Extrovert Influence

Each day I post a new MCAT CARS Passage. This is for anyone who wants to practice for the CARS Section. Every article is selected to meet the AAMC MCAT criteria.

Subscribe by email to receive a new practice passage each morning.

March 1, 2017 – MCAT CARS Passage

Question: What is your summary of the author’s main ideas. Post your own answer in the comments before reading those made by others.

People with character traits thought of as extrovert tend to come from wealthier backgrounds than their less extrovert peers as well as being more likely to have well-paid jobs, a new study suggests.

The research, published by the Sutton Trust educational charity, found that traits such as being assertive, talkative and enthusiastic are associated with higher earnings in adult life.

People with these traits, the report suggests, are 25% more likely than those who do not share these extrovert characteristics to earn over £40,000. Yet researchers for the charity, which works to advance social mobility, also found that those with these qualities are much less likely to come from poorer backgrounds.

The report, A Winning Personality, explores whether character traits which may be shaped by a child’s background could be holding disadvantaged youngsters back in their future careers.

It highlights the role of schools in developing “character” and social skills, and calls on teachers to help develop disadvantaged children’s non-cognitive skills – as well as their academic potential – so they are equipped to compete against their wealthier peers for better-paid jobs.

Authors Robert de Vries from the University of Kent and Jason Rentfrow from Cambridge University, reviewed evidence from 90 peer-reviewed academic studies and analysed data from a 2009 BBC initiative called the Big Personality Test, which was designed to answer the question of whether our personalities shape our lives or our lives shape our personalities.

Using data about the personality characteristics of more than 150,000 UK residents from the BBC experiment, De Vries and Rentfrow examined the link between family background and character traits. They then looked at the links between these traits and future career success.

“We know that, in the UK, even more than in many other countries, a privileged upbringing is likely to lead to better grades at school, and a better chance at a successful career,” said De Vries.

“But, along with the previous research we review, today’s analysis of the BBC Big Personality Test show that those from better-off backgrounds have yet another advantage when it comes to non-academic factors like extroversion and career aspirations.”

The report reflects the current enthusiasm for the development of so-called character education in schools. The education secretary, Nicky Morgan, has made it a priority in her vision for England’s schoolchildren and numerous experiments are under way to try to find the most effective ways of instilling the advantages of “character” and resilience in children from more challenging backgrounds.

Conscientiousness, self-discipline, efficiency and organisation are all, predictably, linked to higher-earning careers in the report. Adults from wealthier backgrounds, where parents had a professional job, were in addition “significantly” more extrovert, displaying greater openness, imagination, aspiration and intellectual curiosity.

Sir Peter Lampl, chair of the Sutton Trust, said: “To get the best jobs you need the best grades. But is that enough? Recent Harvard research shows that almost all the job growth in the United States over the last 20 years has come from jobs which require social skills and this trend is likely to accelerate.

“Our research shows that there is a clear correlation between social and other skills and earnings. We must therefore build the career aspirations of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and foster the more intangible qualities that they need to succeed and which are not taught in the curriculum such as confidence, aspiration, resilience and creativity.”

The report calls on schools to use feedback to improve pupils’ social skills and interview skills, and says they should focus on building awareness of higher-earning professions and careers among less advantaged pupils. It also stresses the importance of using broad-based interventions to develop wider skills beyond pure academic achievement.

Adapted from theguardian.

Review

Leave a comment below with what you understood to be the author’s main ideas. Ask about this daily passage in office hours/workshops for help.

Subscribe to my Daily CARS mailing list by entering your email.

The full list of daily articles is available here.

This was an article on Psychology.

Have a great day.
Jack Westin
MCAT CARS Instructor.
Contact Information

39 Comments


  1. It is the school’s responsibility to help kids from disadvantaged backgrounds build the confidence and traits analogous to their more advantaged counterparts

    Reply

  2. Certain personality traits, such as extroversion, correlate with higher paying careers. This seems straightforward, but the picture is complicated when considering data that suggests children from wealthier socioeconomic backgrounds tend to possess these desirable traits more often than peers with poorer families. Schools could help to alleviate this disparity by teaching “character”, defined by intellectual curiosity, social ease, and organization among other things, alongside cognitive skills.

    Reply

  3. Extrovert = wealthy + better jobs; Good jobs = social skills + schools = help disadv kids improve these skills

    Reply

  4. Reports urge schools to develop disadvantaged pupil’s social skills and foster their character for career success in future.

