Using Myers-Briggs to Explain Different Learning Styles

by Sara Vazquez Shaw

It is a fact that all students not only learn differently but also perceive information differently. As a student, it is important you understand how your personality traits affect how you learn as well as how you behave.

Learning styles are defined as the methods through which you acquire, perceive, and process information. When it comes to learning styles, there is no right or wrong way to learn - everyone just has his or her own preferred style of learning.

Isabel Myers and Katharine Briggs developed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, or MBTI, to help people understand the differences of human personalities. The test itself is based on the theory of Swiss psychologist Carl Jung. Myers and Briggs used Jung's theory to create a list of four personality traits: Introvert-Extravert (I-E), Sensing-Intuitive (S-N), Thinking-Feeling (T-F) and Perceiving-Judging (P-J). While these are the four main personality ranges, there are numerous other combinations that stem from these as well.

By understanding your specific personality type, you can plan your career more realistically and manage studies better, because you will be equipped with an understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses. Here are some common personality traits identified by the MBTI and how each affects learning:

Introverts v. Extraverts

If you are an introvert, you tend to be quiet, listen attentively, and think before acting. You would rather be alone than with others, and you have the ability to concentrate well and prefer to handle one task as a time. However, if you are an extravert, you may have a great deal of energy, talk much more than listen, and act before thinking. You may like to be around a crowd of people, are easily distracted, and love to multitask.

Sensors v. Intuitives

If you are a sensor, you tend to focus on specifics, easily remember facts, live in the present, trust real-life experience and work at a steady pace. However, if you are an intuitive, you may tend to focus on the bigger picture, think about the implications of the future, trust your gut instinct, and work in energy bursts.

Thinkers v. Feelers

If you are a thinker, you tend to make decisions objectively, have a reserved attitude, are direct and honest and argue things 'just for fun.' However, you are likely a feeler if you make decisions based on your feelings and emotions, have a friendly attitude, are tactful and diplomatic, and do your best to avoid debates, conflicts, and arguments.

Perceivers v. Judgers

You know you are a perceiver if you are playful, prefer to begin projects but struggle to complete them, put play before work, question the need for rules, and love to be spontaneous. However, you are probably a judger if you take things seriously, like to complete projects rather than starting them, put work first and play later, are a rule follower, and love to have things in order and scheduled.

By understanding what your personality type is, as well as your learning preferences and your ideal classroom environment, you can better deal with a variety of classroom situations.

Tags: Learning style myers briggs
Categories: Learning