RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN CAREER SATISFACTION AND
PERSONALITY TYPE FOR EMPLOYED DIETITIANS
ROBIN BROWN FELLERS
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL
FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Robin Brown Fellers
The author gratefully acknowledges the support and
assistance of her advisory committee, Dr. J. W. Hensel,
chairman, Dr. R. Robbins, Dr. A. Lewis, and Dr. J. Defore.
Dr. Margaret K. Morgan provided inspiration in initial
planning stages and has maintained sympathetic interest as
the investigation progressed. To her, the author is par-
The staff of the Typology Laboratory at the University
of Florida, directed by Dr. Mary H. McCaulley, made the
study possible by providing and processing the Myers-
Briggs Type Indicators. In addition, they provided data
and performed the analyses to test Hypothesis 1. Their
willing cooperation and interest is gratefully acknowledged.
The author thanks the American Dietetic Association
who permitted the use of a membership list that made it
possible to perform a national survey.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. . . . . . . . . ..iii
LIST OF TABLES . . . . . . . . ... viii
ABSTRACT .. .... . .. . ..... .... . x
I INTRODUCTION . ... . . . . . . 1
General Background . .. ... ..... 1
Need for the Study . . . . . . 3
Statement of the Problem . . . . . 7
General Purposes .and Objectives. . . . 9
Limitations of the Study .... ... . .11
Hypotheses . . . . . . . .. .13
Definition of Terms. ... . ... .... 15
Organization of Subsequent Chapters. .. .18
II REVIEW OF LITERATURE . . . . . ... .20
Organization of the Chapter. . . . .. .20
Personality Characteristics and Occupational
Choice . . . . . . 21
Theories of Career Choice . . ... 21
Women and the World of Work . . ... .24
Interrelationships of Personality and
Career Preference. . . .. .25
College students. . . . . .. .26
Employed workers: Non-health fields. 27
Health professionals.. . . . .28
Studies not supporting the role of
personality in career choice 29
Studies of Personality and Occupational
Choice Using the Myers-Briggs
Type Indicator . . . ... .31
Health professions. ... .. ... . 31
Other professions . . ... . 34
Characteristics of Dietitians . . .. .35
TABLE OF CONTENTS (continued)
Job Satisfaction. . . . . . ... 39
Theories of Job Satisfaction . . ... 39
Factors Affecting Job Satisfaction . : 40
Prediction of Job Satisfaction . . .. .41
Job Satisfaction of Dietitians . . .. .43
III DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY. . . .... .. . 44
Organization of-the Chapter . . . .. 44
Type of Study . . . .. . . . 44
Target Population . . . . . ... 45
Instrumentation . . . . . . .. 45
Questionnaire. . . . . . ... 46
Pilot study ..... . ........ .47
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator .. .... 47
Reliability. . . . . . ... 51
Validity . . . . . .. . 52
Procedure . . . . . . .. . 53
Administration of the Instrument ..... . 53
Treatment of the Data. ........ . 54
Analysis of Data . . . . . .. 55
IV RESULTS AND DISCUSSION. . . . . ... .58
Organization of the Chapter . . . ... .58
Responding Sample . . .... . . 58
Personality Characteristics of Dietitians 60
Hypothesis 1 . . . . . . . . 63
Selection ratios . . . . ... 64
Female college students. . . .. .64
Students in introduction to health
related professions . . ... 68
Nursing students, faculty and
practitioners . . . . ... .69
Occupational therapy students,
faculty, and practitioners .. .. 70
Physical therapy students, faculty
and practitioners . . .... .. 70
Medical technology students,
faculty and practitioners .... .71
Discussion of differences. . . ... 71
Summary. . . . . . . . .76
Personality Type and Choice of Specialty.
Hypothesis 2 . . . . . . . .
Clinical dietitians . . . ..
Administrative dietitians .. .. . .
Educational dietitians . . . . .
Summary of type distribution of
specialties . . . . . . .
Hypothesis 3. . . . . . . . .
Extraversion-introversion. . . . .
Sensing-intuition. . . . . . .
Thinking-feeling . . . . . . .
Judging-perceiving . . . . . .
Summary . . . . . . .. .
Hypothesis 4 . . . . . . .
Summary . . . . . . . ... . .
Career Satisfaction . . . . . . .
Hypothesis 5 . . . . . . . . .
Hypothesis 6. . . . . .. . . . .
Summary . . . . . . . . . .
Specialty Satisfaction . . . . . .
Hypothesis 7 . . . . . . . .
Hypothesis 8 . ... . . .... .. .
Hypothesis 9 . . . .... ...
Hypothesis 10 . . . . . . ..
Clinical specialty .. . ..... ..
Administrative specialty . . ....
Educational specialty. . . . . .
Summary. . . . . . . . .
Hypothesis 11 . . . . . . . .
Clinical dietitians. . . . . .
Administrative dietitians. . . . .
Educational dietitians . . . . .
Summary . . . . . . . .
Summary .. . . .. ........ ....
Personality Characteristics of Dietitians
Choice of Specialty . . . . . .
Satisfaction. . . . . . ..
Summary of Disposition of Hypotheses. .
TABLE OF CONTENTS (continued)
TABLE OF CONTENTS (continued)
SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS 132
Summary . .. . ..... .. . . ... 132
Purpose and Procedure . . . . . 133
Personality Characteristics of Dietitians. 134
Predicting Career Satisfaction. .. . 136
Predicting. Specialty Satisfaction .. .. 137
Conclusions . . . . . . . . 139
Recommendations. . . . ..... . 142
A QUESTIONNAIRE . . . .
B COVER LETTERS AND POST CARDS .
C CODING . . . . . .
D TYPE TABLES OF BASE POPULATIONS
SELECTION INDICES . . . .
BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . .
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . . ..
USED TO COMPUTE
. . . . .
LIST OF TABLES
1 PERSONALITY TYPES OF EMPLOYED DIETITIANS:
NUMBER AND PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION. ... . 61
2 SELECTION RATIOS BY TYPE CATEGORY . . .. 65
3 SELECTION RATIOS BY INDIVIDUAL VARIABLES AND
COMBINATIONS. .............. 66
4 CLINICAL DIETITIANS: NUMBER AND PERCENTAGE
FREQUENCIES FOR 16 PERSONALITY TYPES. ... . 80
5 ADMINISTRATIVE DIETITIANS:NUMBER AND
PERCENTAGE FREQUENCIES FOR 16 PERSONALITY
TYPES . . . .. . . . .. . 81
6 EDUCATIONAL DIETITIANS: NUMBER AND
PERCENTAGE FREQUENCIES FOR 16 PERSONALITY
TYPES . . . . . . . ... . . 82
7 PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION FOR 16 PERSONALITY
TYPES OF DIETITIANS . . . . . .. 89
8 PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION FOR DIETITIANS'
PERSONALITY VARIABLES . . . . . .. 91
9 MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS OF FOUR
PERSONALITY VARIABLES FOR THREE SPECIALTY
GROUPS AS COMPUTED BY DISCRIMINANT ANALYSIS 94
10 MULTIVARIATE F's TESTING TWO SPECIALTIES AT A
TIME WITH SN VARIABLE IN EQUATION . . .. 96
11 CAREER SATISFACTION AND DISSATISFACTION FOR
DIETITIANS: NUMBERS AND PERCENTAGE DISTRIBU-
TION FOR 16 PERSONALITY TYPES . . . .. 100
12 MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS OF FOUR VARI-
ABLES FOR DIETITIANS SATISFIED AND DISSATIS-
FIED WITH CAREER CHOICE . . . . ... 102
13 SPECIALTY SATISFACTION AND DISSATISFACTION
FOR DIETITIANS: NUMBERS AND PERCENTAGE
DISTRIBUTION FOR 16 PERSONALITY TYPES . . 106
LIST OF TABLES (continued)
14 AGE OF DIETITIANS MEANS AND STANDARD
DEVIATIONS. . . . . . . . . .. 109
15 YEARS OF PRACTICE OF DIETITIANS MEANS AND
STANDARD DEVIATIONS . . . . . . .. .112
16 SATISFIED AND DISSATISFIED CLINICAL DIETITIANS:
NUMBERS AND PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION FOR 16
PERSONALITY TYPES . . . . . . ... .114
17 SATISFIED AND DISSATISFIED ADMINISTRATIVE
DIETITIANS: NUMBERS AND PERCENTAGE
DISTRIBUTION FOR 16 PERSONALITY TYPES. ... .115
18 SATISFIED AND DISSATISFIED EDUCATIONAL
DIETITIANS: NUMBERS AND PERCENTAGE
DISTRIBUTION FOR 16 PERSONALITY TYPES ... .117
19 MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS OF FOUR
PERSONALITY VARIABLES FOR CLINICAL DIETITIANS
SATISFIED AND DISSATISFIED WITH CURRENT
SPECIALTY . . . . . . . . .. .120
20 MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS OF FOUR
PERSONALITY VARIABLES FOR ADMINISTRATIVE
DIETITIANS SATISFIED AND DISSATISFIED WITH
CURRENT SPECIALTY . . . . . . .. .122
21 MEANS AND STANDARD DEVIATIONS OF FOUR
PERSONALITY VARIABLES FOR EDUCATIONAL
DIETITIANS SATISFIED AND DISSATISFIED WITH
CURRENT SPECIALTY . . . . . . .. .123
Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN CAREER SATISFACTION AND
PERSONALITY TYPE FOR EMPLOYED DIETITIANS
Robin Brown Fellers
Chairman: Dr. J. W. Hensel
Major Department: Curriculum and Instruction
The purpose of this study was to identify personality
Types of dietitians and to determine their relationship
to career satisfaction so that more effective recruitment
and counseling of dietitians might contribute to attracting
more people into the field.
The initial problem was to identify selected person-
ality characteristics of dietitians and to compare them
.with other allied health groups. Second, an attempt was
made to predict satisfaction with a career in dietetics
based on personality preference scores. The study also
sought to determine whether satisfaction with a specialty
within the field could be predicted.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was used to measure
type preferences of dietitians,, and a short questionnaire,
designed for the study, measured career and specialty
satisfaction. Three areas of specialization were chosen:
clinical, administrative, and educational.
Four hundred employed dietitians were randomly selected
from a national listing of members of the American Dietetic
Association and contacted by mail. Sixty-one percent (243)
met the criteria for inclusion in the study. Eleven
hypotheses were formulated to analyze data and they were
tested at the .05 level of significance. Contingency
table analysis was used to test relationships and discrimi-
nant analysis was performed in an effort to determine pre-
There was no typical personality type preference
exhibited by this group of dietitians, although 48 percent
were represented by the types ISTJ, ISFJ, ESTJ, and ESFJ.
These types shared a common preference for sensing and
judging. Such people are skilled in handling concrete
experiences and like to have things organized; they are well
qualified to give detailed, systematic health care.
When compared to other allied health occupations and
to student groups, dietitians showed significantly greater
preferences for sensing, thinking, and judging. Dietetics
was not as attractive to students who preferred to use
their intuition, feeling, and perception. The sensing
thinking combination indicated that dietitians preferred
to focus their attention on facts and to handle them with
detachment and logic making them practical and realistic.
The judging preference added to these qualities that of
liking to have things planned and organized.
Personality preferences expressed by dietitians were
most similar to those of medical technologists, and most
different from. two student groups (female college freshmen
and students in health related professions). Based on this
evidence, it was concluded that dietitians were signifi-
cantly different from other allied health groups in terms
of personality preference.
In terms of specialty groups the most common type among
clinicians was ISFJ; among administrators, ESTJ; and among
educators, E-FJ. These differences are in accordance with
type theory and relate to the different roles required of
Dietitians who were satisfied or dissatisfied with
their career could not be distinguished on the basis of
personality preference scores and the measure of career
satisfaction used. Thus, it was not possible to predict
career satisfaction based on MBTI scores.
On the question of specialty satisfaction, it was found
that dietitians with a preference for extraversion were
more likely to be satisfied with their current specialty
than those preferring introversion. Also, sensing and feeling
types, who are realistic, warm-hearted, sociable, and
friendly, were more likely to be satisfied than intuitive
and feeling types who see possibilities and display
enthusiasm and insight.
It was possible to predict specialty membership from
MBTI scores to a limited extent. Educational dietitians
could be discriminated from clinicians and administrators
based on their sensing-intuition preference.
