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LEARNING STYLES AND PERSONALITY TYPES: IDENTIFICATION

AND COMPARISON OF HOSPITALITY STUDENTS


IN TAIWAN AND THE UNITED STATES
by
HUNG-SHENG LAI, B.S., M.B.A.
A DISSERTATION
IN
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES EDUCATION
Submitted to the Graduate Faculty
of Texas Tech University in
Partial Fulfillment of
the Requirements for
the Degree of
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

Approved

"^'T^o^hairperson o / ^ Committee

^ Co-Chairperson of the Comminee

Accepted

Dean of the Graduate School


August, 2003

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to thank my chairpersons. Dr. Chih-Kang "Kenny" Wu and D


Ginny Felstehausen, and the other members of my committee, Dr. Stout and Dr.
Tsai, for their assistance in helping me to finish and complete my dissertation. Th
dissertation would not have been completed without their assistance. I am
especially indebted to my advisors Dr. Chih-Kang "Kenny" Wu and Dr. Ginny
Felstehausen for their understanding and support. I thank Dr. Betty L. Stout for
giving me superior advice regarding my writing and also thank Dr. Yung-Mei Tsj
for giving me recommendations regarding the instruments and educational
information.
I also would like to thank all hospitality undergraduate students, educators
and professionals in Taiwan and the United States, who assisted me in my researc
especially those who participated as subjects in my study.
Finally, I have been fortunate to have had support and assistance from a
number of people of immense heart, talent and friendship. I give my special thanl
to my friends, colleagues, parents, and family, especially my son, Allen, my
daughter, Emily, and wife, Hui-Hui, who supported and encouraged me through
my graduate study.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEGMENTS

iii

ABSTRACT

ix

LIST OF TABLES

xii

LIST OF FIGURES

xv

CHAPTER
I.

INTRODUCTION

Background

Jungian Personality Theory

Kolb's Experienfial Leaming Theory and Leaming Context


The Divergent Leaming Style
The Assimilative Leaming Style
The Convergent Leaming Style
The Accommodafive Leaming Style

5
9
9
9
10

Kolb's Leaming Style Inventory

11

Personality Types
Extroversion - Introversion
Sensing - Intuition
Thinking - Feeling
Judging - Perceiving

15
17
18
18
19

The Relationship between Leaming Style and Personality


Type

22

The Reliability and Validity of the Instruments

23

Hospitality Programs of Higher Educafion in the U.S

24

Higher Education in Taiwan

26

Hospitality Undergraduate Programs in Taiwan

27

ni

11.

Statement of the Problem

28

Research Purpose

34

Definition of Terms

34

Significance of the Study

36

Assumpuons and Limitafions

37

Summary

38

LEARNING STYLES AND PERSONALITY TYPES OF


HOSPITALITY UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS IN TWO
TAIWAN GENERAL UNIVERSITIES

39

Abstract

39

Introducfion

40

Hospitality Education in Taiwan

40

Personality Theory

42

Kolb's Leaming Style

43

Research Questions

45

Hypotheses

45

Significance of the Study

45

Assumptions and Limitations

46

Methodology

47

Sampling

47

The Instrument

48

Kolb Leaming Style Inventory

48

Personality Style Inventory

49

Data Analysis

51

IV

Results

54
Reliability of the Instrument

54

Demographic Information

55

Leaming Style

57

Personality Type

61

Leaming Style and Personality Type

71

Conclusion

71

Discussion

III.

77

Leaming Style

78

Personality Type

80

Conclusion

80

Future Research

81

LEARNING STYLES, PERSONALITY TYPES. AND


IMPLICATIONS FOR HOSPITALITY UNDERGRADUATE
STUDENTS IN THE UNITED STATES

83

Introduction

83

Leaming Style Preference

84

Personality Type

86

Leaming Style Studies

87

Research Objectives and Hypotheses

90

Methodology

92

Introducfion

92

Selecfion of Sample

92

Research Instruments

93

Reliability of Instruments

96

Data Collection

97

Data Analysis

98

Findings and Results

99

The Reliability of the Instruments

rv.

