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PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS OF COUNSELING STUDENTS AT A - page 46 / 135

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accrued across many instruments, even though issues in describing personality have not

all been settled (McCrae & Oliver, 1992). An example is Piedmont’s (1999) suggestion

that Spiritual Transcendence as a sixth factor should be considered, referring to this as

“…the capacity of individuals to stand outside of their immediate sense of time and place

to view life from a larger, more objective perspective” (p. 988). A greater understanding

of the role of spirituality gives us a broader conceptualization of an individual and the

goals that they may pursue (Piedmont, 1999).

The Five-Factor Model and Academic Success

There are many demanding aspects of obtaining an undergraduate and a graduate

degree, and it has been of interest to researchers to find any role that personality traits

may have in that process. For example, De Fruyt and Mervielde (1996) studied 934

students who were enrolled in different academic majors in order to assess individual

differences among academic majors and to predict educational achievement. The Dutch

version of the Self Directed Search (Holland, 1977), and the Dutch version of the NEO

PI-R (Costa & McCrae, 1985) was completed by the students and detailed information

about the students’ study careers and grades were obtained. The researchers concluded

that both instruments are useful to describe differences among different majors and that

some personality traits may impact a student’s suitability for a particular academic major.

In general, the Self Directed Search failed to provide substantial relationships between

vocational personality differences and educational outcome measures. However, the

researchers concluded that there is support for the utility of broad personality dimensions,

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