Within the three specialties another discriminant
function was found that predicted satisfaction and dis-
satisfaction among educational dietitians, based on scores
for the extraversion-introversion preference and the judging-
Results indicated that dietitians were recognizable
among some other allied health professions in that they
displayed proportionately greater preferences for sensing,
thinking, and judging. Although it was possible to predict
satisfaction with a specialty in a limited way, it was
not possible to predict career satisfaction from these
A substantial shortage of dietitians exists in the
United States. A Study Commission on Dietetics (1972)
recently examined education, training, and responsibili-
ties of dietitians. Although not well documented, providers
of health care attested to quantitative deficiencies in the
field, and the Commission suggested that baccalaureate pro-
grams in dietetics be expanded to meet present and future
Dietitians are but one group of health professionals
whose supply does not meet the need. A basic change of
attitude towards health care has taken place in the United
States. People no longer regard health care as a privilege
or a necessity only in times of illness; instead, health
care is now equated with a positive state of well-being.
Health care systems have rapidly expanded to meet this
demand. In 1970 more than four million people or about
one in eight working persons, were employed in approxi-
mately 200 health occupations (Chirikos, 1972). Increasing
specialization was emphasized by the fact that in 1900 one
in three'health workers was a physician, but 72 years later
the ratio was one physician to eleven health workers
(Bureau of Health Manpower Education, 1972). According to
Chirikos (1972) 83 percent of all health workers were in
allied health occupations. Dietitians constituted 1.2
percent of allied health manpower (Greenfield, 1969).
The Carnegie Commission on Higher Education (1970)
'stated that of all major occupation groups, health services
suffered the most serious shortages of professional personnel.
Expansion of education for health professionals- presented
one of the greatest challenges to higher education in the
present decade. One response would be to increase enrollment
in schools that educate health professionals, but Crowley
et al. (1972) suggested a more fundamental need was to
identify aspirations and other factors which predisposed
individuals to select a health career. Campos (1971)
recommended longitudinal studies be conducted to elucidate
needs of persons selecting health careers. These studies
should include testing of successful practitioners and
should seek to determine factors which were stable or changing
with age, education, work experience. Such information would
help meet health care demands of society by contributing
to more relevant curriculums and more effective and accurate
counseling of students who were interested in allied
To alleviate chronic professional manpower deficien-
cies in dietetics, major effort should be directed towards
career counseling and recruitment of people who would be
happy and function effectively as dietitians. This study
sought to describe personality characteristics of prac-
ticing dietitians as identified by the Myers-Briggs Type
Indicator (MBTI). Coupled with a measure of career satis-
faction, knowledge of personality characteristics could
provide relevant input for career guidance and recruitment,
development of dietetic manpower, planning educational
programs, and delivery of health care.
Need for the Study
The profession of dietetics currently has more job
opportunities than qualified personnel available to fill
them. Government agencies reported that 20 percent of
budgeted positions for dietitians were vacant; hospitals
reported difficulty in attracting dietitians; and educa-
tional administrators complained of a lack of adequately
prepared teachers in the profession (Study Commission on
There were approximately 30,000 dietitians currently
employed in the United States (Bureau of Labor Statistics,
1971; Study Commission on Dietetics, 1972). Projections
for needs in 1980, complicated by difficulty in predicting
methods of health care systems six to ten years hence,
differed somewhat. Pilot (1970) projected a need for
42,100 dietitians by 1980; the Study Commission on Dietetics
(1972), 38,500 by 1980; while the Bureau of Labor Statistics
(1967) estimated'there should be 38,000 dietitians available
by 1975. Average annual openings in 1980 were estimated
variously at 2,300 (Rosenthal, 1972); 2,700 (Pilot, 1970);
and 2,500 (Study Commission on Dietetics, 1972). Currently
only about 1,500 newly trained dietitians are available
each year. This study could provide information concerning
personality traits and-career-_satisfact-ien that could be
utilized by government agencies and professional associa-
tions in planning and administering educational and service
'programs that would most adequately meet societal demands.
The only systematic attempts to recruit dietitians
have emphasized the availability of positions, and recruit-
ing activities have focused on.the career day approach.
Traditionally, information concerning where dietitians work,
what they do, and educational requirements has been provided.
Some dietitians have been attracted into the profession
because of personal contact with a dietitian. Many others
were attracted into Home Economics at college and then
chose dietetics because they did not want to teach (Beal
and Newton, 1966). A majority of dietitians (76 percent)
shared an interest in food as a motivator to become
This study was needed to provide information about the
dietitian as a person, in addition to professional duties and
interests, so that recruitment might be a more effective
Selection of potential dietitians has been conducted
mainly by educational personnel because entry to the career
requires completion of.an approved formal educational
program that includes didactic and practical experiences.
Written applications, references and sometimes personal
interviews were common selection methods, and criteria
employed included academic performance, personal qualities
and participation in extracurricular activities. This study
was needed to provide information concerning personal
characteristics of dietitians so that new methods for assess-
ing individual potential and alternative criteria for selec-
tion might be developed.
Educational preparation of dietitians has emphasized
subject matter presumed necessary for providing nutritional
care to patients or clients. Scientific knowledge and
technical skills, especially those relating to food and its
preparation, were considered primary in educational programs
and internships (or their equivalent). The criterion for
becoming a Registered Dietitian was successful completion of
a national written objective examination. The Study Com-
mission on Dietetics (1972) called for educational reform
to provide dietitians with basic education through integrated
four-year curriculums, graduating students with bachelor's
degrees and ready for employment as dietitians. If the
Commission's call to educational reform was to be heeded,
knowledge of personality characteristics of dietitians
was needed to suggest ways that formal curriculums and train-
ing opportunities could improve learning in affective as
well as cognitive domains.
While there have been some changes evident in edu-
cational preparation of dietitians that could increase
numbers of graduates at the baccalaureate level, apparently
no information has been generated that will contribute to
more effective career counseling or recruitment. Guidance
and counseling are important aspects of career preparation
and placement. Beal and Newton (1966) reported that many
dietetic interns experienced "reality shock" in their
internship experiences. This must have contributed to dis-
satisfaction and attrition.. The Study Commission on.Diete-
tics (1972) recommended that
. educational institutions must accept responsi-
bility for the selection as well as continuing
guidance of the future dietitian. (p. 74)
At the end of the second year of formal education
. judgment can be made about interest and
capacity for continued learning . personal
qualities and professional motivation can be
assessed and judicious counseling furnished.
Information must be obtained that would describe, charac-
teristics of employed dietitians, their satisfaction with
areas of specialization within the profession;, and their
general satisfaction with their careers so that guidance
and counseling can be improved.
Dietitians work extensively with professionals in other
health occupations. One characteristic of health care is
that as it increases in complexity, tasks become more
specialized and professional groups become fragmented.
This study of dietitians' personality characteristics can
improve communication and cooperation among health pro-
fessionals because MBTI data has potential for better
understanding of self and others.
Statement of the Problem
The problem' underlying this study was to identify
Jungian, personality types of dietitians aad 'to relate
these-to career-and specialty satisfaction. iDifferent types
of people have demonstrated preferences for different ways
of thinking and looking at their experiences, which were
manifested in different behavior patterns. Different occu-
pations and jobs provided various settings in which certain
types of people felt comfortable and were happy. By identi-
fying personality types of practicing dietitians more
knowledge was gathered about the types of people who
selected that occupation.
An attempt was planned to predict whether a given
individual would be likely to find satisfaction as a dieti-
tian. A measure of career satisfaction was necessary in
order to eliminate dissatisfied'dietitians from the base
Data generated in this part of the study had several
1. Reported studies of personality characteristics of
dietitians were few and none were based on Jungian theory.
Therefore, these data provided new insights into personality
types of practicing dietitians.
2. Information.generated could be used to more ade-
quately assess individual potential and for more effective
3. Information'concerning personality characteristics
could be used to suggest ways of improving planning and
administration of educational opportunities and to enhance
learning in the affective domain.
This investigation also focused on areas of specialty
within dietetics. It had been noted among physicians that
certain personality types were attracted more to one specialty
than to another (Myers and Davis, 1964). The question asked
in this study was: Would certain personality types in
dietetics be more attracted to one specialty than to
another?' Again, an attempt was planned to predict member-
ship, this time in a specialty, and again a measure of
satisfaction was required.
Assessing satisfaction was a critical factor for this
population, because over 98 percent were women and about
two-thirds were married (Sharp et al., 1973). It seemed
reasonable to assume that many dietitians would be occupa-
tionally immobile because of priority placed on" career and
location of their husbands. Some dietitians might have
accepted jobs because of availability rather than the
job's compatibility with a person's needs and interests.
Also, it could be possible for a dietitian to be satisfied
generally with her career, yet dissatisfied with her job
(termed current specialty hereafter). This provided another
reason for establishing satisfaction with current specialty.
Specialty satisfaction was examined to see if years of
practice or age influenced the outcome.
Data generated in this aspect of the study were used to
determine the personality characteristics of dietitians in
different specialty areas, and to attempt to predict member-
ship inand satisfaction with a specialty, based on individual
MBTI scores. This information would provide new insights to
help dietitians better understand themselves, and to help
them select jobs most compatible with their personality
type so that their career potential might be enhanced.
General Purposes and Objectives
The choice of occupation would be a major decision in
the lives of most people. By helping a person select a
career that complimented his personality, -his job satisfaction.
might be-enhanced ,ana greater use made of his potential
The general purpose of this study was to develop
information that would augment existing knowledge of quali-
ties and abilities necessary for successful practitioners of
dietetics. More specifically objectives of the study were.
'1. Describe a national sample of currently employed
members of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) in terms
of personality factors as measured by the Myers-Briggs Type
2. Determine which combination of personality charac-
teristics, if any, were best predictors of career satis-
3. Determine significant differences, if any, between
personality characteristics and other variables of dieti-
tians whose major responsibility was either face to face
contact with patients or clients. (clinical specialty) or
directing activities of a department, program or food
service (administrative) or planning, conducting and evalu-
ating educational programs (educational).
4. Determine which personality characteristics, if
any, significantly discriminated between dietitians who
were satisfied with their current specialty and those who
expressed preference for another specialty.
Limitations of the Study
The population was limited to employed members in good
standing of the ADA in December, 1973. However, the Study
Commission on Dietetics (1972) estimated that about 30,000
dietitians were employed in the United States of which only
50 percent were members of the ADA. There was apparently no
way of obtaining names of every person who functioned in a
dietitian's role. The ADA acted as a licensure agency
and all its members have fulfilled certain minimum educa-
tional and training requirements. Therefore, by virtue of
their membership, dietitians who belonged to the Associ-
ation could be regarded as an identifiable and representa-
tive population from which to draw a sample.
It was assumed that any dietitian who was seriously
dissatisfied with her career would transfer into a more
compatible occupation. In sampling only employed dieti-
tians, those who were sufficiently dissatisfied to move out
of the profession would not be included and career satis-
faction data would.reflect only the .generally satisfied
remaining dietitians. Thus, career satisfaction data
could be biased.
'The division of specialties (clinical, administratieed-
ucational),was based on a classification of major skill areas
in which a dietitian functioned. The education..of a
dietitian had three foci. Scientific disciplines comprised
a major educational area of preparation to fit the dietitian
with skills in understanding body processes, nutritional
matters and translation of these into optimal nutrition for
people. A second focus was preparation for managerial skills
to organize and administer food service units. Third, die-
titians were trained in communication of skills and knowl-
edge to others because teaching was an inherent part of much
of their work. While these were not mutually exclusive
categories nor representative of all functions that a dieti-
tian could perform, the three foci provided reasonable sub-
division of functions. Some dietitians might experience
difficulty in classifying themselves into one of the three
specialty categories. An example would be a dietitian en-
gaged primarily in research or a generalist whose time was
divided equally among two or more functions. For this study
dietitians were asked to identify their specialty, but re-
sponses were subjective with no feasible method.to check
Results were limited to personality characteristics as
identified by the MBTI. Although it was an objective re-
search instrument,.the Indicator may not have revealed all
of the complexities and dynamics of personality structure.
Results should be interpreted with respect to reliability
and validity of the instrument.
It was expected that certain personality types tended
to disregard mailed questionnaires, or to procrastinate in
responding to them. Results would be biased accordingly.
Subjects not responding were mailed follow-up post cards,
but no other attempts were made to overcome this'bias.