99

Demographic Informafion

101

Leaming Style

103

Personality Type

109

Leaming Style and Personality Type

121

Conclusion

125

Discussion and Implicafion

128

Leaming Style

130

Personality Tyfie

131

Conclusion

131

Future Research

132

A COMPARISON OF LEARNING STYLE AND


PERSONALITY TYPE PROFILES OF HOSPITALITY
UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS IN TAIWAN AND THE
UNITED STATES

133

Abstract

133

Introduction

135

The Foundations of Experiential Leaming

136

Kolb's Experiential Leaming Model

137

Kolb's Leaming Style Inventory

141

Leaming Style Studies

143

Jung's Personality Theory

145

VI

PersonaUty Type

146

Hospitality Programs in Taiwanese Higher Educafion

147

Hospitality Programs in the U.S. Higher Education

149

Objectives of the Study

151

Methodology

153

Samples and Sampling Procedures

153

Research Instrument

153

Pilot Test

157

Data Collection

157

Data Analysis

158

Results

159
The Reliability Results of the Instruments

159

Demographic Information

161

Leaming Style

164

Personality Type

165

Discussion

171

Leaming Style

172

Personality Type

173

Conclusion

175

Implicafion

176

Future Study

182

GENERAL SUMMARY

184

Conclusion

184

Implicafion

185
vii

Future Research

188

REFERENCES

189

APPENDIX
A.

COVER LETTER AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION


QUESTIONNAIRE, ENGLISH AND CHINESE VERSIONS

196

LEARNING STYLE INVENTORY PERMISSION FROM


HAY/MCBER

200

C.

KOLB'S LEARNING STYLE INVENTORY

207

D.

SCORING SHEETS FOR KOLB'S LEARNING STYLE


INVENTORY

211

E.

LEARNING STYLE TYPE GRID

213

F.

THE PERSONAL STYLE INVENTORY

215

G.

SCORING SHEETS FOR THE PERSONAL STYLE


INVENTORY

220

H.

LETTER REQUESTING PARTICIPATION IN THIS STUDY

223

I.

TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW


BOARD APPROVAL LETTER FOR THE PROTECTION OF
HUMAN SUBJECTS

225

B.

Vtll

ABSTRACT

The purposes of this study were to identify and to compare leaming style and
personality type profiles of hospitality undergraduate students in Taiwan and the United
States (U.S.). This was the first invesfigafion of Taiwanese hospitality students involving
their distributions of leaming style and personality type profiles. Four hundred and
ninety-seven (497) Taiwanese hospitality students from two major universities and 294
American hospitality students from one major equivalent program completed the
quesfionnaire, which included demographic information, Kolb's Leaming Style Inventory
(LSI), and Personal Style Inventory (PSl).
Frequencies were tabulated to report the distribution of personality types and
leaming styles of hospitality students in Taiwan and the U.S. in relation to their
demographic information.
Results showed that the Taiwanese and the U.S. hospitality undergraduate
students had stronger tendencies for traits of exu-oversion (E), sensing (S), feeling (F),
and judging (J) scores with respect to their corresponding personality traits. However, the
leaming styles of these two sets of students showed slight differences; the Taiwanese
hospitality students had more Assimilators (42.7% vs. 32.3%; z = 9.44, p < .000) and
fewer Accommodators (5.6% vs. 15.3%; z = -2.81, p < .005) than their U.S. counterparts.
The research suggested that more Assimilators might be the result of Taiwan's testoriented educational system.

