ERIC Number: ED205130
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-May
Reference Count: 0
Personality Type and Congruence with Environment: Their Relationship to College Attrition and Changing of Major. AIR Forum 1981 Paper.
Uhl, Norman P.; And Others
The relationship between attrition and a student's personality type was studied, using the Myers-Briggs Type indicator (MBTI), which classifies people according to extraversion/introversion, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling, and judgment/perception. In a second study, the extent to which a student's congruence with the personality types of other students within the person's major affected attrition and/or change of major was studied. Freshmen entering the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, in 1977 and 1978 were evaluated. Form F of the MBTI was administered to 663 freshmen during the summer orientation session of 1977 and to 952 freshmen during the 1978 orientation session. Because of the composition of the student body, approximately 80 percent of the sample was female and almost 90 percent was white. One year after the initial administration, the sample was divided into two groups on the basis of persistence/attrition. Multiple regression analyses were performed to predict dropouts using continuous scores on the four dimensions of the MBTI as the predictors, and dropout versus persister as the criterion variable. The results suggest that the MBTI may prove a valuable tool in predicting attrition, though only if examined major by major, and that certain types tend to choose certain majors. For instance, 85 percent of the music education majors, 84 percent of the nursing students, and 88 percent of the psychology majors were feeling types. In study two, congruence with the predominant type in the major appeared to be a much more reliable predictor of change of major than of dropout. In both studies, when attrition and change of major were investigated and the student's discipline was ignored, prediction was not possible. Prediction improved dramatically when these criteria were considered within specific disciplines. A list of personality characteristics of the different types and a bibliography are appended. (SW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: AIR Forum; Myers Briggs Type Indicator; University of North Carolina Greensboro
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research (21st, Minneapolis, MN, May 17-20, 1981).