2.5 Your Values, Personality and the Learning Process

“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”
– Anthony J. D’Angelo

Questions to consider:

  • Is there any connection between personality types and learning?
  • Can the Myers-Briggs test and other personality tests be used to identify personality traits and learning styles?
  • Is there a real correlation between personality styles and the learning process?
  • What is the impact on learning with work that you enjoy?

Learning Objectives

  • Identify personal values and align them with educational goals
  • Use various personality tests and/or skills inventories to evaluate career paths that match your values and interests
  • Describe the correlation between personal values, personality styles and learning


Values are the basic beliefs that guide our thinking and actions. Whether we are consciously aware of them or not, values influence both our attitudes and our actions. They help us determine what is important and what makes us happy. It is important to think about and reflect on your values, especially as you make decisions.

In this chapter, you will sample several self-assessment surveys to gain insights about your personal identity, values, educational goals, and career goals. By better understanding the interconnections, you are in a better position to make solid college and career choices.

Assessing Your Values

The journey of achieving success in college begins with a single step: identifying your personal values. Your personal values are your core beliefs and guiding principles. They shape the roles you play in daily life. They color your interests and passions, and frame your thoughts and words. In essence, your values are a compass that help you make decisions and choices.

What are your values, then? Which are most important to you, and which are least important? How do your values fit into your educational goals? How do your educational goals relate to your future career?

To help you answer these questions, you can use a “self-assessment” survey. These surveys can help you evaluate your personal identity—your thoughts, actions, attitudes, beliefs, values, and behaviors—in relationship to the task at hand, like going to college and preparing for a career.

Activity: Find Your Core Values

This worksheet provides you with a list of core values.

Core Values Worksheet

(Worksheet source: https://virtusinc.com/wp-content/uploads/Core-Values-Worksheet-1.pdf)

Follow the step by step instruction on this worksheet to find your top five core values.


Another way to recognize the important influence of values is to consider if you have ever made a decision that you later regretted. Did you reflect on your values prior to making that choice? Sometimes others ask us to do things that are inconsistent with our values. Knowing what you value and making plans accordingly is an important effort to help you stay on track toward your goals.

Analysis Question

Recall a decision that you have recently made (for example, a smaller decision about how to spend your Saturday, or maybe a larger decision about where to apply for part-time work). Did the values you identified through this exercise influence that decision? If so, how?

How do you demonstrate basic awareness of self in connection with academic and personal goals?

Keep in mind that your personal values and interests can and do change as you get older. This is evidenced in research conducted by a number of contemporary social scientists, like Erik Erikson and Daniel Levinson. Their studies show how our values affect our choices and how our choices can characterize the stage of life we’re in. As there are many phases of life, you can expect to see changes in your values and choices as you get older. You may experience a significant change in perspective while you are in college! To better understand your relationship with your values, you can continually reassess what is important to you. Make a commitment to examining your thinking, actions, and choices, and keep taking self-assessment tests. This will put you in a stronger position to manage changes in your educational goals, your career, living situation, hobbies, friends, and other aspects of your life.

By examining your values, you begin the process of understanding your ability to take on the role and responsibility as a student. It also influences your decision making process during your educational journey.

Consult your Program Handbook  for details about your responsibilities as a student. Overall, you demonstrate that you are a responsible student when you do the following:

  • Uphold the values of honesty and academic integrity.
  • Arrive on time and prepared for all classes, meetings, academic activities, and special events.
  • Give attention to quality and excellence in completing assignments.
  • Allot sufficient time to fulfill responsibilities outside of class.
  • Observe etiquette in all communications, giving respect to instructors, fellow students, staff and the larger college community.
  • Take full advantage of college resources available to you.
  • Respect diversity in people, ideas, and opinions.
  • Achieve educational goals in an organized, committed, and proactive manner.
  • Take full responsibility for personal behavior.
  • Comply with all college policies.

By allowing these overarching principles to guide you, you embrace responsibility and make choices that lead to college success and learning. The next step is to identify your personality traits and personality style.

Myers-Briggs: Identifying Personality Traits and Styles

The MBTI® assessment builds an understanding of strengths and blind spots. It also helps people understand how they might differ from one another. It is valuable for individuals and teams as they tackle such challenges as communication, handling conflict, managing change, making decisions, being a leader, or changing careers.

