Theories of Personality 9th Edition

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136 Part II Psychodynamic Theories

A recent study of Finnish business students and managers (Jarlstrom &
Valkealahti, 2010) used the MBTI to examine what is known as “person–job fit,”
which is defined as the match between a person’s knowledge, skills, and abilities and
job demands. As in previous studies, business students and managers shared prefer-
ences for thinking and judging over feeling and perceiving. However, when the
samples were compared with each other, an interesting trend appeared that runs
contrary to the earlier research. Feeling types were overrepresented among business
students compared to managers. The authors argue that their results suggest a new
type profile is emerging in today’s business world, one characterized by qualities
associated with Jung’s feeling function: encouragement of participation and consen-
sus building, and compassionate placement of oneself in other people’s shoes during
decision-making processes. Perhaps, argue Jarlstrom and Valkealahti (2010), manage-
rial jobs are becoming more characterized by coordination of human resources than
by decisiveness, efficiency, and implementation. If this is so, then new workplaces
may increasingly demand and reward leaders who are expected to motivate teams of
employees much as a coach does, a style of leading well suited to the feeling func-
tion. Future research, following up on business students’ actual careers, will tell.

Personality Type Among Clergy and Churchgoers

A well-established empirical literature in the psychology of religion exploring Jungian
personality types illuminates areas of church life in a variety of Christian denomina-
tions. Studies have compared the personality profiles of clergymen and clergywomen,
churchgoers and the general population. In addition to using the MBTI, researchers
in this area also employ an instrument developed by Francis (2005) called the Francis
Psychological Type Scale, specifically designed for completion within the context of
a church service (with fewer forced-choice items than the MBTI). One study in this
tradition examined the personality types of 3,715 Christian clergy in Australia,
England, and New Zealand (Francis, Robbins, Kaldor, & Castle, 2009). Interestingly,
results showed preferences for the sensing (versus intuiting) and judging (versus per-
ceiving) functions among clergy in these countries. Recall that sensing is a preference
to be concrete, down-to-earth, and rely on direct experience (versus interpreting what
things mean, or intuiting). Judging involves a desire for planning, organizing, and
getting closure versus being spontaneous and flexible and keeping an open mind to
new information (perceiving). Further studies show a high proportion of sensing types
among churchgoers (80%) (Francis, Robbins, Williams, & Williams, 2007).
Powell, Robbins, and Francis (2012) explored the psychological type profiles
of male and female lay church leaders and churchgoers in Australia. A total of 2,336
individuals completed the Francis Psychological Type Scales, 845 of whom identi-
fied themselves as laypersons serving in leadership roles in their churches. Lay
church leaders are not professional clergy, but instead leaders who contribute on a
voluntary basis to maintaining church communities. Whereas professional clergy
may come and go, depending on denomination, lay leaders are often part of and
shape the culture of their churches for far longer periods. The study showed fascinat-
ing differences between and among female and male lay church leaders and church-
goers. Among the 444 Australian female lay church leaders, there was a strong
preference for sensing (75%) over intuition (25%), for feeling (66%) over thinking
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