“Can’t Get No Satisfaction?”: The Effects of Personality and Motivation on Student Satisfaction
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Our objective was to investigate the extent to which personality and motivation variables influence student ratings of satisfaction and importance. A total of 112 University of Edinburgh undergraduates completed personality, motivation, student satisfaction, and university importance questionnaires. We divided students into high and low satisfaction groups to compare mean differences in personality and motivation variables. We performed two principal components analyses of student satisfaction and importance ratings, extracting six satisfaction factors and three importance factors. Finally, we used general linear models to test whether Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness, or academic motivation variables (intrinsic, extrinsic, and amotivation) influenced satisfaction and importance factors. Neuroticism, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and intrinsic motivation positively influenced student satisfaction, while extrinsic and amotivation had negative effects. Student ratings of importance were influenced positively by Conscientiousness, and negatively by amotivation. There were no significant interaction effects between personality and motivation. This study shows that individual differences in personality and motivation impact student satisfaction and importance ratings. Further research may allow aspects of university to be redesigned to better suit student needs.