Personality Traits, Financial Literacy, and Financial Decision-Making Among University Students

Dr. Marc A. Fournier, Associate Professor and Associate Chair (Undergraduate)

Mentor: Dr. Marc A. Fournier

Dr. Marc A. Fournier

Project Description

This study will examine the relationships between personality traits, financial literacy, and financial decision-making among university students. Previous research has found that whereas the personality trait of Conscientiousness (industriousness, orderliness) is associated with increased savings and the avoidance of debt, Agreeableness (compassion, politeness) is associated with financial hardship. Building off this research, the main hypotheses of the present study are that Conscientiousness will have positive associations with financial literacy and financial decision-making and that Agreeableness will have negative associations with these outcomes. University of Toronto students (N = 300) will be asked to complete a battery of questionnaires, during which their personality traits, financial literacy, and financial decision-making will be assessed. Correlation and multiple regression analyses will be used to evaluate the study hypotheses. The present research represents an important domain of inquiry, as poor financial literacy and financial decision-making can negatively influence people’s well-being and prosperity. This research stands to identify the individual-difference risk factors that render university students more likely to face financial difficulties and may help to pinpoint avenues to ameliorate such difficulties. SROP students will be expected to assist with relevant literature reviews, data collection, data preparation, data analysis, and report writing.

Mentorship Statement

My approach to mentorship is based on the principles of consistency, availability, and autonomy support. I put these principles into practice by ensuring that I have regularly scheduled times to meet one-on-one with students as well as opportunities for my students to meet collectively as a lab, where they can see how all of their individual research projects intersect as part of a larger research design. Although supervision often entails providing students with some specific direction, I strive to support my students’ autonomy by encouraging them to discover and pursue their intrinsic research interests. In regard to the present research, SROP students will receive supervised training related to: reviewing the relevant literature; collecting, cleaning, and analyzing data; and preparing an empirical manuscript. I believe all students should have equal access to learning and training opportunities, and I support the SROP in its efforts to address systemic inequities in this domain.

Project ID 254