Personality traits in predicting interior design students' academic success and persistence
Peggram, Rosemary E.
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With the steady growth of interest in the field of interior design, programs are looking for ways of admitting students into their curriculum that have a higher likelihood of succeeding and persisting in the program. A method beyond the existing high school GPA, class rank, and SAT/ACT scores is needed to help predict entering interior design students’ academic success. Research has shown that the NF / NT dimension, of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), will predict an interest in an artistic profession. The assessment of personality traits as predictors of academic performance coupled with demographic variables and standard admission criteria are proving to be valuable in recognizing non-cognitive factors that influence success or failure in academic endeavors. Present studies do suggest that personality traits can be reliably assessed and that certain traits do affect students’ academic performance. The purpose of this research is to (a) assess the personality types, using the MBTI, of senior interior design students; (b) compare personality types of freshmen and seniors to determine if differences exist; (c) determine if personality types, used with SAT/ACT scores and high school rank, can be a significant predictor of academic success and program persistence; and (d) develop a profile of the successful senior interior design student. The 121 participants were freshmen and senior interior design students enrolled in CIDA (Council for Interior Design Accreditation) accredited professional level programs at public, 4-year universities selected from the Southwest Region, as defined by the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC). The MBTI personality assessment, demographic questionnaires, descriptive statistics, standard multiple linear regression and Pearson chi-square were utilized to answer the research questions. The findings indicate that all 16 types of the MBTI are represented in the seniors with 71% falling into 7 types. The top 4 MBTI types for freshmen were ENFP, ISTJ, ISFJ and ESFP. The top 4 MBTI types for seniors were ISFJ, ESTJ, ENFP and ENTJ. To predict success in interior design, significance was found between the Judging dimension of the MBTI, senior classification, older age, higher ACT score, and higher high school rank with higher cumulative GPA.