Win At Any Cost: Examining Personality Correlates of Achievement in Adolescent Athletes


  • Winston Park Gilman School
  • Matthew Herman Mentor, Gilman School



adolescent, athlete, personality psychology, Agreeableness, Machiavellianism, Hypercompetitiveness, Athletic Achievement, Sports


Achievement in sports is often attributed to being highly competitive or doing “whatever it takes” to win as opposed to being agreeable. The current consensus is that these traits, manifested as hypercompetitiveness, Machiavellianism, and agreeableness, tend to be highly related within adult populations and athletes. Machiavellianism, the “whatever it takes' ' attribute and hypercompetitiveness have been found to be positively correlated with one another while both are negatively correlated with agreeableness. Previous studies have failed to examine the same phenomenon in individual-sport adolescent athlete populations, in addition to how these trends may influence athletic achievement. In this study, a random sampling of an adolescent athlete population was given a battery of personality scales: The Hypercompetitive Attitude Scale, the MACH-IV, and an IPIP Agreeableness Measure. The participants’ highest national rankings in their sport were also examined. Previous findings in adult populations were replicated in this study, as Machiavellianism and hypercompetitiveness were found to have a strong negative correlation with agreeableness(r= -0.678, p= 0.000039, and r= -0.690, p= 0.000025, respectively). Machiavellianism displayed a moderate, positive correlation with hypercompetitiveness(r= 0.496, p= 0.005312). However, the differences in Machiavellianism and hypercompetitiveness between those who had achieved a rank of at least top 15 in the country and other participants were not found to be statistically significant. These results show that athletic achievement in adolescents was not significantly affected by the personality traits of Machiavellianism and hypercompetitiveness. Additional research is needed to discover what personality traits constitute a champion. 



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How to Cite

Park, W., & Herman, M. (2021). Win At Any Cost: Examining Personality Correlates of Achievement in Adolescent Athletes . Journal of Student Research, 10(3).



HS Research Articles