The mathematical abilities and personality of undergraduate psychology students relative to other student groups

Roy Bhakta, Clare Wood, Duncan Lawson

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Abstract

This study examined differences in personality and mathematical ability between students studying Business, Psychology, Sports and Nursing. There were 286 participants who each completed a mathematics diagnostics test and a Revised Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ-R) during the first term of their first year of study. There was a significant effect of subject studied on the students’ performance on the maths diagnostic questionnaire and their scores on the ‘psychoticism’ subscale of the EPQ. Furthermore significant correlations were observed between psychoticism scores and mathematical ability within both the Business Management and Psychology groups, although the direction of those associations were different for each group (the association was positive for the business students, but negative for the psychology students). Based on these results it is suggested that there are significant differences in both psychoticism and mathematical ability between students from different courses. Furthermore, students may benefit from differing methods of teaching mathematical concepts, especially in the cases where students are averse to working in groups and collaboratively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-110
JournalPsychology Teaching Review
Volume16
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • mathematics
  • numeracy
  • personality
  • psychoticism
  • extraversion
  • collaborative study
  • EPQ
  • EPQ-R
  • GCSE

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