IX

This study illustrated a cross-cultural comparison. Understanding hospitality


students' leaming styles and personality types can help administrators and educators to
design effecfive curricula and lesson plans to better prepare their students for the highly
compeuuve hospitality career market. Compared to most countries, the United States'
hospitality programs are more mature and progressive. When other countries' hospitality
programs try to engage in or to transfer program development and curricula from the
United States for their own uses, they should be aware of the differences in culture,
educational systems, and student bodies. Results found in this study may be used as a
benchmark for the Taiwanese educators who want to design, transfer, and revise their
programs and curricula according to the U.S. experiences to match the Taiwanese
students' needs.

LIST OF TABLES

>.l

The Reliability Coefficients of Leaming Mode for Kolb's Leaming


Style Inventory

54

The Reliability Coefficients of Personality Dimension fdr


Personality Style Inventory

54

2.3

Sample Description

56

2.4

Leaming Stage and Leaming Dimension Mean Scores and Gender

58

2.5

Leaming Stage and Leaming Dimension Mean Scores and


Academic Classificanon

58

Frequency Distributions and Chi-square between Gender and


Leaming Styles of Hospitality Students in Taiwan

59

Frequency Distributions and Chi-square between Students'


Academic Classification and Leaming Style of Hospitality
Students in Taiwan

59

Frequency Distributions and Chi-square between Students' Work


Status and Leaming Style of Hospitality Students in Taiwan

60

Personality Dimensions Mean Scores of Personality Type by


Gender

62

Personality Dimensions Mean Scores of Personality Type by


Academic Classification

63

Frequency Distributions and Chi-square between Personality


Dimension and Hospitality Undergraduate Students' Gender

65

2.12

Hospitality Undergraduate Student Personality Type Distribution

67

2.13

Frequency Distributions between Students' Gender and Personality


Type of Hospitality Students in Taiwan

68

Frequency Distributions among Students' Academic Classification


and Personality Type

69

Frequency Distributions among Students' Work Status and


Personality Type

70

27

2.6
2.7

2.8
2.9
2.10
2.11

2.14
2.15

XI

2.16
2 17

218
2.19
2.20

Chi-square Comparison of Leaming Style by Personality Type of


Hospitality Undergraduate Students

72

Extixiversion-Introversion Dimension Personality Types and


Leaming Styles Frequency Distribution of Hospitality Students in
Taiwan

73

Sensing-iNtuition Dimension Personality Types and Leaming


Styles Frequency Distiibution of Hospitality Students in Taiwan

73

Thinking-Feeling Dimension Personality Types and Leaming


Styles Frequency Distribution of Hospitality Students in Taiwan

74

Judging-Perceiving Dimension Personality Types and Leaming


Styles Frequency Distribution of Hospitality Students in Taiwan

74

2.21

Summary of Hypothesis 1

76

2.22

Summary of Hypothesis II

76

2.23

Summary of Hypothesis III

76

3.1

The Reliability Coefficients of Leaming Mode for Kolb's Leaming


Style Inventory
The Reliability Coefficients of Personality Dimension for

100

Personality Style Inventory

100

3.3

Sample Description of Hospitality Undergraduate Students

102

3.4

Leaming Stage and Leaming Dimension Mean Scores by Gender

104

3.5

Leaming Stage and Leaming Dimension Mean Scores and


Academic Classification
Frequency Distributions and Chi-square between Gender and
Leaming Styles of Hospitality Undergraduate Students

3.2

3.6
3.7

3.8
3.9

104
107

Frequency Distributions between Students' Academic


Classification and Leaming Styles of Hospitality Undergraduate
Students

107

Frequency Distributions and Chi-square between Students' Work


Status and Leaming Style of Hospitality Undergraduate Students

108

Hospitality Undergraduate Student Personality Type Distribution

110

Xll

3.10
^11
3.12

3-13

3.14

3.15

3.16
3.17

3.18

3.19
3.20

3.21

Four Personal Dimensions Mean Scores of Personality Type by


Gender

1 j\

Four Personal Dimensions Mean Scores of Personality Type by .