The first hypothesis was formulated to test MBTI type
characteristics of the sample by comparing them with student
groups and other health professionals.
1. There are no significant differences between the
distribution of MBTI types of employed members of the ADA.
and those of selected populations for which type data are
The following hypotheses tested differences between
characteristics of the specialty groups, and ability to
predict choice of specialty.
_2. There are no significant differences between the
distribution of MBTI types for each of the specialties:
clinical, administrative, and educational.
3. There are no significant differences between the
distribution of clinical, administrative, and educational
dietitians on any of the four personality variables:
Extraversion-Introversion (EI); Sensing-Intuition (SN);
Thinking-Feeling (TF); Judging-Perceiving (JP).
/' 4. None of the four variables, EI, SN, TF, JP, will
discriminate better than others between the three special-
ties in dietetics.
The next two hypotheses tested career satisfaction.
One tested career satisfaction.fcr the total group, and the
other tested the predictive aspects of the data.
5. There are no significant differences between
employed members of the'ADA who are satisfied with their
careers and those who are not satisfied when compared on
6. None of the four variables, EI, SN, TF, JP, will
discriminate better than others between dietitians who are
satisfied or not satisfied with their career.
The remaining hypotheses tested.several aspects of
specialty satisfaction, including the predictive aspects of
7. There are no significant differences between the
distribution of MBTI types of dietitians who are satisfied
with their current specialty and those who are not satis-
8. There are no significant differences between .the
ages of dietitians who are satisfied with their current
specialty and those who are not satisfied.
9. -There are no significant differences between years
of practice of dietitians who are satisfied with their
current specialty and those who are not satisfied.
10. There are no significant differences between the
distribution of MBTI types who are satisfied or not satis-
fied with their current specialty for the following groups::
a) clinical dietitians,
b) administrative dietitians,
c) educational dietitians.
11. None of the variables, EI, SN, TF, JP, will
discriminate better than others between dietitians who
are satisfied or not satisfied with their current
specialty for the following groups:
a) clinical dietitians,
b) administrative dietitians,
c) educational dietitians.
Definition of Terms
Allied health: A concept describing a cluster of
occupations which possess a commonality of concern for
physical, mental, and social well-being of individuals.
Allied health occupations: Those occupations whose
primary focus is upon physical, mental, social well-
being of individuals, generally requiring post-secondary
education or technical training.
The American Dietetic Association: "A professional
organization responsible for establishing educational
and supervised clinical experience requirements and
standards of practice in the profession of dietetics"
(Arkwright et al., 1974, p. 664).
A specialist educated for a profession
responsible for the nutritional care of
individuals and groups. This care includes
the application of the science and art
of human nutrition in helping people
select and obtain food for the primary
purpose of nourishing their bodies in
health or disease throughout the life
cycle. This participation may be in
single or combined functions; in food
service systems management; in.extending
knowledge of food and nutrition principles;
in teaching these principles for application
according to particular situations; or in
dietary counseling. (Arkwright et al., 1974,
(1) Administrative dietitian: The administrative
S. is a member of the management team
and affects the nutritional care of groups
through the management of food service systems
that provide optimal nutrition and quality
food. (Arkwright et al., 1974, p. 661)
(2) Clinical dietitian: The clinical dietitian
S. is a member of the health care team
and affects the nutritional care of indi-
viduals and groups for health maintenance.
The clinical dietitian assesses nutritional
needs, develops and implements nutritional
care plans, and evaluates and reports these
results appropriately. (Arkwright et al.,
1974, p. 662)
(3) Educational dietitian: The dietitian engaged in
educational activities . plans, conducts, and evalu-
ates educational programs in one or more dietetic subject
matter areas" (Arkwright et al., 1974, p. 663).
Career satisfaction: A pleasurable emotional state
resulting from an individual's employment, abilities and
aspirations, interests and attitudes, values and life
A profession concerned with the science
and art of human nutritional care, an
essential component of health science.
It includes the extending and imparting
of knowledge concerning foods which will
provide nutrients sufficient to health and
during disease throughout the life cycle and
the management of group feeding. (Arkwright
et al., 1974, p. 665)
Health: A positive state of physical and mental
Health care or health care systems: A process of
providing appropriate resources to maintain or restore
well-being of individuals.
Health career or health occupation: An occupation
whose practitioners are engaged in some aspect of caring
for physical or mental well-being of individuals.
Health professionals: Practitioners in health occu-
pations whose positions require technical training and
probably at least a four-year college degree (Siporin,
Health services: Provision of preventive remedial
care to provide physical and mental well-being of
Health workers: Practitioners in occupations who
are engaged in some aspect of caring for physical or
mental well-being of individuals.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: An instrument for
measuring Jungian personality types (described -in greater
Personality type: An indication of differences in
personality that result from the way an individual perceives
his world and the way he makes judgments about his percep-
tions. Personality type is described in terms of four
dichotomous dimensions known.as personality preferences:
(1) Extraversion-Introversion (EI) preference:
orientation toward the outer world of people and things or
the inner world of ideas.
(2) Sensing-Intuition (SN) preference: the way in
which an individual becomes aware of his world, either
relying on realistic, practical evidence or taking a more
(3) Thinking-Feeling (TF) preference: the manner in
which an individual attaches a value to an experience,
either logically, based on facts, or with consideration for
(4) Judging-Perceiving (JP) preference: the approach
to the outer world, either a planned, orderly way, or else
a flexible, spontaneous approach.
Organization of Subsequent Chapters
A review of the'-literature is presented in Chapter II.
Major areas of research considered are the influence of
personality characteristics on occupational choice, and
Chapter III presents the design and methodology of the
study. A description of the MBTI, treatment of the data and
statistical procedures for analyses of the data are included
in this chapter.
In Chapter IV results for each hypothesis are described
and discussed. Summary, conclusions and recommendations
may be found in Chapter V.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Organization of the Chapter
This chapter is divided into two major categories:
(1) the influence of personality characteristics on occupa-
tional choice and (2) job satisfaction. Within the first
category, theories of career choice are reviewed initially
followed by a section on factors affecting working women.
This latter section was included because career choice
models have been based on male characteristics. However,
dietitians are predominantly female and experience influ-
ences in their working lives that differ from those of men.
Interrelationships of personality and career preference
are discussed in the next section. Evidence, both for and
against the role of personality in career preference is,
presented. This section is followed by a review of studies
in which the MBTI was used to investigate relationships
between personality type and occupational choice. Finally
in this category, personality characteristics of dietitians
The job satisfaction category is divided into several
sections. Theories of job satisfaction are reviewed first,
followed by sections presenting factors found to influence
job satisfaction, and prediction of job satisfaction.
Finally, job satisfaction of dietitians is reviewed.
Personality Characteristics and
Theories of Career Choice
Work, a major function'in human life, has attracted
attention of behavioral scientists. For at least 60 years,
and increasingly in the past two decades, investigators have
sought the determinants of man's choice of work. Several
theories of career choice (also termed vocational choice or
career development) have been proposed.
The oldest theoretical approach was an attempt to match
individual abilities and interests with opportunities in
the world of work. The vocational testing movement subse-
quently rose to prominence so that such instruments as the
Strong Vocational Interest Blank (SVIB), Kuder Preference
Record (KPR), and Guilford-Zimmerman Aptitude Survey
became common tools of vocational counselors (Osipow, 1973).
More recently, theories became less simplistic as theorists
strove to explain interactions of personality, psychological
development, socio-cultural influences, family environment,
and education, with the world of work. Career choice has
been conceptualized as an extension of personality and an
attempt to implement broad personal behavior styles into
life's work (Williams, 1972; Hall, 1969; Holland, 1959;
Roe (1956) emphasized the role of personality in career
choice. She was interested particularly in inherited pre-
disposition and childhood experiences, and postulated that
by studying an individual's childhood and family influences,.
and by assessing aptitude, it was likely that the general
occupational class he would enter could be predicted. In
addition, it was possible that people in different occupations
would describe distinctive childhood environments.
Super (1957) assumed that vocational activities re-
flected life style and proposed that a person tried to imple-
ment his self-concept by choosing to enter the occupation he
saw as most likely to permit his self-expression. Not only
was the role of self-concept important, but also the stage
of life development, or maturity. Thus, attempts to make
career decisions during adolescence would be different from
those made in middle age because of the changing demands
of the life cycle on attempts to implement a self-concept.
A less systematic though similar approach was described by
Ginzberg et al. (1951) prior to Super's formulation.
Holland's theory of career development postulated that
Sas well as personality involvement in occupational choice,
individuals held stereotypic views of occupations (1958).
Thus, individuals tended to select careers consistent with
their personal orientations. Holland developed a set of
scales, the Vocational Preference Inventory (VPI), with
which to project hierarchical patterns that indicated
appropriate occupational environments.
Personality development was a common concept to some
degree in all career choice theories stated Osipow (1973),
but he thought it constituted a distinctive theoretical
approach to career choice. Thus, if basic patterns of
behavior could be observed, then better predictions would
be made about an individual's occupational behavior. There
would be inherent differences in roles that occupations re-
quire people to play, yet at the same time exposure to
activities and climate of any given occupation would influ-
ence. the individual's personality. Osipow reported that
there was effort to improve accuracy of identifying dis-
tinctive personality attributes inherent in membership of
Other approaches taken to career choice have included
social effects on career choice (Lipsett, 1962), psycho-
analytic explanations (Bordin et al., 1963; Steimel and
Suziedelis, 1963), and effects of psychological needs
(Darley and Haganah, 1955). Career development for women
was not treated adequately by any of the.theories (Osipow,
1973). Most instruments were masculine-based and failed
to provide either helpful information for women or a useful
understanding of women's career behavior.
Women and the World of Work
While men followed a relatively simple, straightforward
career pattern, that of women was much more complex. With
the exception of women who had never married, work patterns
of women were greatly influenced by home and family life
(Ginzberg, 1966; Hall and.Gordon, 1973). Women's careers
were characterized by many starts and stops, leading
Ginzberg to remark "Men have careers, women have jobs"
(1966, p. 1). About one in three married women worked,
either full- or part-time. Ginzberg's study reported that
children were primary determinants of a woman's decision
to work, followed by educational achievement, specialization,
location, and career plans. Weil (1961) listed factors
that predisposed a woman to work: (1) her husband's attitude
toward outside employment was positive; (2) she had worked
before marriage in a career requiring high educational or
professional qualification, or specialized training; (3) she
had continued to work after marriage;. (4) when her husband
was willing to share household duties; and (5) if children
were of school age.
As expected, married women placed priority on home-
related activities, and those who worked experienced most
conflict from home pressures (Hall and Gordon, 1973).
Overall this study reported that women employed full-time
were more satisfied than women working part-time. Part-time
activity was the most popular type of employment sought by
this sample, but part-timers reported more conflicts, more
roles to manage, and lowest satisfaction ratings about their
Women showed some variation in work values according to
age, marital status, socio-economic class, career pattern,
employment status, field of work,and education (Blai, 1970).
However,- there was a strong degree of similarity between
expressed work values sought by women. All demonstrated
high needs for mastery-achievement and social values, and
for interesting activity. Independence emerged as a
moderately rated need but this sample of women did not
seek control over others, responsibility, leadership or a
feeling of importance. Differences on the SVIB patterns
were found between women planning marriage and women plan-
ning professional careers (Wagman, 1966). Martin and Saun-
ders (1970) found that job satisfaction of women depended
on possession of personality characteristics appropriate to
the job and adequate educational preparation.
Interrelationships of Personality
and Career Preference
Rettig (1965) observed that persons possessing more or
less of a certain quality performed better in their career
than those with different profiles. Holland (1958)
explained that occupations represented a way of life, some-
thing more than a set of isolated work functions or skills,
and that individuals tended to select occupations which
were perceived to fit their personality pattern. Data
supporting and negating such contentions are presented
in the sections below.
A number of investigators have studied college stu-
dents, attempting to show relationships between personality
factors and occupational preference. Many of these studies
utilized more than one instrument. Williams (1972) studied
graduate students, using discriminant analysis to determine
relationships among personality factors, value patterns and
occupational choice as it was implied by graduate school
major. A battery of tests included Holland's classification
of occupations and the VPI. It was concluded that life
values, work values, and personality characteristics were
related to occupational choice, and that careers selected
were compatible generally with values and personality.
