Individual Differences in Student Satisfaction: An Investigation of Personality and Motivation
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The objective of the current study was to explore the relationships between student satisfaction, personality and motivation. Satisfaction and importance ratings across the entire university experience were measured and the applicability of Herzberg’s dual-factor theory of motivation was investigated. The Five-Factor Model of personality and the Academic Motivation Scale were used to assess 112 Humanities and Social Sciences undergraduates at the University of Edinburgh. We designed a Student Satisfaction Survey based on existing surveys. General linear models were used to analyse the predictive power of demographic variables, personality and motivation for satisfaction and importance ratings. The Student Satisfaction Survey was reduced to satisfaction and importance factors that were definable in terms of Herzberg’s motivator and hygiene variables. Significant correlations between Neuroticism, Extraversion and Agreeableness and satisfaction were revealed. Amotivation correlated negatively with satisfaction and importance ratings. Main effects of personality and motivation were identified. The study provided new evidence of individual difference within student satisfaction. Practical implications included the identification of feedback and assessment as areas for improvement. Directions for future research are discussed in light of the current findings.