Many companies the world over, use some kind of psychometric or personality testing on prospective job candidates. Usually, the higher the level of skill required for a job, the greater the likelihood of personality testing. Why? This tends to be a good indicator of how an individual will tolerate stress, whether they prefer to start or finish a project, whether they prefer to work alone or in a team.
As the demands of being a government spy are vastly different from being a publicist or television presenter, personality profiling is used as to fit the correct candidate to a job to assure the best outcomes in terms of productivity for a company. Similarly, your personality can ‘determine’ the best study methods or learning types for you. Today, the personality test most often used is the MBTI or Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
First things first
Before we begin to explore MBTI and the implications for learning, there are some absolutes you cannot avoid come exam preparation – MBTI and the learning style it points you to is not a magic formula.
You must put in the hours, try to eat nutritiously, stay hydrated and also get enough sleep. Continuously working on your understanding and memory retention rather than cramming the night before is also critical. It goes without saying that you study notes should be in order.
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MBTI, preferences, personality types and learning
The MBTI test was developed by Isabel Briggs Myers, and her mother, Katharine Briggs. Years earlier, the psychologist Carl Jung had described various personality types. The aim of MBTI was to give these ‘types’ practical application in everyday lives.
How does MBTI influence learning? Well, to put it simply, depending on your personality type, you will have certain preferences, for example, extraversion over introversion. Each preference responds more closely, for example, to a different technique for remembering information.
There are 8 preferences and 16 personality types – the personality types are identified and based on the interaction with the 8 preferences. You can find out your exact personality type, which will be a combination of four of the preferences, here.
In the next article, we will look at each of the 8 preference options plus the actual learning styles that work best for each one. Remember that there are 4 pairs of options (X or Y in each case), leaving you with 4 single preferences. These are not absolute, therefore they are called ‘preferences’ – ultimately, you are influenced by all 8 styles or preference options.
Now that you know a bit more about MBTI and have figured out your personality type, it makes sense to look at the preferences you chose and, how together, they will give you good clues as to the study methods that will work best for you.