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The Status of ETS Research on Nonintellectual Factors in College Success

Schultz, Douglas G.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Educational Testing Service, Grade Prediction, New Jersey College for Women, Personality Traits, Research Projects, Student Characteristics, Success


Considered here is the position of ETS research on nonintellectual factors in college success both with relation to the significance of the work accomplished up to this point and with respect to what might be the most valuable path to take from this point forward. Results of a study on the non- intellectual factors in college success at New Jersey College for Women (NJC) are considered and possible further analysis of this data is discussed. In the opinion of the author, "we still do not have a strong rationale or set of insights as to what makes a person over- or underachieve." Some insights may come from further inspection of the NJC data, but, he believes, the important insights will only come as a result of designing the research so that obtaining these insights will be a primary goal in the work. Two different approaches to future work in this area--continuation of studies based on hunches and 2) an intensive over-all, long-range study of the criterion of under- and overachievement, using all possible techniques, including interviews, tests, ratings, data on background factors, and projective techniques--are considered, and the second approach is recommended. It is presumed that such a study would become eventually a study of extreme over- and underachievers. It is also proposed that the study investigate the interaction between situation and individual--"what determining effect do particular kinds of environments or institutions have upon the potential success of individuals?" The particulars of the research being proposed--who should do it and how it should be funded--are also briefly considered.

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