(This is a follow-up of a work in progress paper presented last year. With more data gathered we expect to be able to provide stronger conclusions about whether there is any relationship between students’ personality types and their topics of technical interest.)
A popular personality assessment tools is the Myers Brigg Personality Type Indicator® (MBTI) test. In this indicator, people are classified according to 16 different personality types. Results of the MBTI self-assessment test indicates whether the person tends to be sensing (S) or intuitive (N), thinking (T) or feeling (F), judging (J) or perceiving (P), and extroverted (E) or introverted (I). Personality types can be used to help people know more about their strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, compatibility with other people and even potential career preferences. An ASEE-MBTI study done in 1980 showed that engineering students predominantly tend to have thinking and judging personality types and are generally introverted. However, no study has related students’ personality type to their technical topics of interest. Data gathered last year showed that engineering students generally have the same personality types as in the 1980 data gathered by ASEE. The majority of engineering students had JT personality types. There was a shift in the introverted and extroverted personality types with a greater proportion of students being extroverted in our study last year compared to the 1980 ASEE study. During presentation of the results at last year’s ASEE conference, the audience felt that this trend is reasonable since engineering students are now engaged in more teamwork than before and teamwork promotes extroversion. Last year’s data also showed a noticeable shift between the sensing and intuitive personality types compared to the 1980 data, with the majority of first-year engineering students being more intuitive than sensing.
In the present study, we will not only compare and contrast the dominant personality types of first-year Gen Z engineering students, but also study the relationship between their personality types and their interest in different engineering topics. The personality types of undergraduate engineering students in the first-year Introduction to Engineering course were determined using the MBTI test. Relationships between students’ personality types and different topics in engineering such as sustainability, entrepreneurship, communication, or traditional engineering disciplines and their learning preferences are presented. The results of the study can be useful for improving the recruitment and retention of the new generation of Gen Z engineering students.
Are you a researcher? Would you like to cite this paper?
Visit the ASEE document repository at
for more tools and easy citations.