CAD.20.007 – Matching personality and motivation to optimal study choice: the road to a being a successful student and satisfied worker

Route: Child and adolescent development, upbringing and education

Cluster question: 059 How can we help children and adolescents grow up safe and healthy?

A well-informed study choice is a significant predictor for successful achievement in higher education and subsequent success on the labor market. Making this choice is a complicated process. There is an abundance of study topics to choose from, but students often lack the tools to guide this decision. Yet still, the dropout rates in Dutch higher education are high, placing a considerable burden on public finance and the wellbeing of students. Some students make a choice based on their own interest and curiosity. However, many other students make a choice based on parental expectations or self-worth concerns. For example, a student with a personality profile that is very much attuned to establishing and nurturing close relationships with others would ideally select a profession like nursing or medicine but might perhaps choose a career in finance due to external factors like expected income. Such a student would subsequently be more likely to drop out. The main goal of this project is to optimize the process of making an educational choice by developing and disseminating an educational tool that matches students’ personality traits, motivational strivings and study characteristics, leading to better motivation for learning, lower drop-out rates and increased study satisfaction.


adolescents, Development, dynamics, Motivation, Personality, study choice

Other organisations

Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen (RU), Utrecht University (UU)


Organisation Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)
Name dr. M. (Mariƫtte) Huizinga