Myers Briggs Personality Assessment

Myers-Briggs Personality Testing

Much like learning styles, there have been a number of theories surrounding the idea that different personality types may prefer different kinds of learning. Understanding how personality traits and learning styles are categorized can be useful in making decisions and choices for your own learning activities. It can be interesting to review how personality styles may impact your ability to learn.

Whether you put any value on these theories, it’s important to recognize that employers may use personality assessments in the hiring process. For example, an organization may identify a lack of strong leadership in its marketing department. Everyone is good at doing the tasks that need to get done, but no one is willing to take charge.

When reviewing a series of qualified applicants, a personality assessment may be used to identify which candidates have a leadership personality style before offering anyone an interview.

What knowing about personality traits and learning can do for you is to help you be aware and informed about how these affect you so you can deal with them directly.

Extroverted (E) vs. Introverted (I): In the Myers-Briggs system, the traits of Extroverted and Introverted are somewhat different from the more common interpretations of the two words. The definition is more about an individual’s attitude, interests, and motivation. The extrovert is primarily motivated by the outside world and social interaction, while the introvert is often more motivated by things that are internal to them—things like their own interests.

Intuition (N) vs. Sensing (S): This personality trait is classified as a preference toward one way of perceiving or another. It is concerned with how people tend to arrive at conclusions. A person on the intuitive end of the spectrum often perceives things in broader categories. A part of their process for “knowing things” is internal and is often described as having a hunch or a gut feeling. This is opposed to the preferred method of a sensing person, who often looks to direct observation as a means of perception. They prefer to arrive at a conclusion by details and facts, or by testing something with their senses.

Feeling (F) vs. Thinking (T): This trait is considered a decision-making process over the information gathered through the perception (N versus S). People that find themselves more on the Feeling end of the spectrum tend to respond based on their feelings and empathy. Examples of this would be conclusions about what is good versus bad or right versus wrong based on how they feel things should be. The Thinking person, on the other hand, arrives at opinions based on reason and logic. For them, feeling has little to do with it.

Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P): This category can be thought of as a personal preference for using either the Feeling versus Thinking (decision-making) or the Intuition versus Sensing (perceiving) when forming opinions about the outside world. A person that leans toward the Judging side of the spectrum approaches things in a structured way—usually using Sensing and Thinking traits. The Perceiving person often thinks of structure as somewhat inhibiting. They tend to make more use of Intuition and Feeling in their approach to life.

The Impact of Personality Styles on Learning

To find out their own personality traits and learning styles, a person takes an approved Myers-Briggs test, which consists of a series of questions that help pinpoint their preferences. These preferences are then arranged in order to build a profile using each of the four categories.

For example, a person that answered questions in a way that favoured Extroverted tendencies along with a preference toward Sensing, Thinking, and Judging would be designated as ESTJ personality type. Another person that tended more toward answers that aligned with Intuitive traits than Sensing traits would fall into the ENTJ category.

Table: Personality Types

As with other learning style models, Myers-Briggs has received a good deal of criticism. Additionally, the claim that each person has a permanent and unwavering preference towards personality traits and learning styles has not turned out to be as concrete as it was once thought. This has been demonstrated by people taking tests like the Myers-Briggs a few weeks apart and getting different results based on their personal preferences at that time.

2.5 Personality Types and Learning” from College Success  by Amy Baldwin & Open Stax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License 


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