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Abstract

The relationship between personality, approaches to learning, and academic achievement was investigated. Two different undergraduate student samples, totalling 310 students, participated in the study. Results showed the expected significant correlations between the personality factors of openness, neuroticism, and conscientiousness, on the one hand, and deep, surface, and strategic approaches to learning, on the other. A significant negative correlation between surface approach and achievement was observed in sample 1. In sample 2, achievement was positively correlated with neuroticism, openness, and deep approach, and negatively correlated with agreeableness. Path analysis showed that each approach to learning was predicted by multiple personality traits, and that academic achievement was predicted by approaches to learning. A separate analysis showed that the relationship between openness and achievement was mediated by a deep approach to learning. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.