students tend to perform more poorly than their White counterparts in terms of academic performance (e.g., Bali & Alvarez). However, this knowledge has proven insufficient in highlighting a clear path for countering this gap in academic achievement. The present study (n = 719) provides evidence that race (African Americans and Whites) interacts with personality in predicting academic performance (i.e., grade point average) in a college setting and that the pattern of effects differs for men and women. Agreeableness reduced race effects for women, and extraversion and openness reduced race effects for men. Our results suggest new avenues for educators and policymakers to consider when attempting to reduce this performance gap.

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