Academic Classification

112

Frequency Distinbutions and Chi-square between Extroversion (E)Intioversion (I) Dimension and Hospitality Undergraduate
Students' Gender

114

Frequency Distinbutions and Chi-square between Sensing (S) iNtuition (N) Dimension and Hospitality Undergraduate Students'
Gender

114

Frequency Distributions and Chi-square between Thinking (T)Feeling (F) Dimension and Hospitality Undergraduate Students'
Gender

115

Frequency Distributions and Chi-square between Judging (J)Perceiving (P) Dimension and Hospitality Undergraduate Students'
Gender

115

Frequency Distributions and Chi-square between Students' Gender


and Personality Types of Hospitality Undergraduate Students

118

Frequency Distributions and Chi-square between Students'


Academic Classification and Personality Types of Hospitality
Undergraduate Students

119

Frequency Distributions and Chi-square between Students' Work


Status and Personality Types of Hospitality Undergraduate
Students

120

Chi-square Comparison of Leaming Styles by Personality Types of


Hospitality Undergraduate Students

122

Extroversion-Introversion Dimension Personality Types and


Leaming Styles Frequency Distribution of Hospitality
Undergraduate Students

123

Sensing-iNtuition Dimension Personality Types and Leaming


Styles Frequency Distribution of Hospitality Undergraduate
Students

123

xin

^22

Thinking-Feeling Dimension Personality Types and Leaming


Styles Frequency Distribution of Hospitality Undergraduate
Students

124

Judging-Perceiving Dimension Personality Types and Leaming


Styles Frequency Distribution of Hospitality Undergraduate
Students

124

3.24

Summary of Hypothesis 1

126

3.25

Summary of Hypothesis II

126

3.26

Summary of Hypothesis III

127

4.1

The Reliability Coefficients of Leaming Mode for Kolb's Leaming


Style Inventory

160

The Reliability Coefficients of Personality Dimension for


Personality Style Inventory

160

Comparison of Demographic Characteristics between Taiwan and


the United States

162

4.4

Leaming Stage and Leaming Dimension Mean Scores by Country

166

4.5

Frequency Distributions on the Leaming Styles of Hospitality


Undergraduate Students between Taiwan and the United States.'

166

Four Personal Dimensions Mean Scores of Personality Type by


Country

168

Frequency Distributions on the Hospitality Undergraduate


Students' Personal Dimensions between Taiwan and the United
States

169

3-23

4.2
4.3

4.6
4.7

4.8

Frequency Distributions on Personality Types between Taiwanese


and the United States Hospitably Students.'

170

4.9

Summary of Hypothesis 1

177

4.10

Summary of Hypothesis II

177

4.11

Summary of Hypothesis III

178

XIV

LIST OF FIGURES

11

Jung's Psychological Types

L2

The Experiential Leaming Model

1.3

Leaming Style Type Grid

1-4

Leaming Style Preferences, by Discipline or Profession

14

1.5

Characteristics Frequently Associated with Extroversion Type

20

1.6

Characteristics Frequently Associated with Introversion Type

21

1.7

The School System of Taiwan

29

1.8

Secondary and Post-Secondary Education Institutions and System


in Taiwan

30

XV

CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Background
Sims and Sims (1995) stated that institutions of higher educafion are always
searching for ways to make their educational initiatives more effective. With concerns for
students' leaming, they further indicated that university administrators and teachers are
also under pressure to contribute more suitable and effective teaching methods and
services. Educators need to find ways to understand their students and help them achieve
their educational goals.
The idea of matching leaming styles to personality profiles is not new (Keirsey &
Bates, 1984; Myers, 1993; Wicklein & Rojewski, 1995). Numerous studies have found
that leaming styles and personality typies were correlated with students' academic
achievement (Borg & Shapiro, 1996; Haygood & han-Nejad, 1994; Horton & Oakland,
1997; Sternberg, 1997; Luk, 1998; Fouzder & Markwick, 2000; Taylor, 2001; Ziegert,
2000).
Kluckhohn and Murray (1967, p. 53) concluded that every person, in certain ways,
is like no other person, is like some other persons, and is like all other persons. These
differences and similarities may be tied to leaming experiences. While individuals learn
all the time, they do not all leam in the same way (Kolb, 1976).
Kolb (1984), who developed Kolb's Learning Style Inventory (LSI), declared that
individuals develop a preferred style of leaming because of a personally unique set of