    Reply

  5. extroverts=wealthy+better jobs, encourage social skills =high earning

    Reply

  6. Schools should focus on developing key non academic traits in less advantaged youth

    Reply

  7. extro = good fut, poor back = teach resilience and ppl skills = help future

    Reply

  8. Wealthier fam=advantage characters; solution=Character ed. in schools.

    Reply

  9. wealthy background = extrovert + greater income
    disadvantage background = less opportunities
    increase opportunities = teach extrovert skills

    Reply

  10. MI: Affluent background=Extrovert traits=Better job + Character Ed needed for schools

    Reply

  11. Social skills >>career success
    Goal=school for character
    Past influences personality

    Reply

  12. The main idea of the passage is that the UK is looking into getting children from disadvantaged backgrounds to learn the skills that will allow them to be successful in this this day and age and in the future – social skills, creativity, and other intangibles

    Reply

  13. MIP: wealthy = extrovert + better grades + better social skills + better earning
    poor = disadvantages

    Reply

  14. Extravert traits = wealthier background = future better jobs. social skills = important.

    Reply

  15. MIP: Personality traits (extroverts) =inc wealthy backgrounds; Social skills = inc career success
    Tone: Neutral

    Reply

  16. extroverts –> rich, help disadvantaged w/ personality skills, social > grades

    Reply

  17. +ve traits = more successful; need to instill in less privileged students

    Reply

  18. There is a correlation between personality and potential success. Children coming from advantageous background are more likely to earn success because they’re more likely to be extroverts. Therefore, our schools that teach children from more disadvantaged backgrounds need to focus on both improving their academics and developing their character to be more social in order to increase their chances of success.

    Reply

  19. Extrovert= higher rate of success= characteristic of successful people

    Reply

  20. Good background = better career prospects; schools should foster qualities that develop social skills

    Reply

  21. family and learned traits —-> $, need to teach these social skills in education to help disadvantaged students

    Reply

  22. Extrovert + wealthy= better career; school = increase social skills of poorer kids

    Reply

  23. MI: Extrovert = Benefits + Wealth, focus more on social skills in school for poor

    Reply

  24. MIP: extroverts = wealthier background+++; provide school programs to disadvantaged students= increase both social skills + other skills= confidence beyond grades

    Reply

  25. Extrovert characteristics= wealthy backgrounds + ^ chance of success
    Edu= imp. for trait development

    Reply

  26. extrovert correlates with wealthier family + well paid jobs; social skills are important (pos cor with earning); therefore school should focus on character edu for disadvantaged kids

    Reply

  27. wealthier = higher paying jobs bc of academic and non-academic skills
    disadvantaged= should be taught more social skills

    Reply

  28. People from wealthier backgrounds tend to be more extroverted which correlates with success compared to their counterparts from a disadvantaged background. Factors such as social skills that are beyond academics are being examined as a potential area for improvement that can significantly impact student outcomes.

    Reply

  29. Wealthier background + extroversion = higher salary
    disadvantaged students need character education

    Reply

  30. Extroverts fare better in the workforce and schools should try to improve disadvantaged students’ social skills.

    Reply

  31. MIP: extro corr with >$ jobs and >SES; need >character ed. so disadv can compete
    tone: neut

    Reply

  32. higher SES= more extro + brighter future
    new programs= help poorer students

    Reply

  33. Extroversion + good social skills help earn higher paid jobs. Children from wealthy background = more extrovert. School system needs to help disadvantaged students with social skills

    Reply

  34. MI: extroverts = from wealthy backgrounds (RTA: Vries)
    MI2: best jobs require extroverted traits

    Reply

  35. Extroverts = rich + good jobs. Personalities shape lives (vice versa). Character education = develop disadvantaged kids.

    Reply

  36. People from wealthier backgrounds have an advantage with respect to better grades and better-paying careers. A recent study was done to affirm that these same people also have another better trait: extrovertism. The article is encouraging schools to focus on both academics and characteristics for disadvantaged children.

    Reply

  37. wealth –> extrovert
    personality = affects success

    Reply

  38. wealthy bkgds = extrovert; research: best jobs require social skills; education = uncognitive skills + feedback = improvement + awareness for disadvantaged children. Author = neutral

    Reply

Leave a Reply