The relationship between student's MBTI, preferences and academic performance at a Syrian university

Rami M. Ayoubi, Bayan Ustwani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The main purpose of this paper is to find whether a correlation exists between students' natural preferences or what is known as psychological type as determined by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI); the extent of their enthusiasm measured by their level of "like" to the subject, and students' grade point average (GPA). Design/methodology/approach: Data were collected from 89 students who took the MBTI inventory in five selected faculties at Damascus University in Syria. In order to rate the subjects' like or dislike level, the students were asked to complete a form prepared for this purpose. The students' GPAs were also included in the analysis. Findings: Using paired sample t-test, the results indicate a statistically significant correlation between type of student and his/her faculty of study, type of student and overall study subject like, and type of student and his/her GPA. There was, however, a statistically significant correlation between various personality dichotomies of the type (Extraversion-Introversion, Sensing-Intuition, Thinking-Feeling, Judging-Perceiving) and faculty, individual subjects like, and GPA. The study also indicates a statistically significant correlation between study like and GPA, and faculty and GPA. The most critical conclusion from the study is that Sensing-Intuition dichotomy of the MBTI inventory has the strongest correlation to distribution of students among faculties, the subject's like or dislike, and the GPA. In addition, the higher the level of like for a subject, the higher the GPA is. Research limitations/implications: The study results were based on a sample of students from a specific subject area of study. To validate the results of the study, future research is highly needed on a larger sample of students from different subject disciplines. Practical implications: Empirically, this study provides decision makers of the higher education sector with relevant information regarding the intended future attempts to reform the university admission policy with regards to the career path. Originality/value: The usefulness of MBTI inventory has not been assessed in the Arab countries before. This study is therefore considered as one of the initial studies in this field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-90
Number of pages13
JournalEducation and Training
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Damascus University
  • GPA
  • MBTI
  • Natural preferences
  • Syria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)


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