experiences. Leaming style affects not only how one processes materials as one studies,
but also how one absorbs the information during an educational experience (Carrier,
Newell. & Lange, 1982). The theories of leaming styles deal with how individuals prefer
to leam. Leaming style is the way each person begins to concentrate on, process,
internalize, and retain new and difficult academic information (Dunn & Dunn, 1992,
1993, 1998).
Aiken (1996, p. 3) defined personality as a person's private, central, and inner
core. Included within this private core are an individual's motivations, atfitudes, interests,
beliefs, fantasies, cognifive styles, and other mental processes. No two people are exactly
alike; everyone is unique (Aiken, 1996, p. 3). One of most important personality theories
is Psychological Type developed by Carl G. Jung (1875-1961) to explain some of the
apparently random differences in people's behavior. According to Myers and McCaulley
(1985a), an understanding of personality type could help individuals relate leaming
activities to leaming style.
A way to determine leaming style and personality is to administer known leaming
style and personality profile instruments and to match the results with known results from
existing information. Both the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Personal Style
Inventory (PSl) identify individuals according to personality type. On the other hand,
Kolb's Leaming Style Inventory (LSI) identifies individuals based on leaming style. The
MBTI, PSl and LSI are primarily used in English speaking countries, although some have
been translated into other languages (Kolb, 2000; Myers, 1993). The reliability of the
instruments may differ among cultures and countries due to translation processes.

ConsequenUy, studying the leaming style preferences and personality types of hospitality
students may be able to help initiate more suitable and effective teaching and services.
The research for this study was in regard to Jungian Personality Theory, Kolb's
experiential leaming theory, Kolb's Leaming Style hiventory. Personal Style Inventory,
the reliability and validity of the Leaming Style Inventory and Myers-Briggs Type
hidicator, leaming style studies, hospitality education in the United States, higher
education and hospitality education in Taiwan. However, there is very limited research
available conceming leaming styles and personality types of hospitality undergraduate
students in Taiwan. The research on leaming styles and personality types primarily
concentrated upon the research conducted in the United States.

Jungian Personality Theory


Aiken (1996) indicated that personality theories include multiple approaches to
the question of who individuals are and how and why they are similar and different from
other individuals. These approaches use basic psychometric and assessment techniques,
and descriptive taxonomies of individual differences, developed for the study of
personality and ability.
One of most important personality theories is Psychological Type developed by
Carl G. Jung (1875-1961), a Swiss psychiatrist, to explain some of the apparently random
differences in individual's behavior. Jung found predictable and differing patterns of
normal behavior from his observations of clients and others. Jung (1923) stated that

Psychological Type recognizes the existence of these patterns or types, and provides an
explanation of how types develop.
According to Jung's theory (1923), predictable differences in individuals are
caused by differences in the way individuals prefer to use their minds. The core idea is
that, when one's mind is active, one is involved in one of two mental activities:
Perceiving, which is taking in information; or Judging, which is organizing that
information and coining to conclusions.
Jung (1971) observed that there are two opposite ways to perceive, which he
called Sensing and Intuition; and two opposite ways to judge. Thinking and Feeling.
Everyone uses these four essential processes daily in both the external world and internal
world. Jung called the external world of people, things, and experience. Extroversion; and
the intemal world of inner processes and reflections, Introversion. These four basic
processes used in the extemal world and the intemal world present one of eight ways of
using one's mind.
Based on his personality theory, Jung's typology of psychological types includes
four such pairs of dialectically opposed adaptive orientations. Jung described individuals'
(1) mode of relation to the world via introversion or extroversion, (2) mode of decision
making via perception or judgment, (3) preferred way of perceiving via sensing or
intuition, and (4) preferred way of judging via thinking or feeling. These opposing
orientations are described in Figure l.I (Kolb, 1984, p. 79).
Jung (1923) believed that everyone has a natural preference for using one kind of
perceiving and one kind of judging. He also observed that a person is drawn toward either

