, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 863-877
Date: 18 Oct 2012

The mutual impact of personality traits on seating preference and educational achievement

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Several studies have investigated the association between students' seating positions and their classroom performance. However, the role of personality traits on seating preference in the classroom has not been well investigated. The aim of the study was to understand how students choose their seats according to their personality traits in a classroom context and the influence of personality characteristics and seat selection on educational achievement. The seating positions of the medical students were recorded on an architectural plan during each class session, and the means and standard deviations of the students' locations were calculated in X and Y orientations. The locations of the students in the class were analyzed based on three architectural classifications: interactional zone, distance from the board, and access to the aisles. The NEO Five-Factor Inventory was used to evaluate the five main personality characteristics of the students. Midterm and final exam scores were used to measure the students' educational achievement. Analysis of variance showed a statistical significance correlation between the interactional zones and both agreeableness and conscientiousness. Mantel–Haenszel analysis showed a statistical significance association between sex and agreeableness and openness to experiences, which was mainly caused by zone II. Among the tested characteristics, a statistically significant relationship was observed between agreeableness and final exam scores. There was a statistical significance difference in openness and extraversion between the students with a high number of absences and their classmates. A relationship between the student's locations in the class, their educational achievements, and some of their personality characteristics are addressed.