Creative Education
2013. Vol.4, No.2, 124-131
Published Online February 2013 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
Burnout Levels and Personality Traits—The Case of
Turkish Architectural Students
Gözde Tantekin Celik1*, Emel Laptali Oral2
1Architectural Department, Engineering and Architectural Faculty, Çukurova University, Adana, Turkey
2Civil Engineering Department, Engineering and Architectural Faculty, Çukurova University, Adana, Turkey
Email: *
Received December 3rd, 2012; revised January 7th, 2013; accepted January 19st, 2013
The aim of this research has been to investigate the relationship between personality traits and burnout
levels of architectural undergraduate students. Maslach Burnout Inventory-Student Survey (MBI) and
Five Factor Model were used to collect related data. Analysis of the collected data showed variations in
personality traits and burnout levels of students from first to fourth year and revealed that education proc-
ess was an important role player in personality development and burnout levels of students. Architectural
students tended to be more “open to experience” and “extraverted” as they proceeded from the first year
to final year without having high levels of “emotional exhaustion”. “Emotional exhaustion” was observed
together with “neurotic” personality traits of students. Thus, one of the key recommendations of this re-
search is that university counselors should plan and organize guidance programmes by focusing on indi-
vidual requirements caused by both the student's personality traits and demands of the university educa-
tion which may vary between both years and departments. Future work of this research will thus focus on
civil engineering and computer engineering students in order to determine the effect of departmental dif-
ferences on burnout levels of students and guide counseling programmes within the University accord-
Keywords: Architectural Students’ Burnout; Five Factor Model; Maslach Burnout Inventory-Student
Survey; Personality
Students’ burnout is one of the important areas of investiga-
tion in higher education as it may the key for understanding a
wide range of students’ behaviours that affect academic per-
formance. In parallel, previous studies have determined person-
ality as one of the key factors that affect burnout levels of dif-
ferent professional groups. These studies have focused on de-
termining the relationship between personality and burnout by
using Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and Five Factor
Model. However, limited number of studies on university stu-
dents and none on architectural students have been undertaken.
Thus, the aim of the current research has been to determine
both the burnout levels and the personality traits of architectural
students and the relationship between these two factors.
Personality, Personality Traits and
Five Factor Model
The term “Personality” has been defined in many ways since
1930s when the systematic study of personality started to be a
recognizable and a separate discipline
( It is commonly defined as the
integration of physiologic, intellectual and mental characteris-
tics that makes an individual different from other individuals
(Dubrin, 1994; Davies, 1998; Morgan, 1999; Güney, 2000;
Costa, 2000; Eysenck & Wilson, 2000; Eren, 2000). In other
words, “Personality” is defined as the combination and interac-
tion of various traits that is unique to each individual. Various
trait theories, thus, have been developed in order to identify
(theories of Freud, Adler, Horney, Fromm and Jung (Deniz,
2007)) and also to measure (theories of Adler, Horney, Fromm,
Jung, Cattel, Fiske, Eysenck, Norman (Deniz, 2007)) these traits.
The “Five Factor Theory” or the so called “Big Five”, has
been one of the most widely used trait measurement theories. It
has been used by various researchers like Goldberg (1990);
Somer and Goldberg, (1999); Chernyshenko (2001); Kokkonen
and Pulkkinen (2001); Somer et al. (2002); Storm and Roth-
mann (2003); Bühler and Land (2004); Tomic et al. (2004);
Tichon (2005); Bakker et al. (2006); Demirkan (2006); Şimşek
(2006); Kokkinos (2007); Morgan (2008); Kim et al. (2009);
Lent (2010); Swider and Zimmerman (2010) and Zopiatis et al.
(2010) for different groups of individuals and professionals.
The theory was developed by Norman (1963). Working on
Allport and Odbert (1936)’s Factor Theory, Norman (1963)
declared that five major factors; i.e. dimensions were sufficient
to account for a large set of personality data. The model has been
preferred by many researchers, since then, due to its ability in
responding the modelling requirements of personality traits of
different individuals from all age groups in a short period of
time. The following paragraphs summarise the relationship
between “Five Factor Dimensions” and related behaviors.