The Myers-Briggs® assessment is far more than just a personality questionnaire. Its benefits include:

  • A common language for understanding and describing the interpersonal differences that define us as individuals
  • An easy-to-understand but sophisticated way of understanding how people are similar and how they are different
  • Memorable and inspiring insights that help people understand challenging relationships
  • A positive view of all personalities, which avoids defensiveness and invites people to make genuine and lasting changes to their behavior
  • The MBTI framework is designed specifically for individual growth and development. As such, the assessment and interpretation process provide an opportunity for personal exploration that is difficult to achieve with other assessments.

The basic concept of Myers-Briggs is that there are four main traits. These traits are represented by two opposites, seen in the table below.

Extroverted (E) vs. Introverted (I)
Intuition (N) vs. Sensing (S)
Feeling (F) vs. Thinking (T)
Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P)
  • The extrovert (E) is primarily motivated by the outside world and social interaction.
  • The introvert (I)  is often more motivated by things that are internal to them—things like their own interests.
  • A person on the intuitive (N) 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.
  • A sensing (S) 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.
  • A person who is on the Feeling (F) end of the spectrum tend to respond based on their feelings and empathy.
  • The Thinking (T) person, arrives at opinions based on reason and logic. For them, feeling has little to do with it.
  • A person who is on the Judging (J) side of the spectrum approaches things in a structured way—usually using Sensing and Thinking traits.
  • The Perceiving (P) person often thinks of structure as somewhat inhibiting. They tend to make more use of Intuition and Feeling in their approach to life.

(Myers Brigg Information sourced from : https://www.themyersbriggs.com/en-US/Support/MBTI-Facts)

Activity – Personality Test

To find out more about personality types and learning styles, you can take an online personality test to experience it yourself. Several companies charge for this service, but there are a few that offer tests online for free.

 Click here for one such free online personality test.

Take the free personality test 

Again, keep in mind that your results can change under different circumstances, but doing it for the first time will give you a place to start.

Afterwards you can click here to read more about the connections between personality and learning styles. There you can look up the results from your personality test and see how much you think it aligns with your learning style preferences. Again, this exercise is not to determine your ultimate learning style, but it is to give you a deeper understanding of what is behind the concept of connecting personality types to learning. You can also identified your personality type use this chart for a detailed description of each of the 16 personality types as described by Myers-Briggs.

Alternatively, you can skip over to your personality style and watch an explanation in the video below

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugz0ttPYXF0


How to Use Personality Type Learning

Personality tests such as the Myers-Briggs can provide a great deal of insight into personal choices toward learning. Unfortunately, many people interpret them as being something that defines them as both a person and a learner. They tell themselves things like “I am an ESTJ, so I am only at my best when I learn a certain way” or “I rely on intuition, so a science course is not for me!” They limit themselves instead of understanding that while they may have particular preferences under a given situation, all of the different categories are open to them and can be put to good use.

What is important to know is that these sorts of models can serve you better as a way to think about learning. They can help you make decisions about how you will go about learning in a way that best suits your needs and goals for that particular task. Being aware of the personality type learning styles you have available to you can make a tremendous difference in both how you go about it and your success.

Interested in learning more about your identity and values?

Go to Unit Activity and participate in Activity # 1 Assess Your Personal Identity and Values

Key Takeaways

  • Your values are a compass that help you make decisions and choices and your personal values and interests can and do change as you get older.
  • It is important to assess yourself to determine your personality traits and your personal values as it will influence your learning and success in college.
  • The Myers-Briggs test provides a better understanding on how one behaves in certain circumstances and what their key strengths and weaknesses are. It is important to go much deeper into your personality type and answer “why?”, “how?” and “what if?”
  • Successful students understand that while they may have particular preferences under a given situation, all of the different categories are open to them and can be put to good use.

Attributions and References

This chapter has adaptations from:

Bruce, L. (2016). College Success. Provided by: Lumen Learning.
Book URL: https://www.coursehero.com/study-guides/collegesuccess-lumen/
Section URL: https://courses.lumenlearning.com/waymaker-collegesuccess/chapter/text-assessing-your-values/
License: CC BY: Attribution

Baldwin, A. (2020). College Success. Provided by: Open Stax.
Book URL: Access for free at https://openstax.org/books/college-success/pages/1-introduction
Section URL: https://openstax.org/books/college-success/pages/2-5-personality-types-and-learning
License: CC BY: Attribution

Personality Types and Learning is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by OpenStax.


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Fundamentals for Success in College Copyright © 2022 by Priti Parikh, Centennial College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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