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Health Professions Division Terry Building

Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) Research

The Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) is a personality instrument created by Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Briggs. It is based on the work of Carl Jung, who developed theories of archetypes of human personality. Using 165 forced choice questions, the MBTI places people in one of sixteen personality types, based on measurements in four constructs: introversion/extroversion (E/I), thinking/feeling (T/F), sensing/intuition (S/N), and judging/ perceiving (J/P). In basic terms, extroverts prefer to place their attention on the external world of people and objects. Introverts prefer to place their attention on their interior world of ideas and impressions. People with a dominant thinking function tend to base their decisions on logic and objective analysis, while people with a dominant feeling function base their decisions primarily on values and subjective evaluations of person-centered concerns. Those with a dominant sensing function tend to focus on the present and on information gained through the senses, while those with a dominant intuitive function tend to focus on the future and on imagination and possibilities. Judgers prefer a planned and organized approach to life while Perceptors prefer a flexible, spontaneous approach to life.

NSU is fortunate to have on its faculty Stanly R. Cohen, Ed.D. Dr. Cohen's involvement with the MBTI dates back to its validation trials in the 1960s. He was among the group of psychologists and counselors chosen to compare the MBTI's results against typing individuals through contact and observation. Collaborators spent a week with the subjects; observing them, interacting with them, and interviewing them. The MBTI performed impressively. 70% of the time the instrument’s typing of an individual matched the typing of a psychologist or counselor who was trained in how to type and who had spent time observing, interacting, and interviewing that individual. To put that percentage in perspective, the California Personality Inventory usually only has a 50% success rate.

Dr. Cohen has been administering the MBTI to the majority of incoming Health Profession Division students since his arrival at NSU in 1982. Students find knowing their type helpful in a number of ways. They can use that information to understand themselves better, to understand their relationships with other people better, to understand their learning preferences, to help them communicate more effectively with people whose personality type is in conflict with their own, and to gain a better ability to relate to the different personality types of their patients.

List of their Published Research

From the data collected, Dr. Cohen has collaborated with Patrick Hardigan, Ph.D., and other HPD faculty to publish a number of studies in various journals.

Cohen, S.R., & Ahmed, S.S. (1998). Comparative assessment of personality profiles in various health care profession students. Perspective on Physician Assistant Education, 9, 4, 219-222.

Hardigan, P.C., & Cohen, S.R. (1998). Comparison of personality styles between students enrolled in osteopathic medical, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant, and occupational therapy programs. Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, 98, 11 637-641.

Hardigan, P.C., & Cohen, S.R. (1999). A comparison of osteopathic, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant, and occupational therapy students’ personality styles: Implications for education and practice. Journal of Pharmacy Teaching, 7, 2, 67-79.

Hardigan, P.C., Cohen, S.R., & Carvajal, M.J. (2001). Linking job satisfaction and career choice with personality styles: An exploratory study of practicing pharmacists. Journal of Psychological Type 57, 2001 30-35.

Hardigan P.C., Cohen S.R., Janoff, L.E. (2003): A Comparison of Learning Styles Among Seven Health Professions: Implication for Optometric Education. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2003. Volume 1 Number 1.