Personality type fans will probably not like this post, but statistics aren’t swayed by popularity.
As someone who has been a fan of personality type for years and is a certified practitioner for both the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Golden Personality Type Profiler, I am well-acquainted with the general message about personality type. As you should learn in any personality type debrief, no personality type is good or bad. In addition, no personality type is better than another.
However, based on studies conducted for the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal assessment, there is a very important difference between the critical thinking results for someone with a Thinking preference versus a Feeling preference.
As you can see in the Technical Manual for the Watson-Glaser, the study shows that individuals who report a Feeling preference on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator showed a statistically significant negative correlation with the key critical thinking ability Evaluating Arguments (r= -.27).
In addition, individuals who reported a Feeling preference on the Golden Personality Type Profiler showed a statistically significant negative correlation Drawing Conclusions (r= -.21) while the Thinking preference showed a statistically significant positive relationship with Drawing Conclusions (r= .26).
In other words, all personality types are not created equal when it comes to critical thinking ability.
So, what should you do to improve the critical thinking skills of your employees (both Thinking and Feeling types). Some people believe “practice makes perfect,” but I believe what Vince Lombardi once said, “Only perfect practice makes perfect.”
Without expert coaching, and consistent training and follow-up, one cannot improve their critical thinking skills. For more information on improving your critical thinking skills, click here.
Editor’s Note: Breanne Harris is the Solutions Architect for Pearson TalentLens. She works with customers to design selection and development plans that incorporate critical thinking assessments and training. She has a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology and has experience in recruiting, training, and HR consulting. She is the chief blogger for Critical Thinkers and occasionally posts at ThinkWatson. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter for more of her thoughts.