A longitudinal study of personality characteristics
and career choice of.Harvard undergraduates indicated
support for successful prediction of occupational choice
(French, 1959). Successful junior college students in four
majors (data processing, secretarial administration, nurs-
ing, engineering) were administered a personality.test
(Jones, 1969). Three of the four groups were differentiated
based on personality. Grace (1969) compared 200 students
in four areas of business administration with 200 experienced
men and women in the field, using the Guilford-Zimmerman
Temperament Survey and SVIB. There were similarities in
interests between the student and employed groups that im-
plied differentiation was possible among the specialty
groups. In a group of 148 graduate students in business,
personality type and reinforcement history were related to
occupations that were perceived to be compatible (Scott and
Day, 1972). Home Economics students in three major interest
areas were differentiated according to need satisfaction
expressed through the Edwards Personal Preference Survey
(EPPS) and a questionnaire (Hoddick, 1964).
Employed workers: Non-health fields
Investigations of persons already employed in occupa-
tions showed evidence that occupations can be differentiated
according to personality factors of its members. Seigelman
(1958) studied chemists, ministers, and military officers,
finding distinguishable patterns in each group. Biographi-
cal data was combined with interests, attitudes, needs, and
temperament to test a hypothesis that personality is impor-
tant in the choice of career as well as in subsequent
success and satisfaction in the chosen work (McClung,
1963). Different occupational personality types were
isolated and described for life insurance salesmen,
clergymen, engineers, journalists, and theoretical physi-
cists. Discriminating interest patterns were found between
artists, farmers, ministers, physicists, purchasing agents,
real estate salesmen, and newsmen (Suziedelis and Lorr,
1973). Nachman (1960), interested in the effect of early
childhood backgrounds on occupational membership, found
that lawyers, dentists, and social workers had identifiable
traits in childhood experiences. By examining interest
profiles, Dunnette (1957) discriminated between four special-
ties in engineering.
In the allied health and medical fields, medical-
surgical nurses differed from psychiatric nurses, according
to results from a battery of tests (Lukens, 1964). Donovan
et al. (1972) studied personality data of physicians com-
paring it with specialties they entered. Discriminant
analysis was performed on 15 variables and indicated sig-
nificant mean differences between specialties. Medical
.students tended to select. specialties which were perceived
to satisfy individual aspects of cognitive style, attitudes,
values, and personality preferences. For example, those
whose values were oriented to practical-useful, who had less
preference for theoretical-abstract, and who had higher,
needs for appreciation from others tended to select
obstetrics and gynecology. Those who-selected psychiatry
were less oriented to practical-useful, were more highly
oriented to theoretical-abstract, emphasized interpersonal
relations, and exhibited a marked tendency to analyze be-
havior. However, it was stressed that most subjects had
individual patterns that were compatible with several
specialty choices and a significant number did not select
specialties for which their data appeared most compatible.
Other factors, such as location, may have helped determine
Studies not supporting the role
of personality in career choice
Another group of studies had less success in predicting
occupational membership based on personality preferences,
or in determining personality traits among occupation mem-
bers. Matis (1968) compared female college students majoring
in speech pathology with a group in other professional
majors. One of several tests given, the Minnesota Multi-
phasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), did not establish dif-
ferences between the two groups. However, data from other
tests supported the conclusion that occupational choice was
related to personality needs and interests, but the author
recommended replications before generalizing results. Gradu-
ate students in education were investigated to see if choice
of professional education and specialty were related to
temperament, values, and vocational preferences (Hall, 1969).
Only small relationships were noted. Osipow et al.
(1966) tested Holland's theory with male and female
college freshmen and found that although.they tended to
choose occupations consistent with personality types,
results were not consistent.
Hughes (1972) investigated 400 employed males, test..-
ingHolland's theory. There were mixed results with only
low-level support for the theory that people work in jobs
appropriate to personality orientation. Two studies.based
on Roe's theory generally failed to substantiate her classi-
fication system. Hoffman (1963) reported that although cer-
tain aspects-of personality influenced the formation of
vocational aspirations, no consistent patterning of per-
sonality needs was evident as a major influence on the
process. Hagen (1960) obtained data from a longitudinal
study of Harvard undergraduates. His results did not
support the contention that certain kinds of family atmos-
phere oriented an individual to certain career groups.
In general, low and often inconsistent relationships
have resulted from attempts to demonstrate associations
between personality and vocational interests. In some
cases relationships between personality and vocational
interests have not been high enough to predict one from the
other. Rohila..(1969) experimented with complex statistical
techniques using data from MMPI, California Psychological
Inventory (CPI), and SVIB. Results failed to produce high
one-to-one associations between personality and vocational
interests. The conclusion was that personality accounted
for at most 50 percent of the variance in vocational
interests, because personality constituted only one source
of variation in vocational interests. Personality referred
to qualities of behavior, while vocational interests had
reference to the direction of behavior.
Studies of Personality and Occupational
Choice Using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
The most comprehensive study of health professions
using the MBTI was reported by Myers and Davis (1964).
A 12-year follow-up of 4,274 physicians was conducted ex-
ploring the relationships between personality types and
medical specialty. Hypothesized attractions of certain
types for certain specialties were confirmed. For example,
pediatrics appealed most to warm-hearted ISFJ and ESFJ
types; anaesthesiology appealed most to IS-P types who had
ability to be acutely watchful for long periods of time.
Extraverts with sensing preferred surgery and obstetrics
because such specialties demanded "skill in action," an
extravert trait, as well as maximum awareness through the
senses, particularly touch, which is a trait of sensing
types. The most marked differences occurred between sensing
and intuitive types. Intelligence was not a factor that in-
fluenced the observed differences in choice of specialty.
The authors concluded that their data supported the view
that type was associated with vocational choice:
*See explanation of MBTI pages 47-53.
The reason . .. would seem to be that people
like to use their preferred kind of perception
and their preferred kind of judgment, and tend
to choose occupations that give them that
choice. .(Myers and Davis, 1964, p. 9)
Otis and Weiss (1973) analyzed medical student ratings
of their inclination or disinclination to practice in various
specialty and practice settings. The MBTI was one of sev-
eral data-gathering instruments. Ten patterns of career
preference were identified, each of which was associated
with specific personality characteristics. For example,
Pattern 7 was identified with physicians who were not idea-
oriented, but were adept at handling tools, machinery, and
materials; who were authoritarian, "thick-skinned," extremely
confident, realistic, and possessed of a good memory for
facts and details. This pattern was associated with surgi-
cal specialties, and the MBTI data indicated less intro-
verts, more sensing and thinking characteristics for this-
pattern. These findings corroborated those.of Myers and
Davis (1964). MBTI data was distinctive for each pattern.
Studies of occupational therapists (Brown, 1973)
indicated that 56 percent of the group were either ISFJ,
ENFP, ESFJ, ENTJ, or ISTJ. Preferences for feeling and
judging were well'defined indicative of warm-heartedness
and ability to handle people. Stephens' study (1972)
of occupational therapy students in an art class determined
that such students were mainly extraverted feeling types
who liked people and react in a warm and friendly manner.
These characteristics were different from two other groups
of students in the art class.
Type preferences of medical technologists were analyzed
by Bowling (1i973) and Hill (1974). Bowling compared path-
ologists and medical technologists. Fifty-seven percent
of the medical technologists were either ESTJ, ISFJ, ISTJ,
or ESFJ, with a strong preference for sensing and judging.
Medical technologists favored precision, variety, organi-
zation, and harmony, while the pathologists preferred theory,
solitude, impersonal analysis, and organization. Hill, who
compared three levels of clinical laboratory personnel,
reported a preference in his sample for sensing, thinking,
and judging. These types wre realistic, observant and could
be attentive to detail; they wre logical, analytical, and
organized, all qualities required by the nature of the
Pharmacy and medical technology students tended to be
sensing- judging types. In a sample of dental students, 44
percent preferred the sensing judging combination, as did
26 percent in a sample of medical students (McCaulley and
Tonesk, 1974). Diploma nursing students who preferred.
sensing, feeling, and judging were most interested in
nursing and .least likely to drop out (Myers, 1967).
Reynolds and Hope (1970) administered the MBTI to high
school students and were able to distinguish advanced
science students. There were more INTPs than in other
groups of students. INTP people had ability to concentrate
and to grasp complex problems; they were insightful, ana-
lytical, and logical. College freshmen expressed career
preferences that supported Jungian theory (Conary, 1965).
Some types were more highly represented in some fields
than others. For instance, business majors appealed to
the realistic, logical, decisive, executive, sensing
thinking (ST) types. Objective, analytical, inventive,
intuitive thinking (NT) types who like to solve complex
problems were attracted to engineering. Conary reported
that achievement was related to type difference, a point
also made by Myers (1962; 1967).
Health and physical education majors preferred ESFP,
indicating a tendency to be sociable, adaptable, and prac-
tical. By comparison, students majoring in home economics
education preferred ESTP, indicating they were more inter-
ested in underlying theories, as well as being sociable and
practical (Stroops, 1971). A sample of mathematics teachers
was predominantly sensing judging (SJ). Those who pre-
ferred to teach college-bound students were more intuitive
(N); those who chose non-college mathematics courses were
more sensing (S), and selected teaching assignments in lower-
grade levels (Story, 1972).
The MBTI has been used in a number of investigations
relating to achievement, creativity, career choice, and
employee turnover (Myers, 1962). An additional-annotated
bibliography (Educational Testing Service, 1968) listed
research applications of the MBTI from 1962 to 1968 that
encompassed characteristics of school teachers, school
administration students, ministers, engineers; predictions
of student.performance; applications in educational and
clinical counseling, and other areas. Twenty theses and
dissertations using the MBTI had been completed at the
University of Florida between 1971 and 1974, and more were
under way (Typology Laboratory, 1974). Topics included
career.studies, achievement, counseling, and interpersonal
Characteristics of Dietitians
Significant aptitudes for dietitians measured on the
General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB) were Intelligence,
Verbal, and Numerical Aptitudes (Bureau of Employment Secur-
ity, 1954). Holland et al. (1970) published a psychological
classification of occupations in which dietitians were
characterized as Social, Investigative, Enterprising
(SIE). Working with the SVIB, Wagman (1966) stated that
the dietitian scale correlated positively with scales for
buyer, elementary teacher, physical education teacher,
laboratory technician, occupational therapist, nurse,
business education teacher, math-science teacher, office
worker, housewife, and home economics teacher. Negative
correlations were established with scales for social worker,
psychologist, insurance saleswoman, lawyer, musician,
performer, artist, librarian, English teacher, author.
The dietitian scale correlated positively with the economic
scale (.26) and negatively with the political scale (-.40).
Factors in career development of dietitians were re-
ported by Beal and Newton (1966). Dietetics was chosen
frequently as an alternate to some other field, and because
of an interest in food. One-third of the sample expressed
a desire to work in a hospital, and one-quarter mentioned
that interest in science was the reason for their choice.
About two-thirds of the respondents decided to major in
dietetics between the eleventh grade and the sophomore year
in college, but dietetic interns had misconceptions of their
future career role. They entered the field not knowing what
a dietitian did on the job, and almost all experienced "real-
ity shock" in learning the role of a therapeutic dietitian.
All were frustrated by the latent visibility of the profession.
Frustration was not reflected in a definitive study
of personality characteristics of dietitians (Cleveland,
1963). Cleveland's assumption, common among theories of
occupational choice, was that individuals tended to seek
careers that gratified personal needs such as status,
ambition, power. Nursing students and staff were compared
with dietetic interns and dietitians using the Thematic
Aperception Test (TAT), and motivation for career choice
was explored. In their TAT stories, dietitians put much
greater emphasis on achievement and success, and concern
with prestige and power. They attributed more manipulative
power to story characters, and feelings towards parents
were more positive than those of nurses. Dietitians con-
veyed an air of confidence, a feeling of natural superiority
in dealing with others. Descriptions of motivation for
career choice indicated that all groups sought contact
with people, but for nurses it was in the sense of self-
serving sacrifice, and for dietitians because they wanted
to influence others. Dietitians looked for challenge,
compared with nurses who sought stability of a well-defined
role.' Dietitians showed strong attraction to scientific
aspects and to the "prestige of medicine." The development
of dietitian's occupational role has been characterized
by a struggle to establish professional status, especially
in relation to other well-established health care roles of
nursing and medicine. Dietitians must impart knowledge to
others, as in advising and persuading'people to follow
appropriate diets; or in supervising employees whose tech-
nical skills could be greater than theirs. Cleveland con-
cluded that dietitians seemed able to face a challenging and
unstable occupational role because of the feeling of
capability, confidence, and social facility that was
reflected in results from this study.
