A tendency to set up high individual standards

A class survey of 170 BBA111 students on their extraversion and ‘need for achievement’ scores, a correlation analysis was conducted to try and establish the relationship of the two variables. It was identified that there was a statistically significant correlation of r = 0.39 between ‘extraversion’ and ‘need for achievement’. The correlation is not only positive but it is moderate.

The relationship indicates that an increase in extraversion leads to an increase in ‘need for achievement’. It also implies that the extraversion is an important determinant of ‘need for achievement’. Tosi, Mero and Rizo (2000) describe a trait as a tendency of a person to respond in a given way – both in their emotions and their behaviors and this reaction have to be somewhat stable. Extroversion as among the five well acknowledged personality traits is characterized by being sociable, assertive and proactive/energetic. When talking about extraversion as a personality trait, one essentially focuses on certain traits some of which include sociability, positive emotionality as well as assertiveness (Ulu & Tezer, 2010). Considering ‘need for achievement’ as an aspect of adaptive perfectionism, Ulu & Tezer (2010) report that there exist a positive relationship between extraversion and adaptive perfectionism. Need for achievement is perceived as the tendency to set up high individual standards and goals and it is also regarded as achievement motivation (Sharma & Malhotra, 2007).

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Proactivity as an aspect of ‘need for achievement’ has been cited by Holman (2003) as being affected by the personality trait of extraversion. Persons who demonstrate need for achievement have a moderate personal initiative and it is reported that extraversion is moderately related to personal initiative. A correlation of r = 0.33 has been identified between extraversion and personal as reported by Holman (2003). This implies that the current findings from the BBA111 students’ survey were in tandem with other findings.

In deed, need for achievement is one of the determinants of extraversion. The nature of extroverts to be active and sociable and their energetic lives makes them to be compelled to act or to achieve. It has been for instance identified that extraverts are moderately good in academic performance as indicated by positive and moderate correlations between these two variables. Extraversion is particularly found to be positively correlated with academic performance (Chamorro-Premuzic & Furnham, 2005) which is a confirmation that there is a positive relationship between extraversion and ‘need for achievement’ since good academic performance is undoubtedly an achievement many would like to have. As much as there exists a positive relationship between extraversion and ‘need for performance, it is important to note that this relationship is not as strong as the relationship between introversion and need for achievement.

This helps in explaining why the r = 0.33 in this survey is just a moderate one and cannot be considered as strong as it would be with introversion. It has been reported that extroverts do not perform well on ‘need for achievement compared to introverts (Sharma & Malhotra, 2007). Extroverts, who are also referred to as hysterics, show lower level of inspiration compared to introverts and this makes the hysterics set slightly lower goals than introverts. In fact introverts, due to their high motivation, perform well in many areas even in their academics since they tend to have long-term goals. It is therefore concluded that there is a strong positive correlation between introversion and academic attainment.

The difference in introverts and extroverts is not in their intelligence level but instead in their speed, persistence as well as accuracy of performing tasks (Sharma & Malhotra, 2007). Extroverts therefore present as faster in tasks but have low accuracy and persistence levels.


Chamorro-Premuzic, T. and Furnham, A. (2005).

Personality and Intellectual competence. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., Publishers. Holman, D. (2003). The new workplace: a guide to the human impact of modern working practices.

West Sussex, UK: John & Wiley Sons, Ltd. Sharma, A. and Malhotra, D. (2007). Personality and social norms. New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company.

Tosi, H. L, Mero, N. P. and Rizzo, J. R. (2000). Managing organizational behavior (4th edition). Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers Ltd.

Ulu, I. P. and Tezer, E. (2010).

Adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism, adult attachment, and big five personality traits. The Journal of Psychology, 144(4), 327–340


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