This website is no longer being maintained at this location.
As of March 6, 2007 it moved to:
http://www.onlineasp.org.
This site will continue to exist here till December 30, 2007.
If you are linked to this site please establish a link with the new site.

 

For information about the University of Dayton's Academic Support Program
contact Dean Lori Shaw.

 

For information about Professor Randall's Academic Support Services for Minority Students
go to The JD Project, Inc.

 

 

Vernellia R. Randall , The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, First Year Law Students and Performance , 26 Cumb. L. Rev. 63 - 101 (1995) 

Extraversion (E)-Introversion (I) Preference 

Extraversion (E) and introversion (I) are used to describe where a student focuses his or her attention in the learning process.(86) Extraverts tend to focus their perception and judgment on people and objects; they are energized by what is going on in the outer world rather than the inner world of their mind. Extraverts usually prefer to communicate more by talking than by writing and to learn by experiencing. Thus, extraverts prefer to learn through acting rather than reflecting. Introverts become aroused to action by what goes on in their own mind. Introverts tend to focus their attention on concepts and ideas and are more comfortable when they are expected to spend most of their time just thinking. In fact, introverts prefer to reflect before acting. 

In the Myers & McCaulley study, seventy-nine students (51.3%) were extraverts and the remaining seventy-five students (48.7%) were introvert 

 . (87)A larger percentage of female students (57.8%) than male students (46.7%) preferred extraversion over introversion. However, the difference was not statistically significant (p=.173). A larger percentage of students of color (52.9%) than whites (51.1%) preferred extraversion. However, the difference was not statistically significant (p=.886). 

Students preferring extraversion had a lower mean first semester grade point average (2.499) than students preferring introversion (2.610). The difference was not statistically significant -- it was highly correlated (p=. 1504). Furthermore, even though there was not a significant correlation between first semester grades and dichotomous type (EI), the law students' EI continuous scores increased as their first semester grades increased and the correlation was statistically significant( p=.020).(88) That is, the more the student preferred introversion, the better the student performed.(89) This result was true for all groups except males -- females (p=.001), whites (p=.040) and students of color (p=.038). 

It is no wonder that students preferring extraversion had a lower mean FSGPA than students preferring introversion. Legal education rewards the preferred learning style of introverts, although you might be misled if you sat in on a typical socratic classroom. Extraverted law students think best when talking, learn well in groups, and may have difficulty sitting in front of 

a book for a long period of time.(90) Because of the legal education's reliance on socratic discussion in the classroom, extraverted law students are usually able to concentrate well and tend to leap into discussion readily. (91)In fact, extraverted law students are likely to begin answering the questions immediately, thinking of what they want to say as they speak.(92) 

Introverted law students, on the other hand, need some time to think before they are required to answer.(93) If introverted law students have not anticipated questions before hand, they may perform poorly during socratic dialogue.(94) Furthermore, because introverts do not always share what they know, teachers may be slow to appreciate their talents and depth of knowledge. Typical socratic dialogue may cause some law professors to press introverted law students into participating.(95) However, such pressure will often only increase the introverted law student's withdrawal.(96) Law professors should respect introverted law students' need to think before talking by either giving them advanced notice of being called on, advance notice of the questions, or a brief twenty to thirty seconds to think before answering. If professors use one of these routes, introverted students will participate more effectively without increasing their withdrawal. However, professors should encourage introverted law students to participate in class and group 

 activities that help to develop the extraverted side of their personalities. (97) 

Nevertheless, despite the socratic dialogic behavior emphasis in the classroom, most of the learning in law school occurs outside the classroom in "solidarity reflection" and involves a high degree of reading and verbal reasoning. Consequently, introverted law students are able to study more effectively, since introversion is correlated with reading and verbal reasoning.(98) Further, much of law study involves thinking alone, something introverts do well.(99) Furthermore, since introverts tend to prefer writing over talking, they often do better on written tests on concepts than oral tests on practical application.(100) Consequently, it is not unexpected that introverted law students will have a relative advantage on most law school exams that are more concerned with the students' understanding of concepts. (101)They will also have a relative advantage in obtaining favorable grades since few law professors factor in class participation as a component of the course grade. 