the extemal worid or the intemal worid. As one exercises one's preferences, one develops
distinct perspectives and approaches to life and human interaction.

Mode of
relation to
the world

E EXTROVERT TYPE
Oriented toward extemal world of
other people and things

I
INTROVERT TYPE
Oriented toward inner world of
ideas and feelings

Mode of
decision
making

J
JUDGING TYPE
Emphasis on order through
reaching decision and
resolving issues

P
PERCEIVING TYPE
Emphasis on gathering
information and obtaining as
much data as possible

Mode of
perceiving

S SENSING TYPE
Emphasis on sense perception, on
facts, details, and concrete
events

N INTUITION TYPE
Emphasis on possibilities.
imagination, meaning, and
seeing things as a whole

Mode of
judging

T THINKING TYPE
Emphasis on analysis, using logic
and rationality

F FEELING TYPE
Emphasis on human values.
establishing personal
friendships, decisions made
mainly on beliefs and likes

Figure I.l.

Jung's Psychological Types (Kolb, 1984, p. 80).

Kolb's Experiential Leaming Theory and Leaming Context


Kolb (1984) developed his experiential theory of leaming by drawing primarily
on leaming philosophy works by Dewey, Lewin, and Piaget, and the personality theory
work of Jung. For leaming philosophy, John Dewey, in the 1920s, implicated the value of
hands-on leaming experiences and commented experiences as an important element of
leaming (Dewey, 1916). Jean Piaget introduced leaming in terms of progression through
developmental stages (Piaget, 1966). Kurt Lewin advanced experiential leaming via his

pioneer works in the psychology field (Marrow, 1969). Regarding personality theory,
Carl Jung emphasized variations in personal behavior through psychological types (Jung,
1971).
Kolb studied the relationship between leaming and experience and determined
that each individual's leaming style is a result of a combination of heredity, past life
experiences, and demands of the present environment (Kolb, 1984). He described
leaming as a four-step process, called a cycle of leaming. Learners must first involve
themselves in the experience and then reflect on the experience from different
perspectives. These reflections result in the creation of generalizations about the
experiences and the integration of them into theories and models that are then used to test
new situations (Kolb, 2000).
The Experiential Leaming Model is a simple description of the leaming cycle and
it states how experiences are translated into concepts, which, in tum, are used as guides in
the choice of new experiences. As shown in Figure 1.1 and Figure 1.2, this cycle consists
of the following four stages:

People leam through immediate or concrete experience.

This concrete experience is the basis for observations and reflections.

These observations and reflections are assimilated and distilled into a


theory or concept, however informal, from which new implications for
action can be drawn.

These implications can be tested and serve as guides in creating new


experiences (Kolb, 20(X), p. 1)

Concrete
Experience
(CE)

AcUve
Experimentation
(AE)

Reflective
Observation
(RO)

Abstract
Conceptualization
(AC)
Figure 1.2. The Experiential Leaming Model (Kolb, 2000, p. 1).

