Universities and colleges constantly face a costly problem: low student retention rates. One potential solution to low student retention is a personality-tailored e-mail intervention. The researcher tested this idea with a sample of 59 first-year students from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Participants took a personality assessment in order to measure their personality trait of sociability. Then participants were split into an experimental group and a control group based on a matched-sample paradigm that ensured sociability was not significantly different between the two groups. Participants in the experimental group received four different intervention e-mails throughout the course of the 2015 fall semester. The e-mails informed them about social events occurring on campus (i.e. football games, diversity events, and concerts) over the course of a two-week period. Four different academic outcomes were measured: GPA, course completion rates, course withdrawals, and fall-2015-to-spring-2016 retention rates. Additionally, Recognized Student Organization (RSO) membership was measured. The results demonstrated that sociability-tailored e-mail interventions have no association with course completion, course withdrawals, and retention. The results also demonstrated that sociability-tailored e-mail interventions have a negative association with GPA and RSO membership. Theoretical and practical implications for studying personality-tailored e-mail interventions and their effect on academic outcomes are discussed.


Kristie Campana

Committee Member

Kwang Woo Park

Committee Member

Andrea Lassiter

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)




Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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