Learning styles and personality types: Identification and comparison of hospitality students in Taiwan and the United States



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Texas Tech University


The purposes of this study were to identify and to compare learning style and personality type profiles of hospitality undergraduate students in Taiwan and the United States (U.S.). This was the first investigation of Taiwanese hospitality students involving their distributions of learning style and personality type profiles. Four hundred and ninety-seven (497) Taiwanese hospitality students from two major universities and 294 American hospitality students from one major equivalent program completed the questionnaire, which included demographic information, Kolb's Learning Style Inventory (LSI), and Personal Style Inventory (PSl).

Frequencies were tabulated to report the distribution of personality types and learning styles of hospitality students in Taiwan and the U.S. in relation to their demographic information.

Results showed that the Taiwanese and the U.S. hospitality undergraduate students had stronger tendencies for traits of extroversion (E), sensing (S), feeling (F), and judging (J) scores with respect to their corresponding personality traits. However, the learning styles of these two sets of students showed slight differences; the Taiwanese hospitality students had more Assimilators (42.7% vs. 32.3%; z = 9.44, p < .000) and fewer Accommodators (5.6% vs. 15.3%; z = -2.81, p < .005) than their U.S. counterparts. The research suggested that more Assimilators might be the result of Taiwan's test-oriented educational system.

This study illustrated a cross-cultural comparison. Understanding hospitality students' learning styles and personality types can help administrators and educators to design effective curricula and lesson plans to better prepare their students for the highly competitive hospitality career market. Compared to most countries, the United States' hospitality programs are more mature and progressive. When other countries' hospitality programs try to engage in or to transfer program development and curricula from the United States for their own uses, they should be aware of the differences in culture, educational systems, and student bodies. Results found in this study may be used as a benchmark for the Taiwanese educators who want to design, transfer, and revise their programs and curricula according to the U.S. experiences to match the Taiwanese students' needs



Jungian psychology, Hospitality -- United States, Hospitality -- Taiwan, Learning, Assimilation (Sociology), Acculturation