This dimension is described as “the interest to the outer
world” and includes some features like friendliness, loving
*Corresponding author.
people, being assertive, excitement seeking, being energetic,
and thinking positive (Demirkan, 2006). Extraverted individu-
als are optimistic, enthusiastic, full of energy and they love
being together with people. They react to situations without
thinking, and they are likely to say “yes” to the opportunities.
(McCrae, Costa, 2000; Loveland, 2004). Introverts, on the other
hand, lack enthusiasm, energy and mobility tendencies of ex-
traverts. But, their lack of social involvement is not related with
shyness or depression. They simply have less stimulation than
extraverts and they choose to have more time alone.
This dimension of personality reflects individual differences
related to collaboration and social compliance. Agreeable indi-
viduals are respectful, friendly, helpful, generous and get along
with others easily as they have an optimistic view of human
nature. They believe people are basically honest, decent, and
trustworthy. Meanwhile, offensive individuals place self-inter-
est above getting along with others. They are generally uncon-
cerned with others’ well-being. Sometimes their scepticism
causes them to be suspicious, unfriendly, and uncooperative
(Martinez, Thomas, 2005; Friday, 2004).
Conscientiousness is about controlling, organizing and man-
aging one’s instincts. It includes some personality traits like
being analytical, responsible, prudent, patient and working hard.
Conscientious individuals are attributed as intelligent and reli-
able. The downside, on the other hand, is that these individuals
can sometimes be perfectionist, workaholic, conservative and
boring. Contrarily, individuals with low conscientiousness are
criticized about not being reliable, enthusiastic and consistent
(Perry, 2003).
Neuroticism—Emotional Stability
This dimension of personality includes features like anxiety,
anger, hatred, depression, inconsideration and thoughtlessness.
People who are emotionally tend to be calm, free from persis-
tent negative feelings and are not easily upset (Martinez &
Thomas, 2005; Cook, 2005). Neurotic individuals, on the other
hand, experience at least one of the feelings like concern, anger
or depression very easily. These individuals generally have
tendency to worry, to be sad, to feel lonely and dejected. How-
ever, they don’t feel shy even with strangers (Costa & McCrae,
Openness to Experience—Conservatism
This dimension expresses an individual’s tendency to be
open to different beliefs, view points and experiences (Aghaee
& Ören, 2004). Individuals who are open to experience are
intellectually curious, appreciative of art, and sensitive to
beauty (Turner, 2003). They tend to be more aware of their
feelings. Conservative people who are not open to innovations,
are against changes, and they perceive art and science with suspi-
cion and they prefer traditional to contemporary (Ehrler, 2005).
Limitations of Five Factor Model
While the model has been used for determining the personal-
ity traits of different groups by various number of researchers
as listed in the previous section, it has also been criticised by
some researchers related with the its limitations in reflecting the
differences caused by factors like gender and culture (Costa et
al. (2001), McRae et al. (2005), Schmitt et al. (2008), Cheung
et al. (2011)).
“Burnout” is a psychological term for the experience of
long-term exhaustion and diminished interest
(http://en. “Burnout”
syndrome has not been studied extensively until 1970s and
early studies on the subject prevailed conceptual confusion
(Schaufeli & Enzmann, 1998). However, Maslach and Jack-
son’s measurement method that is, Maslach Burnout Inventory
(MBI), ended the foregoing confusion and has been the most
well-studied measurement of burnout (Maslach et al., 1996).