Two thousand dietitians completed the KPR (Hornaday,
1963). The scientific interest scale was highly differ-
entiating for dietitians, indicative of a preference for
solving problems and discovering new facts. Power and
authority interest was highly rated, indicative of a liking
for influencing thoughts and activities of others, and for
being.in a position of authority. Social service interest
was found to be of importance to dietitians, but nurses,
ministers, social workers, and hospital attendants scored
higher than dietitians. Dietitiahs rated very low on the
clerical interest scale. This study showed that dietitians
could be differentiated from many other occupations on the
basis of the KPR, but there was a possibility of mis-
classification into such occupations as pediatrician, and
special supplementary techniques were called for to make
accurate differentiations. Hornaday distinguished five sub-
groups within dietetics: nutritionists, college professors,
hospital dietitians, commercial dietitians, and school
services. An attempt to subdivide hospital dietitians into
three specialties, therapeutic, teaching,.administrative,
failed to produce significant differentiation. *There was a
trend for power interest to be greatest in administrators
and least in therapeutic specialties. This study concluded
that dietitians could be differentiated from women in gen-
eral by use of the KPR, and trends were found that had
potential to distinguish between specialties within diete-
Job satisfaction measurements could be made in two
One method is to investigate the specific factors
on the job and the resulting attitudes. The
other . includes the overall factors that con-
tribute to satisfaction in life. Neither method is
necessarily right or wrong. (Blum and Naylor, 1968,
Theories of Job Satisfaction
Measurement of job satisfaction was made difficult by
a lack of agreement concerning factors that determined job
satisfaction, according to Blum and Naylor (1968).
One of the more prominent theories concerning the
dynamics: of job satisfaction was Maslow's need hierarchy.
Jobs that satisfied more of Maslovian needs would mean
greater job satisfaction on the part of the employee. In
a study of 470 people in many occupations, Blai (1964)
found that strongest job satisfiers were interesting duties
followed by job security and self-actualization.
Vroom's Valence Force Theory stated that job satis-
faction reflected the valence of the job for its incumbent,
and satisfaction would be negatively related to turnover
and absenteeism (Vroom, 1964). The Herzberg Model (Herzberg
et al., 1959) postulated two classes of work variables,
satisfiers and dissatisfiers. Satisfiers were such factors
as achievement, recognition, advancement, responsibility
and were associated with high satisfaction. They were
called content factors. Factors associated with dis-
satisfaction were those.dealing with company policy, super-
vision, salary, and working conditions, which form the
context of a job. In the health field, jobs were perceived
as satisfying that allowed adequate direct patient-staff
interaction (job content) and were judged dissatisfying
when quality of patient-staff interaction was deficient.
Context factors of salary, policy, etc. were not negative
influences as long as content was adequate in aides' jobs
(Labovitz and Orth, 1972).
Factors Affecting Job Satisfaction
Employed adults were surveyed by Hoppock (1935) in a
community study. Unskilled workers had the lowest job satis-
faction index, and professionals had the highest. Herzberg
et al. (1957) reported that security was the most important
single job factor in a study of over 11,000 workers. How-
ever, ranking of factors affecting job satisfaction varied
by class and occupation of the workers. People in higher
occupational and/or educational levels valued intrinsic
aspects of the job, and security was not so important.
The degree to which job satisfaction was related to
other aspects of work behavior has been investigated by
Vroom (1964). High job satisfaction correlated negatively
with turnover, but results for absenteeism gave inconclusive
findings. Brayfield and Crockett (1955) determined there
was relationship between job satisfaction and job per-
formance, a.finding that negated the notion that a satis-
'fied worker was a more productive worker. Vroom failed
to find more than a small association between variables of
job satisfaction.and performance.
A worker would not be satisfied if he did not get
along with the working group (Blum and Naylor, 1968).
Workers must feel approved and respected by workmates.
A person whose abilities and interests were not at a
compatible occupational level would probably not be satis-
fied with the job.
People are not capable of working any length of time
at a job which they feel is below them. This is
also true of people who do not possess necessary
abilities. (Blum and Naylor, 1968, p. 379).
Kornhauser (1940) reported that occupational level
was associated with job satisfaction. Job satisfaction
seemed to be related to fulfillment of personal needs
(Schaffer, 1953). Job satisfaction thus appeared to be a
complex of attitudes towards job factors, individual,and
group relationships. Blum and Naylor (1968) suggested that
techniques for attitude measurement were appropriate for
the study of job satisfaction.
Prediction of Job Satisfaction
Intelligence, employment history, psychological tests,
interest in the work itself were other variables suggested
as determinants for job satisfaction:
When a person's interests are in line with the job
he can be expected to be absorbed on the job . .
interest can be divided into two categories: inter-
est in people and interest in things. Individuals
in the first group find the greatest outlet for their
interest in jobs that essentially involve people . .
People in the second group, . find their maximum
outlet in jobs which require designing or producing
articles, tools, etc. . .
Last but not least of the contributors to job satis-
faction is personality. (Blum and Naylor, 1968,
Locke (1968) defined job satisfaction as:
. the pleasurable emotional state resulting from
the appraisal of one's job as achieving or facili-
tating the achievement of one's job values . .
Job satisfaction and dissatisfaction are a function
of the perceived relationship between what one wants
from one's job and what one perceives it as offering
or entailing. (p. 10)
Locke complained that job satisfaction was not yet
properly identified, and so to measure and correlate, as
is frequently the approach, did not give satisfactory
answers. Harwood and Brown (1968) agreed with Locke that
job satisfaction lacked adequate definition. It was a multi-
dimensional attitude that could be positive towards some
aspects of a job, while being negative in other aspects.
Sedlacek (1966) also found that job satisfaction was a
poorly defined concept. It had arisen without any scien-
tific underpinnings from a combination of terms and factors.
Conflicting results and conclusions were evident because
of lack of agreement as to definition of job satisfaction,
and because many instruments and methods had been
There was no best way to measure job satisfaction
concluded Wanous and Lawler (1972) who applied multiple
treatments to the same set of data. One direct rating
measure of overall satisfaction: "Generally speaking, I
am very satisfied with my job" gave results that were
similar to those from composite measures.
Job Satisfaction of Dietitians
The Maslovian-theory was used by Tansiongkun and Ostenso
(1968) who investigated psychologic need satisfaction and
thereby determined job satisfaction of 125 dietitians.
Respondents reported their positions most often satisfied
social and security needs, but higher order needs were less
.satisfactorily met. Dietitians with positions at higher
management levels reported more-fulfillment of psychologic
needs and therefore a greater degree of job satisfaction
than dietitians at lower management levels.
DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
Organization of the Chapter
The design and methodology of the study are described
in this chapter. Included are a description of the type
of study, target population, and instruments used to
assemble data. Procedural aspects include administration of
the instrument, and treatment and analyses of the data.
Type of Study
This study sought to describe personality character-
istics of dietitians, their satisfaction with their career
and current specialty, and any significant differences
between dietitians in different specialties or those
expressing satisfaction or dissatisfaction with their
career. The purpose of the data was to
...cast light on current problems by a further
description and understanding of current conditions.
. to understand the present. . to describe it
more fully and adequately than now possible. (Fox,
1969, p. 45)
The study was an exploratory study of a type that
Kerlinger (1973) defined.as
. ex post facto scientific inquiries aimed at
discovering the relationships and interactions among
sociological, psychological and educational variables
in real social structures . like communities,
schools, factories, organizations and institutions.
Kerlinger defined an ex post facto study thus:
. a systematic empirical inquiry in which the
scientist does not have direct control of independent
variables because their manifestations have already
occurred, or because they are inherently not
manipulable. Inferences about relations among vari-
ables are made without intervention, from concommi-
tant variation of independent and dependent variables.
A nation-wide random sample of employed members of the
American Dietetic Association was obtained.from a December
1973 list of members in good standing. There were 24,075
members listed, -of-whom-approximately-25 percent were
unemployed. These were eliminated from the population
leaving a residual population of about 18,000 employed
dietitians from which to draw the sample. Four hundred
names were selected by random methods to constitute the
sample. ,With the exception of Wyoming and Nevada, all
states were represented in the sample as well as the
District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
Two instruments were used in this study. 'One was a
short questionnaire (Appendix A) developed for the study
to obtain demographic information and that relating to
variables of career and specialty satisfaction. Person-
ality characteristics were identified by the Myers-Briggs
Type Indicator, Form F.
The short questionnaire was designed to provide
information on age, years of practice, current specialty,
satisfaction with career, and satisfaction with specialty.
Subjects were asked to list their present position title
and place of employment as a means of checking the decision
they made concerning their area of specialty. If not satis-
fied with current specialty, subjects were asked to indi-
cate the specialty area.they preferred.
Wanous and Lawler (1972) analyzed measurements of job
satisfaction and concluded that one general question about
job satisfaction gave results equivalent to more composite
measurements. In this study career satisfaction was
established by the response to the following broad question:
If a young person expressed interest and
seemed to have the necessary aptitudes',
would you counsel him/her to become a
It was assumed that career satisfied dietitians would feel
sufficiently enthusiastic to recommend their profession as
a career to young people with appropriate interests and
abilities. However, dietitians dissatisfied with their
profession were assumed to feel sufficiently negative that
they would.not recommend the profession as a career.
Respondents were asked if they would take the MBTI
and space was provided on the questionnaire for their
A pilot study was conducted. Eleven dietitians
employed in two Veterans' Administration hospitals agreed
to be subjects for the pilot study. All respondents
readily understood the questions and gave appropriate
answers. However, two questions were rejected because they
did not provide data that was relevant to the variables
under consideration. Average time required to answer the
original questionnaire was seven minutes. The shortened
version could be assumed to require less time because of
the omitted questions.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
The MBTI is a forced-choice, self-report inventory
used with normal subjects. The instrument is untimed
but Sundberg (1965)' reported that about 50 minutes were
required to complete it. Content of the 166 items is
nonthreatening. Developed by Isabel Myers Briggs and
Kathryn Myers, it is intended to measure Jungian theory of
The gist of the theory is that much apparently random
variation in human behavior is actually quite orderly
and consistent, being due to certain basic differ-
ences in the way people prefer to use perception
and judgment. (Myers, 1962, p. 1)
The purpose of the inventory was to assess basic prefer-
ences concerning perception and judgment. In his psycho-
analytic practice, Jung noted two basic kinds of human
orientation. Some people were conditioned by the objects
of their interest extravertss) and other'people were con-
ditioned by their own inner selves (introverts) (Jung,
1923). Jung developed the typology to include not only
the extraverted-introverted "attitude" dimension, but also
to include four functions, sensing, intuition, thinking,
feeling, which described the way a person became aware of
his world (through sensing or intuition) and the way he
came to conclusions about his world (thinking and feeling).
Through innate predisposition and environmental opportuni-
ties, one of each function-type .developed and became more
natural for a person to use. Because the preferred process
was used more than its counterpart, a person became adept
and more comfortable with his preferences. These led
to important differences in behavior.
Thus a person characteristically directs his cognitive
functioning either toward the outer world (E) or toward
subjective experience (I), and comes to emphasize one
of the judging functions (T or F) and one of the
perceptual functions (S or N) as his preferred, most
characteristic mode of dealing with experience.
(Levy et al., 1972, p. 643)
The preference for judging (TF) was independent of the
Preference for perceiving (SN) and either kind of judgment
could combine with either kind of perception. Myers and
Briggs developed the fourth dimension, judging-perceiving.
(JP), to indicate which function was dominant in a person's
life (1962). There were 16 types derived from combinations
of these dichotomous dimensions. Each of the types repre-
sented qualitatively different patterns of organization of
the basic Jungian variables.
The items on'the questionnaire evolved over more than-
two decades andseveral revisions of the MBTI. .Surviving
it-emsaimed to assure homogeneity within a scale and
Independence between scales. Items had at least two al-
ternatives, each reflecting bi-polar differences. Scores
were obtained for each of the eight dimensions, but a single
numerical score for each dichotomy was obtained by sub-
tracting the smaller from the larger score on each dimen-
sion and applying a transformation formula that eliminated
zero scores (Myers, 1962). Continuous scores could be
obtained for statistical purposes, 100 marking the division
point of the dichotomy.
