November 30, 2010

Type links in student success

I am currently exploring research directed toward identifying if Psychological Type preferences affect student success at a research university. My interest is in determining if there is correlation of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI) preferences as a gauge of academic success in college. This idea originates from my work as a type practitioner and instructor of a first-year seminar course. Through my annual lectures introducing the MBTI to link personal preferences and learning styles, I quickly detected that my student population was overrepresented in some type preferences in comparison to national samples. Additionally, I found a higher number of students with specific type preferences demonstrating academic difficulty in the first college year.

My personal experience with type is that early in my career, I began to detect interpersonal roadblocks and miscommunication, particularly in the workplace, related to what I later learned were my type preferences. As I further researched type and my own preferences, I began to see opportunities for enabling students to understand more about themselves in the transition to college. As I was already an experienced first-year seminar instructor, I sought academic training to become a type facilitator to add type education in my course. I began administering the introduction to MBTI in my first-year seminar class and to date have assessed the type preferences of more than 700 students in the seminar course during their first semester of college. My goal is to complete a longitudinal study of the academic success and graduation completion of students administered the MBTI in their first year to determine if students with specific type preferences have more academic difficulty in their path to a degree. Ideally, this information will provide early identification for students who may require enhanced programming to meet their academic needs.

Related to this research, I have found type awareness to be extremely helpful in my own relationships, work, and communications. Type has become a touchstone for me, a frame of reference that allows me to dissect and review difficult relationships, expectations, and communications that may occur with others. My knowledge and use of type has been therapeutic in allowing me to recognize that we don’t all interact, process information or produce decisions in similar manners. And our differences make us stronger.


KRGuidry said...

I thought the MBTI was widely condemned and ridiculed by psychologists...?

Debra Sanborn said...

Criticism has focused toward attempts at using MBTI as a predictor, a use for which it is not intended. When used correctly to assess preferences, MBTI compares to other assessments for validity, consistency and reliability.

Thank you for your comment.

KRGuidry said...

Ok. But I'm not quite clear on how what you are thinking of doing isn't using going to result in using MBTI as a predictor (of academic persistence and success).

Debra Sanborn said...

Ah, I see what you are saying. Guess that will depend on the results. Need to examine more data first. Thanks for your feedback.