Storm & Rothmann, 2003; Bühler & Land 2004; Tomic et al.,
2004; Bakker et al., 2006; Kokkinos, 2007; Ghorpade et al.,
2007; Kim et al., 2009; Lent, 2010; Swider & Zimmerman,
2010; Zopiatis et al., 2010 have been some of the recent re-
searchers who used MBI to measure the burnout levels of dif-
ferent individuals and professionals. MBI measures burnout
level of individuals according to three dimensions. These are
“emotional exhaustion”, “cynicism” and “reduced personal
Emotional Exhaustion
Emotional exhaustion refers to chronic state of physical and
emotional depletion ( The major sources
of emotional exhaustion are work overload and personal con-
flict at work. People feel drained and used up without any
source of replenishment. They lack enough motivation to face
another day or another person in need. This component repre-
sents the basic stress dimension of burnout (Maslach & Gold-
berg, 1998; Jackson & Rothmann, 2005).
Cynicism (Depersonalization)
Cynicism (Depersonalization) refers to a negative, cruel or
excessively detached response to other people, and it often
includes a loss of idealism. It usually develops in response to
the overload of emotional exhaustion in form of a self-protec-
tion by putting an emotional buffer with other individuals. This
component represents the interpersonal dimension of burnout
(Maslach & Goldberg, 1998; Pienarr & Wyk, 2006).
Personal Accomplishment
Personal accomplishment reflects feelings of competence
(Maslach et al., 1996). Reduced personal accomplishment refers
to a decline in one’s self competence and productivity at work.
A growing sense of inadequacy is experienced about one’s own
personal ability to help people, and this may result in a self-
imposed verdict of failure. This component represents the self-
evaluation dimension of burnout (Maslach & Goldberg, 1998).
Students’ Academic Burnout
In legal sense, students are not formal workers but, from a
psychological point of view, most of student activities related
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 125
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
to their studies are comparable to formal work. Students have
specified roles and they perform activities that require effort,
just like formal workers. They have to attend regular activities
(classes) and undertake specific tasks under the control of their
supervisors, and their performances are regularly assessed. The
main difference of study settings from formal work settings is
the lack of a direct relationship with the money. But, in one
sense, there is an indirect relationship between student activities
and money as most of the students obtain grants or financial
support depending on their academic achievements (Esteve,
Students’ burnout can be noticeable in several ways like;
feeling exhausted because of academic demands, having a
cynical and detached attitude towards their studies, and feeling
incompetent as a student (Lee et al., 2010). Thus, a student
version of Maslach Burnout Inventory, i.e. Maslach Burnout
Inventory—Student Survey (MBI-SS), was developed by
Schaufeli et al. (2002) in order to measure students’ burnout.
MBI-SS provides norm-referenced measures of students’ aca-
demic burnout syndrome through exhaustion, cynicism, aca-
demic efficacy and academic inefficacy. It has been used by
various researchers like Esteve (2003), Lingard et al. (2007),
Gan ve Shang (2007), Breso et al. (2007), Zhang et al. (2007),
Jia et al. (2009a), Salanova et al. (2009), Jia et al. (2009b), Hu
ve Schaufeli (2009), Lee et al. (2010), Breso et al. (2011).
Meanwhile, among all of these researchers, only Jia et al. (2009)
studied burnout levels of architecture students and observed
“low” burnout levels for both emotional exhaustion and aca-
demic efficacy and “very low” burnout levels for cynicism.
Previous Research Findings on Relationship
between Personality Traits and Burnout Levels
Table 1 shows previous research results on the relationship
between personality traits and burnout levels and these results
are discussed in the following paragraphs considering the fact
Table 1.
Relationship between personality traits and burnout levels.
