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The role of personality and interests in predicting academic major selection

Purdue University
Publication Date
  • Education
  • Guidance And Counseling|Education
  • Educational Psychology|Psychology
  • Personality


I chose to examine if the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI; Briggs & Myers, 1993) preference types provide additional and distinct information in predicting academic major selection when compared to the Holland (1997a) model of interests. Vocational interests were measured by the General Occupational Themes of the Strong Interest Inventory (SII; Borgen & Harmon, 1996). The MBTI preference types and SII scores were obtained from 427 first semester, first year, undecided students. Discriminant analysis yielded three significant functions and demonstrated that the MBTI does provide some unique information via the Introversion/Extroversion and Thinking/Feeling dichotomies. The results also indicated that the combined scores of the MBTI and the SII correctly predicted a higher percentage of academic majors than either instrument alone. Use of the MBTI as a predictor of future academic selections be limited, but its use as a self-exploration tool should be encouraged. ^

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