For the past few months I have been collecting data from different universities about Myers Briggs type. Five universities are so far included in the data set: University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, Brown University and Harvard University. Some other universities, including Northeastern University, University of Maryland and George Washington University did not procure enough data for inclusion. I would love to expand the study to more universities or colleges. If interested, please use the methods below and comment on this post with every Myers Briggs type listed and the number of respondents for each type, and I will format and interpret the information to match the analysis of other universities.
Introduction: Myers Briggs typology is a very popular, albeit disputed as to its scientific validity, way to view some aspects of personality. Myers Briggs is largely an assessment of people prefer to use different sorts of thought processes in the internal and external world. Thinking is, of course, crucial to education, and several studies have investigated the link between type and the sort of student you are. Therefore, it seems to be a particularly helpful instrument for gauging the environment and communities at places of higher education. I have personally found it helpful in quantifying that ephemeral quality of universities and colleges: "fit." Many "gut instincts" and reputations of colleges seem to have a significant foundation in these Myers Briggs analyses, adding some validity to the approach.
1. Information is collected via admitted student facebook group post asking people to comment with their Myers Briggs type. Exact wording has not been consistent. Sometimes a link is included for people to take an online test.
2. At least 75 participants must respond before data can be recorded
3. If a person is unsure and is between two types, they will be recorded as 1/2 in each type
4. If a person is unsure and is between more than two types, their response will not be recorded
Limitations of study:
1. Self-reporting type is inherently flawed, because people may project themselves as the type they want to be rather than one they actually are and/or might have used unofficial online tests to attain results and/or may not have thoroughly verified the results for themselves through self-reflection.
2. The flaws of self-reporting are exaggerated in the context of a Facebook post because some types might be more likely to have a Facebook, respond to a post, respond if they see others of their same type responding and/or respond if they don't see others of their same type responding.
3. The sample size is very small, covering approximately or less than 5% of admitted students in most cases.
4. I am not a psychologist, so all of my conclusions about how types are likely to act are based on informal reading and observation.
Use of study:
1. For the above reasons, the study CANNOT be used in an absolute context. For example, if 60% of respondents are thinkers, that suggests but does not necessarily mean that there are more thinkers than feelers in the overall body of admitted students, let alone that the exact percentage is 60%.
2. Since methods between universities were the same, the study CAN be used in a comparative context. That is, the fact that 60% responded as introverts at one university and 40% responded as introverts at another university suggests that the first university has significantly more introverts, whatever the actual percentage of introverts is.
3. The study CAN be used to gauge whether you are similar to some students at particular university, because at the very least you know there are people of your type or with similar preferences at the university.
4. The study CANNOT be used to determine that you are NOT similar to students at the university, because the sample size is far too small to show whether your type or preferences are common, let alone whether they exist at all. Also, it is highly statistically probable that every university admits students of every type, even if not in equal numbers.
5. The study is BEST used with a firm grasp of the theory and limitations of Myers Briggs typology itself, including the meaning of the individual preferences (I/E, S/N, F/T, P/J) AND how these preferences interact to form type.
Results: posted in comments because this post is too long.