Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The temperament theory of Jung was adapted by Myers Briggs in the creation of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator Keirsey shortened the MBTI to make the Keirsey Temperament Sorter Keirsey suggests that the temperament types identified by the Keirsey Temperament Sorter are related to certain constructs such as optimism and school achievement. However, these relationships have not been tested empirically. This study examined the relationship between the four Keirsey general types (NT, NF, SP, SJ) and dispositional optimism, as measured by the Life Orientation Test. Also, the question of whether the Keirsey types diner in terms of achievement, as measured by grade point average was examined. It was found that there were no differences among the types as related to optimism. In examining the relationship between the Keirsey types and GPA, it was found that the SJ type significantly differed from the SP group and the NF group significantly differed from the SP group A curvilinear relationship was hypothesized between GPA and optimism However, it was found that a linear and cubic relationship existed, but not a simple curvilinear (quadratic) relationship. The linear and cubic relationships accounted for between six and eight percent of the variance in GPA In conclusion, the Keirsey Temperament Sorter does not differentiate among individuals based on dispositional optimism but it does somewhat differentiate based on GPA. The relationship between GPA and optimism was found to be mostly linear. However a cubic trend suggested that low optimism perhaps is more beneficial than high optimism, with median optimism being the best. The results of this study reconfirm that the Keirsey Temperament Sorter should be interpreted with caution if it [is] used in a professional setting. It is concluded that the construct validity of the Keirsey Temperament Sorter is very weak due to its lack of empirically based sorting ability.


Carol L. Patrick

Date of Award

Spring 1999

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1999 Thomas Z. Maxson


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