Practice and Portfolio ZAP 101 - Part 2

Personality Styles

Knowing your strengths and recognising areas for development

Your strengths are the best part of your personality. A good way to understand what this is means exactly is to think about your friends. Why do you like them? If you figure out what your most dominant (or top) strengths are, and try and find ways to use them more it can help to improve your career.

We’re not talking about talents, like being a fast runner or a great guitar player (or whatever your thing is). Talents are things you do, and are good at, but they aren’t part of your personality. They don’t count as strengths. The reason strengths are so important is that everybody is at their best and happiest when they are using the best parts of themselves, or their individual strengths. Strengths and weakness analysis will be discussed in other modules or during tutorials.

History of Personality Types

The sixteen personality types which we use in our assessment are based on the well-known research of Carl Jung, Katharine C. Briggs, and Isabel Briggs Myers. Carl Jung first developed the theory that individuals each had a psychological type. He believed that there were two basic kinds of "functions" which humans used in their lives: how we take in information (how we "perceive" things), and how we make decisions.

He believed that within these two categories, there were two opposite ways of functioning. We can perceive information via 1) our senses, or 2) our intuition. We can make decisions based on 1) objective logic, or 2) subjective feelings. Jung believed that we all use these four functions in our lives, but that each individual uses the different functions with a varying amount of success and frequency. He believed that we could identify an order of preference for these functions within individuals.

The function which someone uses most frequently is their "dominant" function. The dominant function is supported by an auxiliary (2nd) function, tertiary (3rd) function, and inferior (4th) function. He asserted that individuals either "extraverted" or "introverted" their dominant function. He felt that the dominant function was so important, that it overshadowed all of the other functions in terms of defining personality type.

Katharine Briggs expounded upon Jung's work, quietly working on her own to develop his theories further. But it was Katharine's daughter Isabel who was really responsible for making the work on Personality Types visible.

Isabel, using her mother's work and Jung's work, asserted the importance of the auxiliary function working with the dominant function in defining Personality Type. While incorporating the auxiliary function into the picture, it became apparent that there was another distinctive preference which hadn't been defined by Jung: Judging and Perceiving.

Recommended Learning Activities

We encourage students to watch and complete the worksheet for the following video – An Introduction to the Myer-Briggs test. Please note, the video incorrectly states that Isabel Briggs Myers is Katherine Brigg’s daughter in law – when in fact she is her daughter.

Myer-Briggs Video | 5:23 mins

Worksheet for the above Myer-Briggs Video

To learn more about your own personality we recommend that you undertake a test to determine your type. The following Myer-Briggs test enables you to explore your personality type, so please click on the link, complete the test and later reflect on the results in your e-portfolio. Alternatively, there are additional options with links to other tests that have been included so students may choose.

Myer Briggs Test (Click Here)

Alternative Myer Briggs Tests (Free):

On completing at least one of these tests (suggested above), students should be able to determine a typology and then do further research about what it means. For example see below -

Please remember to record your personality type in your e-portfolio and reflect on what it means for you and your learning journey (You can do this as part of your blog on your home page for example). For more information on how your personality style impacts or affects learning, you can watch the following video which may assist you in completing your reflection. The video provides useful information on how you might use your personality style to be more productive in your learning.

The following video is on Myers-Briggs and Productivity | 6:02 mins

The section below also outlines the link between personality types and learning styles.

Linking Personality Types and Learning Styles

There is a close relationship between a learner’s personality and their learning style. A learner’s personality determines the ways a learner controls their emotions and feelings during the learning process. According to Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) an instrument widely used to discover the learning preferences of individuals, there are four different personality types of learners. Each of them differ in their learning style and have a different approach towards learning.

Let’s look at the personality types of learners and their effect on learning below.

Module Summary

This module concentrated on surface level and deeper level learning, preferred learning styles, and Kolb’s (1984) theory of the Experiential Learning Cycle. It provided information on personality types, as per the Myer Briggs typology, and encouraged students to engage in reflective practice in terms of the connections between learning styles and personality and what this means for them.

If students feel they haven’t been able to complete the reflections or understand the implications of how their personality, including strengths, and their learning style impact on their future development, we recommend that you revisit the recommended learning activities, and/or make contact with us to request additional support.

Students are encouraged to take ownership over the learning activities and talk about typologies and preferred learning styles in their portfolio blogs, or through reflective journals that can be uploaded to wordpress. How much that you do depends largely on you and how you feel you are progressing.


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