Saturday, December 21, 2013

Learning: Personality Differences

In the last byte, we looked at how a manager could develop self-efficacy and encourage a particular behavior at work. In today's byte, we look at how individual personality differences can affect learning.

If we were to reflect to see if there exists any relation exists between the personality types - extroverts and introverts we begin to see some observations that are important. Introverts prefer quite time to study, concentrate and reflect on what they learn. Their ability to think is best when they are alone. Extroverts on the other hand tend to derive their energy from the surrounding - they think best in groups and while they are talking. They need to interact with other people, and generally learn through the process of expressing and exchanging ideas with others.

If we also look at other ways to classify people, we could classify them as: Intuitors and Sensors based on the way they prefer to gather information or as Thinkers and Feelers based on the way they prefer to make decisions. We find that people who are Intuitors prefer theoretical frameworks, and look for meaning in material; their constant attempt is to understand the grander scheme of things and is constantly on the outlook for possibilities and interrelations. Sensors prefer specific and empirical data. They look for practical applications of what they learn and attempt to master the details of a subject, they are constantly on the lookout for what is realistic and doable. Thinkers prefer to analyze data and information, work to fair-minded and even headed; they seek logical and just conclusions and don’t like to be too personally involved. The feelers are found to prefer interpersonal involvement, are seen to be tenderhearted and harmonious, they seek subjective, merciful results and generally don’t like factual or objective analysis.

It is important to understand form the above that each person has preferred mode gathering information and a preferred mode of evaluating and making decisions about that information! The functions of thinking and feeling determine how the individual evaluates and makes decisions about newly acquired information.

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