The appropriate letters, indicating the preferred
process on each dimension were derived from the single
score. Respondents to the MBTI received their scores
converted to the letter types, and as a single numerical
value displayed on a grid. Continuous scores were used for
statistical procedures in this study. -Continuous scores
under 100 represented either E, S, T, or J, and those over
100 represented the opposite of the respective dichotomies,
I, N, F, or P. The 16 possible combinations of type,
traditionally displayed in a conventional order known as a
Type Table, are displayed below.' Introverts are in the top
two rows and extravertsin the bottom two. Sensing types
are in the left vertical rows and intuitives in the right
vertical rows. Thinking types are placed in the outside
columns and feeling types in the two middle columns, and
judging types are in the top and bottom row, and perceiving
types are in the two middle rows.
-H e -H
C r- C
EH Hn H-
The completed type table is presented below:
= marks the dominant
process for the type
- marks the process
which is auxiliary ESTP
Descriptions of the characteristics
developed by Myers (1962, 1970).
ISFJ INFJ INTJ
ISFP INFP INTP
ESFP ENFP ENTP
ESFJ ENFJ ENTJ
of each type have been
The Manual (Myers, 1962) reported split-half procedures
used to establish reliability. Correlations on each of the
dimensions, EI, SN, and JP, ranged from .80 to .94. The
TF scale was lower with correlations ranging from .44 to
.86. Stricker and Ross (1963), investigating internal
consistency reliability, found a similar pattern. Internal
consistency reliability of continuous scores was generally
in the range of .75 to .85, but the TF scale had a con-
sistently low coefficient. Test-retest reliability co-
efficients for continuous scores on all four dimensions
ranged from .69 to .83 and were statistically reliable
(Levy et al., 1972). In the same study type categories
showed stability, 53 percent of respondents staying the
same type, 35 percent showing a shift on one scale, 10
percent shifting on two scales, and 2 percent shifting on
three scales. Stricker and Ross (1964) studied test-retest
reliability over 14 months, obtaining correlations of .73
(EI) to .48 (TF). Sundberg (1965) stated that reliability
figures were comparable to those of leading personality
Levy et al. (1972) said
. [there is] considerable support for use of the
MBTI as a psychometrically stable instrument capable
of reflecting important group differences. .
Dimensions are more stable than indicated by previous
research and provide presently unique data suggesting
that qualitative type designations are also remark-
ably stable. (p. 652)
Validity data presented in the Manual (Myers, 1962)
weremainly congruent or concurrent. Instruments used to
establish congruent validity included the Gray-Wheelwright
Psychological Type Questionnaire, Strong Vocational Interest
Blank, Edwards Personal Preference Inventory, Allport-
Vernon-Lindzey Study of Values, and the Personality Research
Nontest criteria, including job turnover, creativity
studies,and academic performance,were used also in validating
Stricker and Ross (1964) questioned construct validity;
that is whether the scales were capable of measuring under-
lying personality types postulated by Jung. They concluded
that SN and TF scales probably reflected dimensions they
were theorized to represent, but that El and JP scales
were more questionable. Levy et al. (1972) felt that more
work was needed to extend construct validation.
There was criticism of the content of questions (Men-
delsohn, 1965) because they were considered shallow and
perhaps one-sided. In addition, it was contended that two
basic assumptions were not supported by evidence. The
first questionable assumption was that scales were dichoto-
mous and the second was that scales interacted in a complex
manner. Neither of these assumptions seemed valid. Siegel
(1963) was critical of the validation procedures which he
said should have been based on clinical or intuitive
validation and not the more usual methods of psychometric
validation. Nevertheless, the following comments were
made by Mendelsohn (1965):
. [the instrument] has considerable potential
utility . . [because] type scores relate mean-
ingfully to a wide range of variables, including
personality, ability, interest, value, aptitude and
performance measures, academic choice and behavioral
ratings . . Although there are better predictors
for particular tasks, few instruments appear to pro-
vide as much information as can be derived efficiently
from the MBTI. It would seem useful then for per-
sonality research and, given its relationships to
measures of interest, value, aptitude and achievement,
for academic counseling.
A consideration of the available data suggests that
the MBTI does not represent a successful operationali-
zation of Jungian concepts, but does appear to have
potential utility for research and counseling if
scores are interpreted in the light of their empiri-
cal relationships rather than their assumed theoreti-
cal significance. (p. 322)
Administration of the Instrument
Data collection for this study was conducted by mail.
The initial mailing contained a cover letter (Appendix B)
which briefly described the study and the MBTI, t-he-short
questionna-i-re-(A'ppendix-A), and a stamped, self-addressed
,envelope. ,The questionnaire was printed on blue paper to
attract attention and make it easier to identify. Pest.
cards ,(Appendix B) -were-sent-in two follow-ups after.
three and-six weeks.
The MBTI was mailed to all respondents who met the
following criteria: (1) they returned the initial question-
naire, (2) they consented to take the MBTI, and (3) they
were currently employed either full- or part-time. -Another-
cover letterNf Appendix B) the-answer- sheet-, -and-a-s-tamped,
self-addressed-return envelope were included. -The MBTI .
was mailed immediately upon receipt of the returned ques-
tionnaire, distributing the administration process over
eight to ten weeks. Follow-up post cards (Appendix B)
were mailed after two, four, and six weeks. Those who
completedd and returned the MBTI comprised the experimental
MBTI responses were processed in several batches by
the Typology Laboratory at the University of Florida.
An individual report of MBTI results was mailed to each
subject who completed the indicator. Type data and a
description of the characteristics of the type were included
in the-report. A message included on the report thanked
respondents for their cooperation and offered an oppor-
tunity to obtain further explanation, if desired.
Treatment of the Data
Responses from the short questionnaire were coded for
statistical processing and recorded on key punch cards.
Details of the coding systems may be found in Appendix C.
Age and years of practice were not coded.
Two sets of information were obtained from the MBTI
responses for use in statistical analysis. The letter code
for each type and the letter code for each of the four
dimensions (EI, SN, TF, JP) were obtained. Continuous
scores for each of the four dimensions also were obtained.
Analysis of Data
The computer program used to analyze data was the
Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) (Nie
et al., 1970). It-twas-a-multipurpose program that gave-a--
variety-of-descriptive, comparative, and analytical measures-.
Descriptive statistics used were means and standard devi-
ations. The subprogram Crosstabs computed linear relation-
ships between nominal variables. The chi-square test
tested significance or relationships among these variables.
Linear relationships between variables producing interval
data were tested for significance using one-tailed Stu-
dent's t-test. Hypotheses were tested at the .05 level
Selection ratios were computed by this computer program
to test the first hypothesis. The Self-Selection Index (I)
was the ratio of the percentage of a type in the sample
group to the percentage of the type in a base population.
Populations selected to compare to the data for dietitians
were nursing, medical technology, physical therapy, occu-
pational therapy; and two student groups, female college
freshmen and students in an introductory health professions
Stepwise discriminant analysis was performed to see
which combination of variables, if any, would be best
predictors of career and specialty satisfaction and choice
of specialty. The SPSS computer program was used for the
analysis. A second computer program, Statistical Analysis
Systems.(SAS), developed by the Department of Statistics,
North Carolina State University, was used to test the
ability of predictive equations to correctly classify
subjects into appropriate groups. A chi-square procedure
for testing "goodness" of the discriminant function was
recommended by Press (1972, p. 381) as a means of testing
whether the discriminant function performed better than just
Cooley and Ldhnes (1966) explained that discriminant
analysis was a useful procedure,for examining or predicting
group membership of individuals from a set of attributes
measured as continuous variables. The objective of this
analysis was to determine which combination of variables
was the best predictor for group membership (Crowley et al.,
1972). Computational processes involved a one-way analysis
of variance on each set of variables: The variable with
the highest F ratio was entered first, and remaining vari-
ables followed in descending order of the magnitude of
their F ratios. The procedure stopped when it reached a
nonsignificant F ratio. If no F ratios were significant,
then:none had the ability to discriminate between groups.
Since it was customary to treat MBTI scores as if they were
continuous variables (Myers, 1962), independent variables
for this procedure were the continuous scores on the four*
personality dimensions (El, SN, TF, and JP). The standard
procedure (Manual, 196.2) was followed in computing continuous
scores, 100 being the division point on each dichotomy.
'RESULTS AND DISCUSSION.
Organization of the Chapter-
This chapter describes and discusses results obtained
from analyses of the data. The responding sample is
described first. Hypotheses are grouped according to their
focus. Personality characteristics of the sample are
described in the first hypothesis. Hypotheses 2, 3, and 4
focus on personality characteristics of clinical, administra-
tive, and educational dietitians. Career satisfaction is
analyzed in Hypotheses 5 and 6, and satisfaction with
specialty is examined in Hypotheses 7 through 11.
Short summaries occur at the end of each section,
and at the end of the chapter.
Of the 400 subjects originally contacted, 341 (85
percent) responded to the first questionnaire. Some of
these respondents declined to participate, some declined to
,participate further and take the MBTI, and some were re-
jected.because they did not meet the employment criteria.
Several respondents wrote that they had not received the
questionnaire. The experimental group included 243.subjects
The experimental group was predominantly female (98.8
percent). This was comparable to sex distribution among
members of the ADA. Marital status of respondents was:
single, 19.3 percent; married, 64.2 percent; previously
married, 11.9 percent; and 4.5 did not report. The sample
was predominantly white, but there were seven blacks, nine
orientals, and two respondents of Latin American origin.
Two-thirds of the sample were employed in a hospital or
extended care facility, on either full-time or part-time
basis. Twelve percent worked for universities in extension,
food service, or as faculty. Almost 8 percent worked in
school lunch or as consultants to school districts. Almost
7 percent were employed by county, state, or federal nutri-
tion programs. The remainder worked in varying capacities.
One was a high school teacher. Several were employed by
dairy or wheat boards, and a small group was' self-employed.
Ages ranged from 24 to 73 years with a mean age of
41..8 years and. a standard deviation of 11.83 years. Years
of practice ranged from 0 to 52 years. The mean years of
practice was 14.3'years with a standard deviation of 10.26
Personality Characteristics of Dietitians
The first step in establishing personality charac-
teristics of employed dietitians was to construct a type
table for the total responding sample. The number of
subjects and percentage distribution by type for dietitians
are presented in Table 1. Dietitians showed a slight
preference for extraversion (51.9 percent) to introversion
(48.1 percent); they preferred sensing (61.7 percent) to
intuition (38;3 percent); feeling (53.9 percent) to thinking
(46.1 percent), and judging (69.1 percent) to perceiving
(30.9 percent). Dietitians exhibited a group preference for
If personality types were distributed by chance alone,
a frequency of 15 would be expected in each type category.
Four types were over-represented, and all the others
except two were under-represented. The most common type
for women, ESFJ,.was well represented, but the most common
type for college women, ENFP, was not well represented by
dietitians. The three men in the sample were represented
by the types INTP, INTJ, and INFP.
Almost half (48 percent) of the sample were distributed
into four types: ISTJ, ISFJ, ESTJ, and ESFJi. People
characterized by sensing and judging, common traits to these
four types, were . .skilled at handling concrete
experiences and details . like to have things organized
. are thus particularly qualified to give detailed
Myers-Brlggs Type Indicator
PERSONALITY TYPES OF EMPLOYED DIETITIANS:
NUMBER AND PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION
SENSING TYPES INTUITIVE TYPES
withTHINKING with FEELING with FEELING with THINKING
ISTJ ISFJ INFJ INTJ
N 29 N 30 N= 11 N 9
%= 11.9 % 12.3 %= 4.5 %= 3.7
ISTP ISFP INFP INTP
N = 8 N = 7 N 18 N= 5
%= 3.3 %= 2.9 %= 7.4 % 2.1
ESTP ESFP ENFP ENTP
N = 7 N = 11 N 12 N= 7
%= 2.9 % / 4.5 % = 4.9 %= 2.9
ESTJ ESFJ ENFJ ENTJ
N = 30 N = 28 N = 14 N =17.
