Comparing different approach and avoidance models of learning and personality in the prediction of work, university, and leadership outcomes

Br J Psychol. 2009 May;100(Pt 2):283-312. doi: 10.1348/000712608X322900.


Jackson (2005) developed a hybrid model of personality and learning, known as the learning styles profiler (LSP) which was designed to span biological, socio-cognitive, and experiential research foci of personality and learning research. The hybrid model argues that functional and dysfunctional learning outcomes can be best understood in terms of how cognitions and experiences control, discipline, and re-express the biologically based scale of sensation-seeking. In two studies with part-time workers undertaking tertiary education (N = 137 and 58), established models of approach and avoidance from each of the three different research foci were compared with Jackson's hybrid model in their predictiveness of leadership, work, and university outcomes using self-report and supervisor ratings. Results showed that the hybrid model was generally optimal and, as hypothesized, that goal orientation was a mediator of sensation-seeking on outcomes (work performance, university performance, leader behaviours, and counterproductive work behaviour). Our studies suggest that the hybrid model has considerable promise as a predictor of work and educational outcomes as well as dysfunctional outcomes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology*
  • Educational Status
  • Employment / psychology*
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Goals
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Leadership*
  • Learning / physiology
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Personality / physiology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Students / psychology*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Universities
  • Young Adult