Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

The Personality Types of Chinese Dental Postgraduate Students

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

The Personality Types of Chinese Dental Postgraduate Students

Article excerpt

The objective of this study was to find the personality types of Chinese dental postgraduate students using the Chinese version of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI-Form G; Myers, 1987). The subjects were 372 dental postgraduate students and 336 postgraduates from other professions as a control group. The dental students were at Fourth Military Medical University and Xi'an Medical University. The control group attended Xi'an Jiaotong University. The three dominant personality types among the dental postgraduates were ISTJ (15.3%), ESTJ (13.7%) and ISFP (11.8%). The distribution of Extroversion (E) over Introversion (I) and Thinking (T) over Feeling (F) was different from other professions. Male and female dental postgraduates had similar types of mental attitude (E-I; judging-perceiving J-P) and mental function (sensing-intuition, S-N; T-F). Statistically significant differences were found between males and females in the distribution of J-P types. It was found that Chinese dental postgraduates have personality types that differ from the other comparative Chinese professional student groups.

Keywords: personality, MBTI, dental postgraduate, education, cross-culture.

The personality types of dental school applicants, dental students and dentists have been discussed in previous papers (Chamberlain, Catano, & Cunningham, 2005; Morris, 2000; Murphy, Gray, Straja, & Bogert, 2004; Ranney, Wilson, & Bennett, 2005; Saline, 1991; Smithers, Catano, & Cunningham, 2004; Westerman, Grandy, & Erskine, 1991). Minimal research on the personality types of Chinese dental postgraduates has been done. Previous studies in Western nations have revealed that dental students exhibited different characteristics from the students in other fields, such as business, engineering and social workers (Silberman, Cain, & Mahan, 1982). Education ability combined with a period of training might produce good dentists, but perhaps such factors as personality have more influence on future success. For example, students' academic scores are little correlated with their ultimate success in the dental undergraduate course (Carrotte, 1993; Glyn-Jones, 1979). The interest in dental careers has increased dramatically in China in recent years. As the main source of dentists, dental postgraduates should get more proper education. Some results demonstrated the importance of faculty understanding and acknowledging different student personality types and related learning preferences as ways to initiate improvement of dental education, promote student motivation and allow for an expression of learning-style preference (Jessee, O'Neill, & Dosch, 2006). The objective of the present study was to explore the personality types of Chinese dental postgraduate students using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBIT) to investigate trends that can be utilized by researches and educators.

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a forced choice, self-disclosure instrument which was developed by Myers and McCaulley (1985). The MBTI provides four dimensions of an individual's preferences which combine to form an individual's personality type along the line of Extroversion-Introversion (E-I), where an individual gets energy and focuses attention either on the inner world or outer world; Sensing-intuition (S-N), the way one gets information; ThinkingFeeling (T-F), the way one makes decisions; and Judging-Perception (J-P), how an individual deals with the outside world and their lifestyle. The MBTI was constructed for classification of subjects into types based on the personality theories of Jung. In his theory, individuals have four basic mental attitudes and four basic mental functions. Mental attitudes include extroversion (to the outside world) and introversion (to the inside world); judging (organized, decisionmaker) and perceiving (flexible, adaptive). Mental functions include sensing (realistic, cautious) and intuition (imaginative, creative); thinking (logical, analytic) and feeling (sympathetic) (see Table 1 and Table 2). …

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