%= 12.3 % = 11.5 % = 5.8 %= 7.0
I 117 48.1
S 150 61.7
N 93 38.3
T 11 46 1
F 1 -1 53.9
J irn 69-1
P 75 30.9
IJ 79 32.5
IP -AR 15.6
EP 37 15.2
EJ Rq 36.6
ST 74 30 5
SF 76 31.3
NT T 15.6
SJ 117 48.1
SP 3 13.6
NP 4? 17.3
NJ 51 21.0
TJ as 35.0
TP 27 11.1
FP A 3 19.2
FJ 83 34.2
systematic care in health related fields" (McCaulley and
Morgan, 1973, p. 50). Sensing thinking people charac-
teristically looked for facts., and handled them through
logical analysis. They tended to be practical, matter-of-
fact, observant, and realistic. Sensing feeling people,
also practical, observant, and realistic, handled facts
with personal warmth and a sympathetic, friendly attitude.
The qualities, sensing judging with thinking or feeling,
were preferred by 48 percent of the sample of dietitians.
In the remainder of the sample, there were only two
other types represented by more than 15 subjects. These
were INFP (18) and ENTJ (17). The INFP type was charac-
terized by insightfulness and curiosity, sympathy and
adaptability. ENTJ types Were sociable, organized, intellec-
tual, possessed of vision and concern for long-range
possibilities, and able to put their vision into action.
The first hypothesis was formulated to compare MBTI
type preferences of dietitians with .other groups' prefer-
ences. Two student groups were selected; one group was
female college freshmen and the second was students in
an introductory course for health related profession stu-
dents. Both groups were selected because they represented
college populations from which potential dietitians could
select themselves. Four health professional groups were
selected. Nursing was selected because it is a primary care
health profession. Occupational therapy and physical
therapy were selected because they function on the health
care team providing expert care to some patients and
function in a patient care role similar to that of the
dietitian. They required educational preparation that is
similar to that required for dietetics. Medical technology
was chosen because the educational preparation is similar
to that of dietitians, and the rigorous scientific emphases
are similar in both professions.
Hypothesis 1. There are no significant differences
between the distribution of MBTI types of employed members
of the ADA and those of selected populations for which
type data are available.
Groups selected for comparison were:
1. Female college freshmen (N=1591),
2. University of Florida students in HRP 101:
Introduction to Health Related Professions (N=1042),
3. Nursing students, faculty and practitioners
4. Occupational therapy students, faculty and
5. Physical therapy students, faculty and prac-
6. Medical technology students, faculty and prac-
Selection ratios were computed to make the requisite
comparisons. The selection ratio or Index is a ratio of
percentage of a type in the sample group to percentage of
the same type in the base population (comparison group).
This sample of dietitians showed both similarities and
differences when compared with other groups. Selection
ratios based on type categories are presented in.Table'2.
Table 3 shows selection indices based on individual
variables (EI, SN, TF, JP) and combinations thereof.
In the following presentation and discussion of
results, results for each group are presented separately.
Within each group, differences by type category (ISTJ,
ISFJ, etc.) are presented, followed by differences among
the individual variables (EI, SN, etc.). After results are
given for each of the six groups which served as comparisons
forthle dietitian sample, overall patterns.of difference are
discussed. Again, patterns among type categories are dis-
cussed first, then patterns of differences among individual
variables and their combinations are discussed.
Female college students
Dietitians were compared with female college freshmen
(Table 2). ISTJ, ESTJ and ENTJ types were attracted to
dietetics significantly more than their proportion in the
female college freshmen group indicated. These three types
0 0 O ~)LA d W~J ~H 0 '
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o -iH -H
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mm z w w H a H cm a z C h z z
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4-J 4 4-1
(d rd (d
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had preferences for thinking judging (TJ) in common.
Significantly less attracted to dietetics than to the college
group were ISFP and ENFP.
Comparisons of dietitians and the college group on
individual variables (Table 3) revealed that preferences on
every one of the individual variables (EI, SN, TF, JP)
were significantly different. Introverted, sensing, thinking,
judging types were more likely to select dietetics and
extraverted, intuitive, feeling, perceiving types were
less likely to select dietetics. These differences were
amplified when combinations of variables were compared:
people with IJ, ST, SJ, TJ and IS preferences were attracted
to dietetics in significantly greater ratios than were found
in this college group; and people with EP, NF, NP, FP,
EN preferences were attracted to dietetics in significantly
fewer numbers than to college groups.
Students in introduction to
health related professions
Compared with University of Florida students in a
course titled "HRP 101: Introduction to Health Related
Professions" the type distribution of dietitians again
revealed significant differences. ISTJ, INTJ, ESTJ, and
ENTJ types were attracted to dietetics in significantly
greater proportions than to health related professions
generally (Table 2). Again, ENFPs entered dietetics in
significantly less numbers than health related professions
Comparing individual variables and their combinations
showed many significant differences between the dietitian
group and this group of students (Table 3). Dietitians
preferred introverted, sensing, thinking, judging sig-
nificantly more than HRP 101 students. Dietitians pre-
ferred.IJ, ST, NT, SJ, TJ, IS significantly more than
HRP 101 students, and significantly less EP, NF, NP, FP,
EN than this student group.
Nursing students, faculty
Comparison of selection indices on type tables of
nurses and this sample of dietitians revealed significant
differences. In the dietitian group, ENTJs were significantly
more attracted to dietetics than to nursing (p < .01).
ENFP types were attracted to dietetics significantly less
than into nursing (p .:< .001) (Table 2).
When selection ratios for individual variables of the
MBTI and their combinations were contrasted for the nursing
and dietetic groups, differences were apparent (Table 3).
Significant among these were that dietitians preferred
sensing, thinking, judging more than the nursing group and
intuition, feeling, and perceiving less. Ratios of prefer-
ence for extraversion and introversion in each profession
were not different.
Among combinations of variables, dietitians in this
sample preferred ST, SJ, TJ significantly more than nurses.
Subjects with preferences for EP, NF, NP, FP, EN were
significantly less attracted to dietetics than to nursing
Occupational therapy students,
faculty, and practitioners
Significantly more (p <'-.01) ESTJs selected dietetics
over occupational therapy. There were significantly less
INTP and ENFP types in dietetics than in occupational
therapy (Table 2).
Comparing dietetics with occupational therapy on
individual MBTI variables revealed significantly more sensing
and judging types attracted to dietetics and significantly
fewer intuitives found in dietetics. The combinations of
variables showed significantly more EJ, ST, SJ, SP, TJ,
ES types, and significantly fewer EP, NF, NP, EN types
in the dietitian group than in occupational therapy (Table
Physical therapy students,
faculty and practitioners
Significantly more (p < .01) ESTJs were found in dietet-
ics :.than in physical therapy, and significantly fewer
INFP and ENFP types were found in dietetics than in physical
therapy (Table 2).
Further significant differences were apparent when
individual MBTI variables were contrasted for dietitians
and physical therapists. Significantly more thinking and
judging types selected dietetics than physical therapy
and significantly fewer feeling and perceiving types selected
dietetics (Table 3). In addition, preferences for EJ, ST,
SJ, TJ combinations of variables were found significantly
more in dietetics than in physical therapy, while signifi-
cantly fewer types with IP, EP, NF, NP, FP combinations
Medical technology students,
faculty and practitioners
There was only one significant difference between
this sample of dietitians and medical technologists.
Significantly fewer ISFP types were attracted to dietetics
(see Tables 2 and 3). No significant differences were
exposed when data from individual variables were compared
for the two groups.
Discussion of differences
Selection ratio data (presented in Table 2) revealed
several patterns of differences between the sample of
dietitians and other selected groups. The first difference
occurred in the ISTJ type category. The proportion of
ISTJs in dietetics was, greater than in either-of the
student groups, although no differences were apparent
between dietitians and the other health profession groups.
It was possible that ISTJs in the student groups perceived
health occupations as potentially satisfying and selected
themselves into these careers in larger numbers than other
areas. Myers (1962) reported frequency ratios for differ-
ent college students, and the ISTJ category was less at-
tractive for liberal arts, science, and medicine. ISTJ
types had a well-developed sense of responsibility. They
were practical, realistic, persevering, but as administra-
tors preferred working with logistics of situations to
working with personnel aspects of management. The prac-
tical realism, attention to detail and sense of responsi-
bility are characteristics required of those in positions of
responsibility in health care settings.
A second dominant pattern was the avoidance of dietetics
by ENFPs. With the exception of medical technology, which
attracted about the same ratio as dietetics, all other groups
in Table 2 were more attractive to ENFPs than was dietetics.
ENFP was the most common type in both student groups (see
Appendix D which presents type tables for the six groups).
These types were characterized by enthusiasm and creativity.
Interested in people, and possibilities for people, ENFPs
were oriented toward communication and sought.to develop
interpersonal relationships. Students in the ENFP category
would be expected to seek working environments that provided
abundant opportunity for contact with people. Students'
perceptions of the dietitian's role may not characterize it
as sufficiently people-oriented. Nursing provides primary
care;.occupational therapists and physical therapists are
likewise involved directly with primary care. These occupa-
tions can be popularly perceived to offer more opportunity
than dietetics for people-oriented ENFPs to utilize their
The third pattern that emerged from data in Table 2 was
that dietetics was significantly more attractive to .ESTJs in
four of the six groups. More ESTJ types were found in die-
tetics than in either of the student groups or in occupa-
tional or physical therapy. Differences between these two
health professions and dietitians may have occurred because
of the small sample in ESTJ category for occupational and
physical therapy which violates one assumption underlying
contingency table analysis (see Appendix D). In addition,
the selection index for nursing (1.3) was identical to the
one for occupational therapy, but not significant. There-
fore, significance of the findings for physical therapy and
occupational therapy had to be regarded with caution.
Qualities that characterize ESTJ types are manifested
in logical, decisive, organized, executive-type behavior.
They value efficiency and careful planning. Myers' (1962)
frequency ratios for this type among college majors were
high only for business majors. Thus the two student groups
used in this study have shown results consistent with several
other student groups. The role of a dietitian demands
planning, assessing, organizing and implementing, and could
be expected to be attractive to ESTJ types.
The last major pattern observed in Table 2 is that
greater proportions of ENTJ types were found in dietetics
than in student groups and nursing. ENTJ types, as described
above, are characterized by an ability to see long-range
possibilities, but their thinking judging qualities give
them an impersonal, logical approach to their dealings with
people. The data suggested that as the focus of health
professions became more specialized (that is, occupational
therapy, physical therapy, medical technology), and less
concerned with the overall care of the patient (as in
nursing), ENTJ types were more apparent.
Individual variables and combinations
Generally, types attracted to dietetics preferred
sensing, thinking, and judging significantly more especially
when compared to the two student groups and to nursing
(Table 3). On the El variable, only the two student groups
were significantly different from dietitians, extraverts
being less *attracted to dietetics and introverts being more
attracted. Data for the SN variable indicated that sensing
types occurred in greater proportions and intuitive types in
lesser proportions in dietetics than in either of the student
groups or in nursing or occupational therapy. Selection
ratios for the TF variable indicated that significantly
more thinking and significantly less feeling types were
attracted to dietetics than to nursing or physical therapy.
Another pattern of preference was apparent on the JP vari-
able, where dietetics attracted significantly more judging
types than the student groups, nursing, occupational therapy
and physical therapy; and significantly fewer perceiving
types than student groups, nursing or physical therapy.
The sensing, thinking, and judging nature of the dietetic
group could be observed in the type category data of Table 2.
Each of the four TJ types were represented in a larger
proportion in the.dietetic group than in the student groups.
When combinations of variables for dietitians were
compared with each of the six groups, patterns of differ-
ences were observed again. The two student groups showed
consistent differences. The selection ratios were.signifi-
cantly higher for dietetics in IJ, ST, SJ, TJ, IS categories
(and in the NT category for HRP 101 group). They were
significantly lower in EP, NF, NP, FP, EN categories for
dietetics compared with students. These findings amplified
data already presented for type categories and for the
When the health professions groups were contrasted
with dietetics using combinations of variables, patterns of
significant difference appeared again. There was a sig-
nificantly lower ratio of EP, NF, NP types in dietetics than
in nursing, occupational therapy or physical therapy.
Selection ratios for FP were significantly lower for diete-
tics than for nursing or physical therapy; and those for EN
were lower for dietetics than for nursing or occupational
Significantly greater ratios were found for dietetics
on EJ preference (compared with occupational therapy or
physical therapy); ST, SJ, TJ preferences (nursing, occupa-
tional therapy or physical therapy); SP and ES preferences
were significantly higher in dietetics than in occupational
The consistency of these differences emphasized not
only differences between types attracted to dietetics and
other health professions, but also the similarity between
medical technology and dietetics in terms of'types who were
attracted to each field.. In all the selection ratio data,
only one significantly different selection index was noted
between medical technology and dietetics.