On the other hand, "solidarity reflection" can be counterproductive for extraverted law students who prefer to think while acting (or even after acting).(102) Extraverted law students need to be encouraged to make the process of the legal learning environment more active. They need to be 

 encouraged to fill their learning situation with talking and discussion, activity and group work.(103) They can use group discussions, cooperative projects and study groups to more thoroughly understand legal theories.(104) However, they also need to be encouraged to identify experiences where they learn to study effectively alone.(105) 

Furthermore, extraverted law students will learn theories or facts better if they connect the theories or facts with their own experience. (106)However, because extraverted law students tend to leap into reading assignments with little forethought,(107) even in the classroom discussion, they need to be encouraged to take time to anticipate issues and problems. 

Extraverted law students generally perform better on oral than on written tests.(108) Consequently, they should be encouraged to practice writing exams and hypotheticals.(109) Law students often rely on their ability to learn facts. Because many law school exams test a law student's understanding of concepts and analysis -- this reliance is misplaced. This may be a particular problem for extraverted law students who actually learn facts better than concepts and ideas. Consequently, extraverted law students need to be repeatedly encouraged not to rely on their understanding of facts but to undertake activities that will stress their learning of concepts and analysis.

Finally, extraverted law students should be encouraged to take clinical programs since they particularly benefit from programs where "practical experience goes hand-in-hand with concepts and theories."(110)  

 

86. FN86. Myers & McCaulley, supra note 57, at 2, 13. Jung saw extraversion and introversion as "mutually complementary" attitudes. The differences generated "the tension that both the individual and society need for the maintenance of life." Id. at 2. See also McCaulley, supra note 56. 

87. FN87. With only 25% of the general population introverted, this sample of first year law students was more introverted. Myers & McCaulley, supra note 57, at 45. 

However, this sample of first year law students was more introverted than law students in a previous study, less introverted than practicing lawyers, and more introverted than judges. See Frank L. Natter, The Human Factor: Psychological Type in Legal Education, 3 Res. in Psychol. Type 55, 56 (1981) (reporting data gathered by Miller in 1965 and 1967. Forty-five percent of 2248 law students from five different schools were introverted); Myers & McCaulley, supra note 57, at 245-46 (reporting that 54.91% of 519 lawyers and judges were introverted with 58.67% of 271 lawyers being introverted and 46.875% of 128 judges being introverted); Larry Richard, The Lawyer Types, A.B.A. J., July 1993, at 74, 75.) (reporting that 57% of all lawyers were introverted with 59% of male lawyers and 51% of female lawyers being introverted). 

As to the level of preference, a smaller percentage of extraverts (50.6%) than introverts (57.3%) had a clear/very clear preference for their index. However, the difference is not statistically significant (p = .716). Myers & McCaulley, supra note 57, at 59 (reporting the level of preference for 32,671 individuals with 47.08% extraverts having a clear or very clear preference and 48.54% introverts having a clear or very clear preference). 

88. FN88. Continuous scores are a linear transformation of preference scores. The lower the score (minimum is 33) the stronger the preference for extraversion; the higher the score (maximum is 167) the stronger the preference for introversion. A score of 100 is a median score showing no preference for either extraversion or introversion. 

On extraversion-introversion continuous score, the mean score for the class was 99.84 -- a slight preference for extraversion; males had a mean score of 102.98 (a preference for introversion); females had a mean score of 95.42 (a preference for extraversion); whites had a mean score of 99.63 (essentially no preference); and, students of color had a mean score of 101.53 (a preference for introversion). Appendix, Table B3. 

