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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)




Are there personality characteristics statistically significant and of relatively large enough differences to make distinctions between talented achievers and underachievers? Would an identification of those personality characteristics be a necessary value to the institution of remedial procedures that might assist them in the realization of their maximal potential? What are the means by which a talented student is to be measured, aside from intellectual diagnostic procedures, that indicate this particular potential in certain areas or his ability to achieve in academic subjects by G.P.A. designation? The factors that produce achievement and underachievement are recognized in the light of success or failure in the peripheral structure encompassing the subject field itself. The achiever is an achiever only if he can meet the problems existing in the academic subject and solve them according to prescribed criteria. The underachiever, if he falls below the arbitrary standards set for the academic subject, is given a grade that evaluated his lack of performance only as it affects the actual involvement with extrinsic material. These evaluations offer no clues or information as to the specific personality characteristics that are part of the personality matrix of the talented achiever or underachiever that negate or stimulate students’ achieving or underachieving in an academic environment.

The problem does not perforce exist in the academic sphere since the situation can be resolved by giving specific grade value to different performance levels. It does exist however, in the means by which certain conditions can be identified as residing in the student, and his social-interaction environment. This social-interaction environment intrudes the classroom as well as his relationships in the social milieu. Therefore, if achievement and underachievement are to have any dimensional values the forces that produce them must be understood not in the terms of a specific G.P.A. but in terms of acceptance or rejection of the procedures that would bring about these end results.



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