Five factor personality traits
ExtraversionNeuroticismConscientiousness Agreeableness
to experience
Research No Research Burnout sub-dimensions Correlation coefficients
Emotional exhaustion 0.310 0.210 0.210 0.190 0.060
Cynicism 0.260 0.210 0.130 0.230 0.030
Storm and Rothmann
(2003) on pharmaceutical
corporate employees Personal accomplishment 0.270 0.210 0.210 0.090 0.340
Emotional exhaustion 0.414 0.640 - - -
Cynicism 0.314 0.359 - - -
2 Tomic et al. (2004)
on church ministers
Personal accomplishment 0.463 0.496 - - -
Emotional exhaustion 0.010 0.360 0.100 0.050 0.080
Cynicism 0.200 0.260 0.080 0.150 0.230 3 Bakker et al. (2006)
on volunteer counselors
Personal accomplishment 0.350 0.170 0.010 0.250 0.170
Emotional exhaustion 0.230 0.500 0.360 - 0.060
Cynicism 0.220 0.290 0.180 - 0.160
4 Kokkinos (2007) on
school teachers
Personal accomplishment 0.330 0.260 0.150 - 0.150
Emotional exhaustion 0.213 0.338 0.101 0.135 0.015
Cynicism 0.800 0.354 0.164 0.438 0.770 5 Ghorpade et al. (2007)
on university instructors
Personal accomplishment 0.221 0.321 0.307 0.356 0.251
Emotional exhaustion 0.129 0.343 0.167 0.077 0.096
Cynicism 0.139 0.266 0.229 0.174 0.060
6 Morgan (2008) on
university students
Academic efficacy 0.211 0.245 0.444 0.226 0.250
Emotional exhaustion 0.120 0.400 0.130 0.100 0.090
Cynicism 0.210 0.380 0.240 0.280 0.070 7
Kim et al. (2009) on
quick service restaurants
employees Personal accomplishment 0.100 0.170 0.410 0.260 0.110
Emotional exhaustion 0.215 0.642 0.349 0.281 0.056
Cynicism 0.142 0.388 0.234 0.373 0.025
8 Lent (2010) on
professional counselors
Personal accomplishment 0.196 0.430 0.288 0.350 0.405
Emotional exhaustion 0.290 0.520 0.190 0.180 0.090
Cynicism 0.230 0.420 0.240 0.310 0.100 9
Swider and Zimmerman
(2010) on various
individuals Personal accomplishment 0.410 0.380 0.280 0.310 0.210
Emotional exhaustion 0.396 0.493 0.385 0.234 0.218
Cynicism 0.409 0.365 0.437 0.527 0.113
10 Zopiatis et al. (2010)
on hotel managers
Personal accomplishment 0.305 0.208 0.337 0.160 0.211
that relationship between variables are weak for 0.1 - 0.23, me-
dium for 0.24 - 0.36, and strong for 0.37 and over correlation
coefficient values (Cohen et al., 2002).
In Table 1, results show that although some are weakly cor-
related, there is generally a negative correlation between “ex-
traversion” and both “emotional exhaustion” and “cynicism”,
and there is a positive correlation between “extraversion” and
“personal accomplishment”. These results are in good agree-
ment with the positive correlation values between “neurotic-
cism” and both “emotional exhaustion” and “cynicism” and
negative correlation values between “neuroticism” and “per-
sonal accomplishment”. Thus, it can be underlined that while
“emotional exhaustion” and “cynicism” go together with “neu-
roticism” but happen to be in opposite directions with “extra-
version”, “personal accomplishment” behaves parallel with
“extraversion”. Positive correlation of “personal accomplish-
ment/academic efficacy” with both “conscientiousness” and
“agreeableness” additionally show that it is not only “extraver-
sion” but also “conscientiousness” and “agreeableness” which
are in parallel direction with “personal accomplishment” for
most of the professionals studied.
Research Methodology
Big Five Inventory (BFI) (John & Srivastava, 1999) and
Maslach Burnout Inventory-Student Survey (MBI-SS) (Schau-
feli et al., 2002) questionnaires were used together in order to
achieve the objectives of the current research. Questionnaires
were first translated to Turkish and then applied to 208 archi-
tectural students in Çukurova University in Turkey. Students
were asked to respond to questionnaire items by using the
5-point Likert scale that ranged from “disagree strongly” to
“agree strongly”. For BFI, high Likert scale scores were the
indicators of extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness,
neuroticism and openness to experience. For MBI-SS, re-
sponses were interpreted according to the criterion given in
Table 2 (Gökdaş, 1996; Tekin, 1996). High Likert scale scores
on emotional exhaustion, cynicism and academic inefficacy,
and low scale scores on academic efficacy were considered as
the indicators of burnout (Breso et al., 2007).
