Investigating the effects of personality traits on pair programming in a higher education setting through a family of experiments

Salleh, Norsaremah, Mendes, Emilia and Grundy, John 2014, Investigating the effects of personality traits on pair programming in a higher education setting through a family of experiments, Empirical software engineering, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 714-752, doi: 10.1007/s10664-012-9238-4.

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Title Investigating the effects of personality traits on pair programming in a higher education setting through a family of experiments
Author(s) Salleh, Norsaremah
Mendes, Emilia
Grundy, JohnORCID iD for Grundy, John
Journal name Empirical software engineering
Volume number 19
Issue number 3
Start page 714
End page 752
Total pages 39
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2014-06
ISSN 1382-3256
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Computer Science, Software Engineering
Computer Science
Pair programming
Formal experiment
Personality traits
Five-factor model
Higher education
Summary Evidence from our systematic literature review revealed numerous inconsistencies in findings from the Pair Programming (PP) literature regarding the effects of personality on PP's effectiveness as a pedagogical tool. In particular: i) the effect of differing personality traits of pairs on the successful implementation of pair-programming (PP) within a higher education setting is still unclear, and ii) the personality instrument most often used had been Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), despite being an indicator criticized by personality psychologists as unreliable in measuring an individual's personality traits. These issues motivated the research described in this paper. We conducted a series of five formal experiments (one of which was a replicated experiment), between 2009 and 2010, at the University of Auckland, to investigate the effects of personality composition on PP's effectiveness. Each experiment looked at a particular personality trait of the Five-Factor personality framework. This framework comprises five broad traits (Openness to experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism), and our experiments focused on three of these - Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and Openness. A total of 594 undergraduate students participated as subjects. Overall, our findings for all five experiments, including the replication, showed that Conscientiousness and Neuroticism did not present a statistically significant effect upon paired students' academic performance. However, Openness played a significant role in differentiating paired students' academic performance. Participants' survey results also indicated that PP not only caused an increase in satisfaction and confidence levels but also brought enjoyment to the tutorial classes and enhanced students' motivation.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s10664-012-9238-4
Field of Research 080309 Software Engineering
Socio Economic Objective 890202 Application Tools and System Utilities
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
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Document type: Journal Article
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