Research in Higher Education

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 139–213

The perceived instructional effectiveness of college teachers as related to their personality and attitudinal characteristics: A review and synthesis

  • Kenneth A. Feldman

DOI: 10.1007/BF00991885

Cite this article as:
Feldman, K.A. Res High Educ (1986) 24: 139. doi:10.1007/BF00991885


In reviewing the extant research correlating college teachers' personality (and related attitudinal) characteristics with the teachers' effectiveness in the classroom (measured by the overall evaluations of the teachers' students), the wide variety of personality traits that have been studied were grouped into 14 clusters of traits. Considering those studies measuring the teacher's personality characteristics through the teacher's self-reporting (on personality inventories, self-description questionnaires, and the like), only 4 of 14 trait clusters showed statistically significantaverage correlations between the teacher's personality traits and students' overall evaluations; and 2 of these correlations were very small. By contrast, across those studies measuring personality traits by the perception of the teacher's students or colleagues, statistically significantaverage correlations between the traits and overall evaluations were found for 11 of the 14 clusters, and the correlations were moderate to large. Various considerations about either the lack or the weakness of the associations for the first set of studies are presented, followed by a discussion of some possible interpretations of the relatively strong associations found for the second set.

Copyright information

© Agathon Press, Inc. 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth A. Feldman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyState University of New York at Stony BrookUSA

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