The relationship between academic burnout and personality
traits were additionally investigated by undertaking correlation
calculations. Statistical analysis was evaluated by using “Mi-
crosoft Office Excel 2007 for Windows” and “SPSS 17.0 for
Windows” software programs. The strength of the correlation
coefficients are interpreted as in previous section.
Research Findings and Discussion
Reliability of Scales
Cronbach Alpha Coefficient (CAC) was used to determine
the reliability of the questionnaires (Myburgh et al., 2011). The
minimum CAC value being over 0.6 (see Table 3) shows that
the Turkish interpretation of the questionnaires are fairly reli-
Profile and Demograp hic Charac t er i stics of the
Profile and demographic characteristics of the respondents
are given in Table 4.
Table 2.
The sub-dimension rating criterion of MBI-SS.
Score Lower -
upper limit
1.001.00 - 1.79Very low burnout Very high burnout
2.001.80 - 2.59Low burnout High burnout
3.002.60 - 3.39Medium/moderate
4.003.40 - 4.19High burnout Low burnout
5.004.20 - 5.00Very high burnout Very low burnout
Table 3.
Cronbach alfa coefficient values of the questionnaire sections.
Scale cronbach alfa coefficient
Personality (as a whole) 0.761
Extraversion 0.734
Agreeableness 0.601
Conscientiousness 0.628
Emotional stability 0.611
Openness to experience 0.798
Burnout (as a whole) 0.718
Emotional exhaustion 0.835
Cynicism 0.729
Academic efficacy 0.717
Academic inefficacy 0.671
Table 4.
Profile of the respondents.
Gender of respondents
Grade Number of
% of
respondents Male Female
First year 48 23 6 17
Second year44 21 7 14
Third year 24 12 2 10
Fourth year92 44 19 25
Total 208 100 34 66
Burnout Levels of Architectural Students
The questionnaire findings related with the burnout levels of
architectural students are given in Table 5. The mean value (X)
being 2.59 for “emotional exhaustion” indicates “low level” of
burnout at this sub-dimension and the coefficient of variation
(¯V¯) being smaller than 0.5 shows the homogeneity of the
students’ answers. This result indicates that the education and
academic atmosphere in Architectural Department in Çukurova
University doesn’t cause students an unnecessary stress. Mean-
while, the “medium level” emotional exhaustion results for first
and third year students may be due to the characteristics of
these two classes. These are the years of transition during
which first year students try to adapt to university life and ar-
chitectural thinking and third year students undertake three
important projects (“Architectural Project”, “City Planning
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 127
Project” and “Conservation and Restoration Project”) simulta-
neously. Inevitable, these two years require a more intense
working tempo.
Low cynicism and academic inefficacy together with high
academic efficacy results in Table V show that students are able
to cope with the academic demands of their department and feel
adequate and competent. The project based education system in
the department requires students to be the part of the process
and is an important motivation for the students which results in
emotional attachment between the students and their work.
When students’ expectations on their architectural design
lesson grades are compared with their actual grades, it is ob-
served that the expected grades are much higher than the actual
grades (Table 6). 77 per cent of the students didn’t get marks as
high as they expected which shows that the students are too
optimistic about their “academic efficacy”.
Relationship between the Sub-Dimensions of Burnout
Inter item correlation values for burnout sub-dimensions for
architectural students are given in Table 7. Results which are in
good agreement with the previous studies like Schaufeli et .al.
(2002), Tomic (2004), Breso et al. (2007), Gan et al. (2007),
Ghorpade et al. (2007), Kokkinos (2007), Lingard et al. (2007),
Zhang et al. (2007), Morgan, (2008); Hu and Schaufeli (2009),
Kim et al. (2009), Salanova et al. (2009), Swider and Zimmer-
man (2010), Zopiatis (2010), show that “emotional exhaustion”,
“cynicism” and “academic inefficacy” are strongly correlated
with each other. Additionally, “academic efficacy”, is nega-
tively correlated with “cynicism” and “academic inefficacy”:
These findings are parallel to the findings of Breso et al. (2007)
which prove that while there is a significant positive correlation
between “academic inefficacy” and “cynicism” of university
Table 5.
