Affectivity, Achievement Motivation, and Academic Performance in College Students

Article Title: Affectivity, Achievement Motivation, and Academic Performance in College Students

Author(s): Iftikhar Ahmad and Shabbir Rana

Institute(s): Department of Psychology, Government College University, Lahore

Journal: Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research, 2012, Vol. 27, No. 1, 107-120

Correspondence Address: Iftikhar Ahmad, Department of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Management and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan. E-mail:


The purpose of this study is to find how emotions and motivation influence academic performance of college students. Undergraduate students (328 girls and 210 boys) were engaged for the research. Negative affectivity was assessed through the neuroticism scale of the NEO Five Factor Inventory (Costa & McCrae, 1992); similarly positive affectivity was characterized through the extraversion scale of the same measure. High (30%), middle (40 %), and low (30%) scorers on neuroticism and extraversion scales were compared on emotional intelligence (Emotional Quotient Inventory; Bar-On, 1977), achievement motivation (Achievement Motivation Scale; Gjesme, 1971) and the First-year Grade Point Average (GPA). Results indicated that neuroticism had significant reverse relationship with emotional intelligence; that is, lower the neuroticism, higher the emotional intelligence. Second, neuroticism was strongly related with avoidance motivation; higher neuroticism was associated with higher avoidance motivation. Extraversion was relatively less related to approach motivation. Moreover, the high and medium neuroticism scorers achieved significantly lower GPA than low neuroticism students. Intermediate examination or grade-12 marks remained the largest predictor of college GPA. Among the psychological factors, lower neuroticism and higher Emotional intelligence contributed significantly in determining GPA. Implications of results have been discussed.


Keywords: Neuroticism, extraversion, emotional intelligence, avoidance-motivation, achievement-motivation

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