89. FN89. In other studies, extraverted high school students scored lower grades than introverted high school students on several academic measures. McCaulley & Natter, supra note 63, at 138. However, the overall grade point average was higher for extraverted students than introverted students. Id. at 138. These findings may not be totally inconsistent with the findings of this study, since overall grades in high school are based on many courses that require activity and value class participation. 

90. FN90. Jensen, supra note 51, at 183; cf. A.B. Smith and R. Irey, Personality Variables and the Improvement of College Teaching, (E.R.I.C. Doc. Rep. Serv. No. Ed 096313) (April 1974) (noting that extraverts more often than introverts chose learning activities which involved dialogue with advanced students). 

91. FN91. Jensen, supra note 51, at 183; McCaulley and Natter, supra note 63, at 150. 

92. FN92. Jensen, supra note 51, at 184. 

93. FN93. Id. Jung called introverts "prometheans" (Greek for "fore-thinkers") because they do most of their thinking before they act. See also McCaulley, supra note 56. 

94. FN94. See McCaulley and Natter, supra note 63, at 152 (reporting that introverted students not only prefer to think before acting, but that they may hesitate to act at all). 

95. FN95. See id. at 153 (reporting that introverted students tend to be underestimated in the classroom). 

96. FN96. Jensen, supra note 51, at 184. 

97. FN97. McCaulley & Natter, supra note 63, at 153. 

98. FN98. Lawrence, supra note 50, at 7, 12 (citing Martray, An Empirical Investigation into Learning Styles and Retention Patterns of Various Personality Types, (1972) 32 Dissertation Abstracts Int'l. 5043A and noting that Introverted students prefer reading and verbal reasoning as opposed to psychomotor activities); cf. McCaulley and Natter, supra note 63, at 152. 

99. FN99. Jensen, supra note 51, at 183; cf., Lawrence, supra note 50, at 7; Jeffery L. Hoffman et al., Personality Types and Computer Assisted Instruction in a Self-paced Technical Training Environment, 3 Res. Psycol. Type 81, 85 (1981) (noting that introverts prefer working individually). 

100. FN100. McCaulley & Natter, supra note 63, at 152. 

101. FN101. Id. at 152. 

102. FN102. Jensen, supra note 51, at 183. Jung refers to extraverts as "epimetheans" (Greek for "after-thinkers") because thinking while acting or after acting is how extraverts think best. See also McCaulley, supra note 56. 

103. FN103. Jensen, supra note 51, at 183; Lawrence, supra note 50, at 12. 

104. FN104. Cf. Hoffman, supra note 99 (noting that high dropout rate of extraverted students decreased significantly when course was changed to include the option of several students working together and to increase the frequency of question- discussion sessions); Mary H. McCaulley & Frank L. Natter, Psychological (Myers-Briggs) Type Differences in Education in The Governor's Taskforce on Disruptive Youth: Phase II Report (Frank L. Natter & Stephen A. Rollin eds., 1974) (reporting that there was a significant correlation (p<.01) with extraverts and their expressed preference for working with a group on a project). 

105. FN105. McCaulley & Natter, supra note 63, at 151. 

106. FN106. Jensen, supra note 51, at 184; McCaulley & Natter, supra note 63, at 150. 

107. FN107. McCaulley & Natter, supra note 63, at 150. 

108. FN108. Id. at 150. 

109. FN109. Although one alternative for legal education might be to make oral examinations more available. Steven I. Friedland, Towards the Legitimacy of Oral Examinations in American Legal Education, 39 Syracuse L. Rev. 616-27 (1988). 

110. FN110. McCaulley & Natter, supra note 63, at 151. 

 

 

 

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, some material on this website is provided for comment, background information, research and/or educational purposes only, without permission from the copyright owner(s), under the "fair use" provisions of the federal copyright laws. These materials may not be distributed for other purposes without permission of the copyright owner(s).
 

 Copyright @ 1997,  2004
Vernellia Randall. All Rights Reserved