Connection of students’ academic performance and cognitive abilities with their psychological characteristics
Authors: T. O. Tretiak, O. V. Severynovska, M. Boyko
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The contents of education must correspond not only to the level of knowledge and competencies, but also be directed to self-determination of the personality and creation of conditions for its self-development and self-realization. The aim of this study was to identify the psycho-physiological peculiarities of Biology students and to establish the connection between the students’ academic performance, their cognitive abilities and their psycho-physiological characteristics, which is essential for improving the academic process and bringing it to the high level of professional education necessary for graduates of higher educational establishments to compete successfully in the job market. It was established that the majority (46%) of Biology students are ambiverts, 34% of them are extroverts, and 18% – introverts. There is a statistically reliable connection between the academic grades and the personality type: the more successful students are ambiverts and introverts. Extroverts demonstrate lower academic results. According to different types of asymmetry manifestation among Biology students, the right-handed accounted for 35% of the tested, those with prevailing right hand – 51%, those with prevailing left hand – 1.2% and the left-handed – 12%. There is no dependence of academic performance on the asymmetry manifestation. Most Biology students have a sanguine-choleric temperament and slightly expressed or absent asymmetry, which testifies to the power of nervous processes and is a precondition for successful studying. The majority of students, irrespective of the academic performance level, have a low level of stress resistance and a medium level of personality anxiety. Students who score A and B points for academic performance, have a medium level of situational anxiety. Those who score C points have a high level of anxiety. There is no connection between the academic points and personality anxiety level, but there is significant connection between academic performance and situational anxiety. There has been established a significant dependence of academic performance on the level of situational anxiety: introverts and extroverts have a high level, ambiverts have a medium level of situational anxiety. Introverts and ambiverts with a low and medium anxiety level demonstrate higher academic performance. Extroverts with a high anxiety level find it more difficult to study. The majority of Biology students have a high level of visual-imaginative, object-active and creative thinking types. 83% of students have a high and a medium level of verbal-logical thinking type. Abstract-symbolic and intuitive thinking are developed in lesser degree. There has been established a reliable negative correlative connection between object-active thinking type and introversion, and a positive connection between intuitive thinking and introversion, irrespective of academic results. The more introversion is expressed, the more intuition is developed. Academically successful students demonstrated a positive correlation between the abstract-symbolic thinking type and introversion. Extroverts with low academic performance don’t have significant correlation connections with the thinking types, whereas it is characteristic for academically successful students to demonstrate a higher level of visual-imaginative, verbal-logical, abstract-symbolic and creative thinking along with an increase in demonstrating extroversion. Practically all thinking types (except for the object-active) are more fully expressed in successful ambiverts; the manifestation of a certain thinking type increases while ambiversion increases. Less academically successful students have a reliable correlative connection between ambiversion and visual-imaginative, abstract-symbolic and creative thinking. Performance of tasks connected with all thinking types irrespective of typological characteristics of students was accompanied by a reliable increase in saturation. More diversified reactions in the process of thinking activity were observed in the cardio-vascular system: introverts and ambiverts who demonstrated high results in the tests, showed significant decrease of heart beat rate in the process of intuitive and visual-imaginative thinking. Extroverts who demonstrated low results in the tests, by contrast, showed an increase in heart beat rate. When students of all typological groups were doing tasks connected with verbal-logical thinking, their heart beat rate significantly increased. Ambiverts and introverts were more successful. Thus, the whole range of psychological and physiological characteristics of a person defines his successful academic performance and real activity.