Personality and Performance: Studying the Accuracy of our Perceptions

By: Phoebe M.
Year: 2021
School: OCSA
Grade: 7
Science Teacher: Marissa Mares

The objective of this study was to determine the accuracy of middle schoolers’ self-evaluations of their performance on a standardized math test. In addition, Phoebe wanted to understand how the percentage of error on the test (prediction versus actual result) related to being an introvert, ambivert, or extrovert. It was hypothesized that introverts would be most precise in their self-perceptions of their performances on the task.

Personality is a pattern of fairly permanent traits that reveal how people think, feel, and behave (Feist, Roberts, & Feist, 2013). The Myers-Briggs is the most well-known personality inventory, using four dimensions: energizing, attending, deciding, and living, to differentiate the various components of a person’s personality. The energizing scale is referred to as the personality continuum and characterizes a person’s level of extroversion.

Extroversion is a personality trait that describes people that enjoy being the center of attention, and those who draw energy from the company of others (Lu & Hsiao, 2010). Introversion is the opposite and is a personality trait characterized by the preference for solitary experiences over the external world. Ambiverts are people that aren’t strongly extroverted or strongly introverted (Lu & Hsiao, 2010; The Myers-Briggs Foundation). The research connected how a person’s personality, specifically their energizing trait may affect their metacognition. Metacognition is a term meaning, “thinking about one’s own thinking” and is a higher-order thinking skill that affects one’s thoughts and perceptions (Janeel & P., 2016).

Ambiverts were most accurate in their predictions of their test performance, proving my hypothesis incorrect. On average, ambiverts’ speculations of their math score deviated from their actual scores by 5%, as compared to introverts and extroverts who overestimated their scores by 16% and 13.47% respectively. The sample included five introverts, eight ambiverts, and seven extroverts. All subjects, introverts, ambiverts and extroverts, overestimated their performance.

The results of the experiment can be in part, attributed to that fact that ambiverts generally have a more balanced perspective as they have a mix of extrovert traits and introvert traits (Jitendra, 2020). Therefore, their self-evaluations were reflective of their more balanced perspective.