Burnout levels of architectural students.
Exhaustion Cynicism Academic
1st year 2.68 2.24 3.38 2.09
2nd year 2.56 2.05 2.55 2.31
3rd year 2.99 2.55 23.63 2.06
4th year 2.46 2.31 3.76 1.99
X 2.59 2.26 3.64 1.98
σ 1.03 0.92 0.74 0.73
¯V¯ 0.40 0.41 0.20 0.37
Table 6.
“Architectural design” lesson grades.
% of Respondents
Grade Expectation
higher than
the achievement
Expectation the
same with the
lower than the
1st grade 69 23 9
2nd grade 76 13 11
3rd grade 75 20 5
4th grade 81 11 8
Total 76 15 8
Table 7.
Inter-item correlation between burnout sub-dimensions.
Variables 1 2 3 4
1) Emotional Exhaustion 1
2) Cynicism 0.659** 1
3) Academic Efficacy 0.195** 0.284** 1
4) Academic Inefficacy 0.554** 0.621** 0.408** 1
Note: **Indicates p < 0.01 (2-tailed).
students, there is a negative correlation between “academic
inefficacy” and “academic efficacy”. Findings of Breso et al.
(2007) also show that both “emotional exhaustion” and “cyni-
cism” have higher correlation with “academic inefficacy” than
with “academic efficacy”.
Personality Traits of Architectural Students
Five Factor Personality scores of architectural students ac-
cording to the BFI data are given in Table 8. First year stu-
dents’ scores show that “agreeableness”, “openness to experi-
ence” and “conscientiousness” are more dominant personality
traits of these students. When the results of first and final year
students are compared, it is observed that the education process
has an effect on personality traits of students. Results show that,
after four years in architectural department, students become
more “extraverted” and more “open to experience”. This is
probably due to the fact that project based education enables the
students’ communication skills to develop, as they have to
communicate with different types of people related with their
project subject and have to carry out regular presentations to
their classmates and lecturers. The intense communication re-
quirements of this process enhance the extravert traits of the
students. Additionally, the requirements of architectural design
process to follow the new technologies and developments also
enhance the extravert traits of students. Strong correlation be-
tween “extraversion” and “openness to experience” (similar to
the findings of Morgan (2008), Swider and Zimmerman (2010)
and Zopiatis (2010)) additionally show that these two traits
support each other during personality development of students
(see Table 9). Meanwhile, “neuroticism” dimension scores res
show that students have a moderate emotional stability during
their educational process. The results in Table 8 finally show
that architectural education has no significant effect on “con-
scientious” and “agreeableness” personality traits. This finding
is also supported by the positive correlation values between
these two personality traits (see Table 9).
Relationship between Burnout Levels and Personality
Traits of Architectural Students
Results in Table 10 show the correlation coefficient values
between “Burnout” and “Five Factor Personality Traits” sub
Results show that the strongest correlations are between
“academic efficacy” and “conscientiousness” (0.534), “emo-
tional exhaustion” and “neuroticism” (0.406) and “academic
efficacy” and “extraversion” (0.346). These results are in good
agreement with the results of both Ghorpade et al. (2007), Kim
et al. (2009), Zopiatis et al. (2010) who investigated correlation
between “professional efficacy” and “conscientiousness” for
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 129
Table 8.
Five factor personality trait scores of architectural students.
Extraversion Neuroticism Openness to experience Agreeableness Conscientiousness
1st year 3.13 3.14 3.89 3.94 3.65
2nd year 3.46 2.94 3.88 3.92 3.69
3rd year 3.37 3.07 3.69 3.82 3.53
4th year 3.52 2.89 4.03 3.94 3.70
X 3.40 2.97 3.92 3.92 3.67
σ 0.72 0.73 0.75 0.53 0.64
¯V¯ 0.21 0.25 0.19 0.14 0.17
Table 9.
Correlation coefficient values between five factor personality dimensions.
