Predicting army cadets’ performance: The role of character strengths, GPA and GMA
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Military Studies. 2021, 10 (1), 139-153. 10.2478/jms-2021-0016
The purpose of this study was to examine how well a set of 12 character strengths (Leadership, Integrity, Open-Mindedness, Bravery, Teamwork, Persistence, Social Intelligence, Love of Learning, Fairness, Self-Regulation, Perspective and Creativity) will predict academic performance (AP) and military performance (MP), compared to high school grade point average (GPA) and general mental ability (GMA). The study sample comprised 123 army cadets of two cohorts from the three-year bachelor's degree programme at the Norwegian Military Academy (NMA). GPA predicted AP (r = 0.32, p ≤ 0.05), but not MP (r = 0.14, n.s.), while GMA correlated significantly with neither AP nor MP. All 12 character strengths correlated significantly with MP (rs ranging from 0.27 to 0.65), and all except for Fairness correlated significantly with AP (rs ranging from 0.18 to 0.58). An average score of the 12 character strengths showed incremental validity beyond GMA and GPA in predicting both AP and MP. Our results suggest that character strengths should be considered when selecting and training army cadets.