Title: Relationships between career satisfaction and personality type for employed dietitians
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00098333/00001
 Material Information
Title: Relationships between career satisfaction and personality type for employed dietitians
Physical Description: xiii, 171 leaves. : illus. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Fellers, Robin Brown, 1941-
Publication Date: 1974
Copyright Date: 1974
Subject: Dietitians   ( lcsh )
Personality   ( lcsh )
Job satisfaction   ( lcsh )
Curriculum and Instruction thesis Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Curriculum and Instruction -- UF
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Thesis: Thesis -- University of Florida.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 161-169.
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00098333
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: alephbibnum - 000580679
oclc - 14072041
notis - ADA8784


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Copyright by
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-

ticularly grateful.

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.



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



II (cont.)

Job Satisfaction. . . . . . ... 39
Theories of Job Satisfaction . . ... 39
Factors Affecting Job Satisfaction . : 40
Prediction of Job Satisfaction . . .. .41
Job Satisfaction of Dietitians . . .. .43


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


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


IV (cont.)

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. .





: :




Summary . .. . ..... .. . . ... 132
Purpose and Procedure . . . . . 133
Personality Characteristics of Dietitians. 134
Predicting Career Satisfaction. .. . 136
Predicting. Specialty Satisfaction .. .. 137
Conclusions . . . . . . . . 139
Recommendations. . . . ..... . 142




C CODING . . . . . .


BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . .



. . . . .










Table Page



COMBINATIONS. .............. 66


TYPES . . . .. . . . .. . 81

TYPES . . . . . . . ... . . 82

TYPES OF DIETITIANS . . . . . .. 89








LIST OF TABLES (continued)

Table Page

DEVIATIONS. . . . . . . . . .. 109

STANDARD DEVIATIONS . . . . . . .. .112

PERSONALITY TYPES . . . . . . ... .114



SPECIALTY . . . . . . . . .. .120

CURRENT SPECIALTY . . . . . . .. .122

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



Robin Brown Fellers

December, 1974

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-

dictive functions.

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

each specialty.

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-

perceiving preference.

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





General Background

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

health occupations.

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

Dietetics, 1972).

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.
(p. 75)

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

potential applications:

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

(Siegelman, 1958).;

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

Indicator (MBTI).

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

personality factors.

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

the data.

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).

ADA dietitian::

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,
p. 661)

(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

detail,in-Chapter-. III).

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

imaginative approach.

(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

personal values.

(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

job satisfaction.

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.



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

are reviewed.

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
Occupational Choice

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).

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

various careers.

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.

College students

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.

Health professionals

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

specialty choice.

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

Health professions

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).

Other professions

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

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,
p. 385)

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,
p. 387)

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.



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.
(p. 405)

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.
(p. 379)

Target Population

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


Pilot study

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).





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

the instrument.

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

of significance.

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

I _

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

random assignment.

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.




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.

Responding Sample.

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

(61 percent).

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

Table 1


N 29 N 30 N= 11 N 9
%= 11.9 % 12.3 %= 4.5 %= 3.7

N = 8 N = 7 N 18 N= 5
%= 3.3 %= 2.9 %= 7.4 % 2.1

N = 7 N = 11 N 12 N= 7
%= 2.9 % / 4.5 % = 4.9 %= 2.9

N = 30 N = 28 N = 14 N =17.
%= 12.3 % = 11.5 % = 5.8 %= 7.0

N %
E 51.9
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

NF 22,6
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



Type Table

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

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

practitioners (N=158),

5. Physical therapy students, faculty and prac-

titioners (N=130),

6. Medical technology students, faculty and prac-

titioners (N=431).



Selection ratios

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

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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

in general.

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
and practitioners

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

(Table 3).

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

selected dietetics.

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

Type classification

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

unique characteristics.

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

individual variables,

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

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.

Clinical dietitians

The number of subjects and percentage distribution by

type for 89 clinical dietitians are shown on Table 4.

Table 4

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

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
EJ30 33.7

SF32 36.0
N= 0 N =6 N =4 N =1
%= 0 % 6.7 % 4.5 % =1.1 o NF23 25.8
NT1 12.4

mrx SJ44 49.4
S SPI1 12.4

-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
FJ37 41.6



Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Type Table

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Table 5


N = 19 N =12 N = 2 N = 3
%= 15.8 %=10.0 %-- 1.7 %- 2.5

N =5 N =3 N 10 N = 3
%= 4.2 % 2.5 % = 8.3 % = 2.5

N 7 N =4 N = 5 N = 4
%' 5.8 % 3.3 %= 4.2 %= 3.3

N 14 N =14 N = 6 N = 9
%= 11.7 %=11.7 %= 5.0 %= 7.5

N %
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



Type Table

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Type Table
Table 6



N = 2 N =3 N =1 N = 1
%- 5.9 % ;8.8 % 2.9 %O= 2.9

N= 0 N 2 N 2 N = 1
%= 0 % =5.9 % =5.9 % 2.9

N = 0 N 1 N =3 N= 2
%= 0 % 2.9 % 8.8 % 5.9

N= 4 N 5 N =3 N= 4
%= 11.8 % 14.7 %=8.8 %= 11.


N %
E 22 64.7
S12 35.3

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.,

Administrative dietitians

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.

Educational dietitians,

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

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