Are Personality Characteristics of Students Related to the Study Subject? Insights from a Survey Study


  • Wiete Fehner
  • Defne Aksit


Big Five, personality characteristics, decision science, choice of study subject


The present study aimed to investigate whether psychology and law students differed in terms of the Big Five personality characteristics. The participants were students from law (n=50, 40 female) and psychology (n=50, 40 female) faculties at the University of Bremen, Germany. The Big Five were assessed using the NEO-FFI questionnaire. Psychology students scored significantly higher in agreeableness (p < .01) and openness to experience (p < .01). Law students scored significantly higher in neuroticism (p < .05). These differences could be explained within the context of future occupational fields. Openness and agreeableness qualities may be essential for psychologists; whereas, lawyers may benefit more from scepticism and assertiveness, which are qualities associated with low levels of agreeableness. If personality characteristics and the choice of study subject are related, then this could be useful for the counselling of students in order to optimize the choice of future study subjects.


Please cite this contribution as follows:

Fehner, W., & Aksit, D. (2021). Are personality characteristics of students related to the study subject? Insights from a survey study, "forsch!" - Studentisches Online-Journal der Universität Oldenburg, 1, 67 -74.







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