Characterizing the successful student in general chemistry and physical science classes in terms of Jung's personality types as identified by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

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Riley, Wayne
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Middle Tennessee State University
A student's success in a science class can depend upon previous experiences, motivation, and the level of interest in the subject. Since psychological type is intrinsic to a person's whole being, it can be influential upon the student's motivation and interests. Thus, a study of student psychological types versus the level of success in a class, as measured by a percentage, has potential to uncover certain personality characteristics which may be helpful to or which may hinder a student's learning environment. This study was initiated, using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, to evaluate any correlation between a student's personality type and his/her performance in a science class. A total of 1041 students from three classes: Chemistry 121/122, Chemistry 112, Physical Science 100, volunteered for the study. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine the levels of significance among sixteen personality types' averages. The results reveal that for the Chemistry 1121/122 course, the average score of the INTJ personality type was 5.1 to 12.6 points higher than every other personality type. The ANOVA identifies 3 personality types with averages significantly below the INTJ at the p {dollar} less than {dollar} 0.05 significance level. The ANOVA analysis for the Chemistry 112 course identified significances between student scores at p = 0.08. The significance level for the differences among scores for the Physical Science 100 course was determined at a level of p = 0.02. Significance levels for p {dollar} less than {dollar} 0.05 and {dollar} less than {dollar}0.01 were identified between several groups in this course. The data suggest, that although personality type may not predict a particular student's success in a science class, students with certain personality traits may be favored in a chemistry class due the structure of the instruction and the presentation of the subject matter.
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