To summarize, selection index data showed many sig-
nificant differences between this sample of dietitians and
other student or health profession groups. Considering
type categories (Table 2), dietitians appeared most like
medical-technologists in that one significant difference
was noted. Dietetics attracted more ISTJ, ESTJ, INTJ,
ENTJ types than one or more of the comparison groups.
Dietetics attracted notably fewer ENFP types than all groups
except medical technology. Other types who seemed to under-
select dietetics were ISFP, INFP, and INTP.
Selection index data for individual variables cor-
roborated patterns noted in the type category data and
emphasized the appeal of dietetics for sensing, thinking,
judging types. There were marked differences between student
groups and dietitians in terms of .the types they attracted.
Not only did dietetics attract a larger ratio of introverted,
sensing, thinking, judging characteristics, but it also
attracted more of every possible combination of these
characteristics (IJ, ST, SJ, TJ, IS), and significantly
less of the counterparts (EP, NF, NP, FP, EN).
Many of these differences were reflected in the health
professions groups. In.most cases general directions of
trends were consistent throughout all groups. Medical
technology was most similar to dietetics. In fact, no
significant differences were apparent in the selection data
for individual variables and combinations.
Generally sensing,thinking,judging types and their
combinations were significantly more likely to be attracted
to dietetics, while intuitive,feeling, perceiving types were
significantly less likely to be attracted to dietetics.
From an empirical point of view, these differences would
seem to reflect accurately the role of dietitians in health
care. Like medical technologists, their educational back-
ground demanded more rigorous preparation in the sciences
than other health professions groups cited here. Both occu-
pations evidently attracted people who possess logical
thinking processes, impersonal approaches to decision making
and attention to detail. Both share an interest in body
composition, medical technologists from the viewpoint of
assessing chemical status, and dietitians from the view-
point of assessing nutritional intake and status,
In evaluating this data it should be noted that the
dietitian sample was composed entirely of practitioners.
Data used for the other health professions, nursing, occu-
pational therapy, physical therapy, medical technology,
included students and faculty as well as practitioners.
Based on the differences noted and discussed, evidence
indicated that MBTI type distribution for dietitians dif-
fered in several significant ways from other selected health
professions groups and student groups from which dietitians
select themselves. Hypothesis 1 was not accepted, because
the type distribution of dietitians differed from those of
other selected groups.
Personality Type and Choice of Specialty
Three aspects of personality type and choice of
specialty were investigated. Hypotheses 2 and 3 tested
differences between type distributions for clinical, ad-
ministrative and educational specialties. Hypothesis 2
was concerned with type categories (ISTJ, ISFJ, etc.),
and Hypothesis 3 dealt: with the individual variables, EI,
SN, TF, and JP, and their combinations. Hypothesis 4
represented an attempt to predict choice of specialty based
on MBTI scores.
Hypothesis 2. There are no significant differences
between the distribution of MBTI types for each of the three
specialties: clinical, administrative, and educational.
Respondents were asked in a questionnaire to classify
themselves into one of three specialties, according to how
they spent the major part of their time. MBTI data were
distributed on separate type tables for each specialty.
The number of subjects and percentage distribution by type
for each of the groups are presented in Tables 4, 5, and 6.
There were 243 subjects in the sample: 89 were in
clinical specialties, 120 in administration, and 34 in educa-
tion. In the sections below, each specialty is described in
terms of its type distribution, and the analyses are dis-
cussed following these descriptions.
The number of subjects and percentage distribution by
type for 89 clinical dietitians are shown on Table 4.
CLINICAL DIETITIANS: NUMBER AND PERCENTAGE
FREQUENCIES FOR 16 PERSONALITY TYPES
SENSING TYPES INTUITIVE TYPES
ithTHINKING ithFEELING ithFEELING wthTHINKING N %
ISTJ ISFJ INFJ INTJ E 41 461
I 48 53.9
N =8 N =15: N = 8 N = 5
%: 9.0 % 16.9 %= 9.0 %= 5.6 S 55 61.8
N 34 38,2
z T 34 3R
F 55 61 8
ISTP ISFP INFP INTP T J 66 74
P 23 25.8
N 3 N =2 N :6 N =1 c
%= 3.4 % 2.2 % 6.7 % =1.1 IJ36 40.4
S IP12 13.5
m EP11 12.4
ESTP ESFP ENFP ENTP ST23 25.8
N= 0 N =6 N =4 N =1
%= 0 % 6.7 % 4.5 % =1.1 o NF23 25.8
mrx SJ44 49.4
S SPI1 12.4
ESTJ ESFJ ENFJ ENTJ NP 3
-I NJ? 24.7
N =12 N =9 N 5 N 4 C_
%=13.5 % 10.1 %=5.6 %: 4.5 TJ29 32.6
S TP 5 5.6
FP1R 2. 2
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
ADMINISTRATIVE DIETITIANS: NUMBER AND PERCENTAGE
FREQUENCIES FOR 16 PERSONALITY TYPES
SENSING TYPES INTUITIVE TYPES
withTHINKING withFEELING with FEELING withTHINKING
ISTJ ISFJ INFJ INTJ
N = 19 N =12 N = 2 N = 3
%= 15.8 %=10.0 %-- 1.7 %- 2.5
ISTP ISFP INFP INTP
N =5 N =3 N 10 N = 3
%= 4.2 % 2.5 % = 8.3 % = 2.5
ESTP ESFP ENFP ENTP
N 7 N =4 N = 5 N = 4
%' 5.8 % 3.3 %= 4.2 %= 3.3
ESTJ ESFJ ENFJ ENTJ
N 14 N =14 N = 6 N = 9
%= 11.7 %=11.7 %= 5.0 %= 7.5
E 63 52.5
I 57 47.5
S 78 65.0
N 42 35.0
T 64 53.3
F 56 46.7
J 79 65.8
P 41 34.2
IJ 36 30.0
IP 21 17.5
EP 20 16.7
J 43 35.8
ST 45 37.5
SF 33 27.5
NF 23 19.2
NT 19 15.8
S4 59 49.2
SP 19 15.8
NP 22 18.3
NJ 20 16.7
TJ 45 37.5
TP 19 15.8
FP 22 18.3
FJ 34 28.3
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Type Table
EDUCATIONAL DIETITIANS: NUMBER AND PERCENTAGE
FREQUENCIES FOR 16 PERSONALITY TYPES
withTHINKING withFEELING withFEELING withTHINKING
ISTJ ISFJ INFJ INTJ
N = 2 N =3 N =1 N = 1
%- 5.9 % ;8.8 % 2.9 %O= 2.9
ISTP ISFP INFP INTP
N= 0 N 2 N 2 N = 1
%= 0 % =5.9 % =5.9 % 2.9
ESTP ESFP ENFP ENTP
N = 0 N 1 N =3 N= 2
%= 0 % 2.9 % 8.8 % 5.9
ESTJ ESFJ ENFJ ENTJ
N= 4 N 5 N =3 N= 4
%= 11.8 % 14.7 %=8.8 %= 11.
E 22 64.7
S 17 50.0
N 17 50.0
T 14 41 2
F 20 58.8
J 23 67-6
P 11 32.4
IJ 7 20.4
IP 5 14.7
EP 6 17.6
EJ 16 47.1
ST 6 17.6
SF 11 32.4
NF 9 26.5
NT 8 23.5
SJ 14 41.2
SP 3 8.8
NP 8 23.5
NJ 9 26.5
TJ 11 32.4
TP 3 8.8
FP 8 23.5
FJ 12 35.3
More clinical dietitians preferred introversion (53.9 per-
cent) to extraversion, more preferred sensing (61.8 percent)
to intuition, more preferred feeling (61.8 percent) than
thinking, and more preferred judging (74.2 percent) than
perceiving. These data tended to indicate preferences for
introversion, sensing, feeling, judging (ISFJ) on the four
type dimensions among clinical dietitians. Table 4 shows
that 16.9 percent of the sample were classified ISFJ. The
ISFJ type was realistic, practical, and stable. The most
thorough of all types, ISFJs, possessed ability to cope with
detail and routine. Combined with other qualities the
"super-dependable" designation was appropriate for ISFJ
types (Myers, 1970). Tactful and sympathetic, interested in
people, the qualities of an ISFJ fit him to be an effective
person in the health setting, capable of building relation-
ships with patients on. a one-to-one basis, as would be
required for diet counseling.
The cell with the second largest number of clinical
dietitians was ESTJ with 13.5 percent of the sample so
classified. The ESTJ type of person was realistic, logical,
and authoritarian. They liked their life organized and
efficient, and disliked confusion. In working with people
in the clinical situation, such people would be expected to
give clear directions, but they might not listen closely
enough to the counselee's point of view.
The ESFJ cell accounted for 10.1 percent of clinical
dietitians. Such types were friendly, sympathetic, tactful,
practical, and worked well with people. They-were gregari-
ous but persevering and adept at organization. These were
the warm-hearted types who had many desirable qualities for
the caring and helping professions.
Two other cells, ISTJ and INFJ, each represented 9
percent of the clinical sample. The ISTJ type was thorough,
dependable, hardworking, and systematic. They were realis-
tic, organized, and responsible, and would be expected t6
provide much support to their patients and clients in diet
adjustment situations. INFJ types were innovative, in-
sightful, .and able to work out complex problems. They could
apply ingenuity to solve problems in unconventional ways
and this combined with their skill in handling people in
sympathetic and understanding ways would help them relate
well to people whom they counsel on diet matters.
Of the remaining 11 types, all but one were represented
to some degree by this sample. There were no clinical
dietitians classified in the ESTP category.,
The number of subjects and percentage distribution by
type for 120 administrative dietitians is presented in
Table 5. More administrative dietitians preferred extra-
version (52.5 percent) to introversion, more preferred
sensing (65 percent) than intuition. More preferred
thinking (53.3 percent) than feeling and more preferred
judging (65.8 percent) than perceiving. These data tended
to indicate preferences for extraversion, sensing, thinking,
judging (ESTJ) on the four variables for administrative
dietitians. The ESTJ was an executive type, who liked his
life organized, his plans well laid, and demanded effi-
ciency. He disliked confusion. Such a person was analyti-
cal, logical, and decisive.
Inspection of Table 5 revealed that ISTJ represented
more administrative dietitians than other types (15.8
percent). This type was dependable and responsible,
realistic, logical, and organized. They were thorough
and able to work with detail. The sensing thinking
combination made them practical and matter-of-fact.
Types representing the second largest number of ad-
ministrative dietitians were ESTJ and ESFJ, each with 11.7
percent of the group. ESTJ was the executive.type described
above, but the ESFJ type was more sympathetic, tactful and
friendly, and worked well with people.
Ten percent of administrative dietitians were repre-
sented by ISFJ. This type was described in the above
section on clinical dietitians as being super-dependable.
An ISFJ person was tactful and sympathetic and liked to be
organized. These were all desirable qualities for the
administrative role. The INFP type represented 10 adminis-
trative dietitians or 8.3 percent. Tolerant, open-minded,
understanding and flexible, INFP types were also insightful.
They were apt to show much zeal for their.jobs if their
jobs provided intrinsic satisfaction.
The remaining 11 categories on the type table each
represented administrative dietitians. It should be noted
that administrative dietitians were the only specialty
represented by the type ESTP. This type was characterized
by adaptability, realism, and powers of observation. They
had a great affinity for facts. They were able to size up
other people and,like good negotiators, could find areas of
compromise. It was possible that they preferred the
challenges and variety found in administrative jobs to the
task of dealing with people on a one-to-one basis, as
happened frequently in clinical situations, but generaliza-
tions were difficult because of the small sample.
The number of subjects and percentage distribution by
type for 34 educational.dietitians is shown in Table 6.
More educators preferred extraversion (64.7 percent) than
introversion, half (50 percent) preferred sensing and half
preferred intuition. More educators preferred feeling
(58.8 percent) than thinking, and more preferred judging
(67.6'percent) than perceiving. These data indicated a
collective preference for extraversion, feeling, and judging
(E-FJ), with either sensing or intuition as the auxilliary