Variables 1 2 3 4 5
1) Extraversion 1
2) Neuroticism 0.243** 1
3) Openness to experience 0.395** 0.040 1
4) Agreeableness 0.159* 0.107 0.255** 1
5) Conscientiousness 0.173* 0.250** 0.218** 0.225** 1
Note: *Indicates p < 0.05, **Indicates p < 0.01 (2-tailed).
Table 10.
Correlation coefficient values between burnout sub dimensions and five factor personality sub dimensions.
Variables Extraversion NeuroticismOpen to experience AgreeablenessConscientiousness
1) Emotional exhaustion 0.166 0.406 0.174 0.071 0.251
2) Cynicism 0.118 0.255 0.180 0.143 0.324
3) Academic efficacy 0.346 0.207 0.298 0.206 0.534
4) Academic inefficacy 0.226 0.207 0.304 0.158 0.429
various professional groups and Bakker et al. (2006), Kokkinos
(2007), Morgan (2008), Kim et al. (2009), Swider and Zim-
merman (2010), Lent (2010), Zopiatis et al. (2010), Tomic et al.
(2004), Ghorpade et al. (2007) who established positive corre-
lation between “emotional exhaustion” and “neuroticism”.
The results in Table 10 additionally show that while “con-
scientiousness” and “extraversion” are two important charac-
teristics that come together with “academic efficacy”, neurotic
personality traits go together with “emotional exhaustion” and
“academic inefficacy”. These results are also in good agree-
ment with the results of Bakker et al. (2006), Kokkinos (2007),
Swider and Zimmerman (2010), Zopiatis et al. (2010) on pro-
fessional efficacy. Additionally, the negative correlation result
between architectural students’ “cynicism” with “conscien-
tiousness” is also supported by the findings of Storm and
Rothmann (2003), Ghorpade et al. (2007), Morgan (2008), Kim
et al. (2009), Swider and Zimmerman (2010) and Zopiatis’s et
al. (2010).
Literature shows that personality is one of the key factors
that affect burnout levels of different professional groups. Little
research has been undertaken related with architectural students.
Thus, the aim of the current research has been to determine
both the burnout levels and the personality traits of architectural
students and the relationship between these two factors. Mas-
lach Burnout Inventory—Student Survey and Five Factor
Model were used in order to achieve this. Turkish interpretation
of both of the surveys is verified to be fairly reliable and can be
used to determine the burnout levels and personality traits of
Turkish students.
Findings of the current research show that architectural stu-
dents have low burnout levels in general, and levels of “emo-
tional exhaustion”, “cynicism” and “academic inefficacy” are
all strongly related with each other. While it is undeniable that
“emotional exhaustion” levels of students increase under stress,
“neurotic” personality is also an important trait that is related
with “emotional exhaustion”. Other two key personality traits
related with burnout levels are “conscientiousness” and “extra-
version”, which are strongly related with “academic efficacy”.
Comparison of personality traits between four academic
years gives evidence that while architectural education process
does not have any significant effect on “conscientiousness” and
“agreeableness” personality traits of students; it has a positive
effect on not only “openness to experience” and “extraversion”
traits, but also on “neuroticism”.
It can be concluded from these findings that while the nature
of the architectural education inevitably directs the personality
of students towards “openness to experience” and “extraver-
sion”, educators should additionally find out ways to increase
the “conscientiousness” and “agreeableness” traits of students.
Furthermore, future research additionally should focus on sur-
veys on finding out if the accomplished “openness to experi-
ence” and “extraversion” of final year students still continues
during their professional life or are these findings just an
“empty promise” to the employers.
It should be finally added that counseling programmes in
Universities should be planned and organized by understanding
the burnout levels of students which are affected by both the
personality traits of students and education requirements of
different years in different departments. Future work of this
research will thus focus on civil engineering and computer
engineering students in order to determine the effect of depart-
mental differences on burnout levels of students and guide
counseling programmes within the University accordingly.
This project is supported by Cukurova University Research
Funding (MMF2011BAP25).
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