Conscientiousness and Openness Matter More than Intelligence

(p. 2) In a 2014 paper, the Australian psychology professor Arthur E. Poropat cites research showing that both conscientiousness (which he defines as a tendency to be “diligent, dutiful and hardworking”) and openness (characterized by qualities like creativity and curiosity) are more highly correlated with student performance than intelligence is. And, he notes, ratings of students’ personalities by outside observers — teachers, for instance — are even more strongly linked with academic success than the way students rate themselves. The strength of the personality-performance link is good news, he writes, because “personality has been demonstrated to change over time to a far greater extent than intelligence.”

For the full commentary, see:
ANNA NORTH. “Should Schools Teach Personality?” The New York Times, SundayReview Section (Sun., JANUARY 11, 2015): 2.
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date JANUARY 10, 2015.)

Relevant articles by Poropat are:
Poropat, Arthur E. “A Meta-Analysis of the Five-Factor Model of Personality and Academic Performance.” Psychological Bulletin 135, no. 2 (March 2009): 322-38.
Poropat, Arthur E. “Other-Rated Personality and Academic Performance: Evidence and Implications.” Learning and Individual Differences 34 (August 2014): 24-32.

“It’s My Life, and I Want the Chance to Save It”

(p. 18) LYONS, Colo. — Since May [2014], a string of states have passed laws that give critically ill patients the right to try medications that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Deemed “Right to Try” laws, they have passed quickly and often unanimously in Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, Louisiana and Arizona, bringing hope to patients like Larry Kutt, who lives in this small town at the edge of the Rocky Mountains. Mr. Kutt, 65, has an advanced blood cancer and says his state’s law could help him gain access to a therapy that several pharmaceutical companies are testing. “It’s my life,” he said, “and I want the chance to save it.”
The laws do not seem to have helped anyone obtain experimental medicine, as the drug companies are not interested in supplying unapproved medications outside the supervision of the F.D.A. But that seems almost beside the point to the Goldwater Institute, the libertarian group behind legislative efforts to pass Right to Try laws. “The goal is for terminally ill patients to have choice when it comes to end-stage disease,” said Craig Handzlik, state policy coordinator for the Goldwater Institute, based in Arizona. “Right to Try is something that will help terminally ill people all over the country.”

For the full story, see:
JULIE TURKEWITZ. “Patients Seek ‘Right to Try’ New Drugs.” The New York Times, First Section (Sun., JAN. 11, 2015): 18.
(Note: the bracketed year is added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date JAN. 10, 2015.)