An investigation of the relationships between the four typological dimensions of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and problem-solving skill level in mathematics at the community college

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

This exploratory study investigated the relationships between community college students' Myers-Briggs typology preferences and their problem-solving skills. The literature provides reason to believe that students' MBTI preferences are related to problem-solving style and ability. The educator's ability to teach problem-solving will be enhanced through an identification of motivational patterns affecting learning.

A sample of 577 community college students participated in the study. Achievement Level for each student was identified using the New Jersey College Basic Skills Placement Test. In addition, problem-solving ability was measured using the New Jersey Test of Reasoning Skills. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Form F, provided the MBTI profile scores.

Chi Square analyses, correlations, and stepwise regression techniques were employed to identify and test relationships. The best identified predictor was the student's preference on the Sensing/Intuition index. Preference on the Judgment/Perception index also proved to be significant. Students who have the least skills in mathematics problem-solving have stronger preferences in the direction of the sensing dimension and the judgment dimension.

Implications and recommendations for classroom instruction were presented and recommendations for related research were suggested.