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Facets of conscientiousness and their differential relationships with cognitive ability factors

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  • Samuel Rikoon
  • Meghan Brenneman
  • Lisa Kim
  • Lale Khorramdel
  • Carolyn MacCann
  • Jeremy Burrus
  • Richard Roberts


Publication details

JournalJournal of Research in Personality
DateAccepted/In press - 11 Jan 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 14 Jan 2016
DatePublished (current) - Apr 2016
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)22-34
Early online date14/01/16
Original languageEnglish


This study examined relationships between conscientiousness facets and both broad factors of cognitive ability and collegiate GPA. Students responded to 117 Conscientiousness items and 15 cognitive tests demarcating fluid intelligence, crystallized intelligence, quantitative reasoning, visual processing, and broad retrieval ability. Confirmatory factor analysis replicated the eight-factor model found in MacCann, Duckworth, and Roberts (2009). Conscientiousness facet correlations with Cognitive Ability and GPA revealed that Cautiousness exhibited the highest correlation with Cognitive Ability, while Industriousness showed the strongest relationship with GPA. Procrastination Refrainment was the only facet negatively related to Cognitive Ability. Implications of these results are discussed in light of previ- ous research and the potentially moderating effect of high- versus low-stakes testing on the relationship between conscientiousness and cognitive ability.

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© 2017 Elsevier B.V. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy.

    Research areas

  • academic success, conscientiousness, facet-structure, intelligence, cognitive ability, personality, Intelligence Compensation Theory

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