Based on Kolb's Experiential Leaming Theory, Kolb (2000) maintained that while
individuals leam all the time, people do not all leam in the same way due to a personal,
unique set of experiences. Probably, individuals develop a preferred style of leaming; this
style is simply the way that they prefer to understand and incorporate new information
(Kolb, 2000).
Leaming style not only can affect the way individuals solve problems, make
decisions, and develop and change their attitudes and behavior, but also can determine
the career in which a person will find the most comfortable fit (Kolb, 2000). In addition,
leaming style determines what kind of leaming experience each type of learner will find
effective, comfortable, and growth-promoting (Kolb, 1984). To educators or facilitators,
understanding the leaming styles of students is, perhaps, the most important element

needed to mimic and design the correspondent leaming experiences for the different
types of leamers that they encounter.
As shown in Figure 1.3. four leaming preferences are described by Kolb (1984) as
Divergent (CE/RO), Assimilative (RO/AC), Convergent (AC/AE), and Accommodafive
(AE/CE). Kolb further proposed that the dominant leaming styles represent personality
characteristics, and are relatively stable over time; however, he also stated that leaming
styles are influenced by long or short-term situational factors and by differing levels of
maturity (Kolb, 1984).

perie
/

ID.
UJ 3

cret

Accommodating

"\^

_..'''
y

'

\/'

y ,'

c
o

Abstract C

\\

\
\

Watching

1
/

^o
M

S.
\

Diverging

c
o
jali]

Converging

Reflective Observation |

Doing

\
\

g (O

-,o

{Active Experimentation
1

,/

Feelin

Sen:

a>
u
c

3"
3

Assimilating

S
3
(O

Figure 1.3. Leaming Style Type Grid (Kolb, 2000, p. 5).

/
/

"^

Kolb (2000) described the characteristics of these four leaming styles as follows:

The Divergent Leaming Style


Leamers who perceive or take in information concretely and process or transform
it reflectively are known as Divergers. The leamer of this type combines the leaming
stages of concrete experience and reflective observation. Divergers are so named because
of their imagination, and their ability to perform best in situations calling for the
generation of many altemative (divergent) ideas and implications. The person oriented
toward Divergence is often known as a "people person" because she or he is interested in
people, and tends to be feeling-oriented, (p. 6)

The Assimilative Leaming Style


Leamers who perceive or take in new information abstractly and process or
transform it reflectively are known as Assimilators for their ability to assimilate disparate
observations into an integrated, rational explanation. Assimilators emphasize the leaming
stages of abstract conceptualization and reflective observation. Leamers of this style
excel at inductive reasoning and the creation of models and theories, and are goal setters
and systematic planners, (p. 6)

The Convergent Leaming Style


Leamers who perceive or take in new information abstractly and process or
transform it actively are known as Convergers for their ability to use hypothetical-

deductive reasoning to arrive at a single best solution to a question or problem. Leamers


of this style emphasize abstract experience and active experimentation. Convergent
leamers" greatest stiength lies in their abilities for decision making, problem solving and
in finding practical uses for theories, (p. 6)

The Accommodative Leaming Style


Leamers who perceive or take in new information concretely and who process or
ti-ansform it actively are known as Accommodators for their ability to adapt to changing
immediate circumstances. Accommodators combine the leaming stages of concrete
experience and active experimentation. Leamers of this type enjoy doing, carrying out
plans and tasks, and getting involved in new experiences, (p. 6)
Kolb (1984) indicated leaming style preferences would relate to career choice.
For example, a computer scientist is required to establish a dynamic interplay between
conceptual knowledge and experimentation in order to develop software. Many computer
scientists probably prefer a convergent leaming style. Individuals in the computer science
world are attracted to and remain in the profession due to this preference; but, certainly,
not all computer scientists have this innate preference.
Kolb (1981, 1984) also suggested that not only professional or academic demands
may temporarily affect or permanently adjust leaming style preferences, but also that an
individual will respond to the demands of different leaming contexts by utilizing, to
differing degrees, concrete, abstract, active or reflective leaming strategies. In light of
this, it is important to note that although the Leaming Style hiventory assesses both

10

leaming style preference and the relative sti^ngth of preference for each learning mode,
the inventory does not specify preference on the part of the respondent to a particular
leaming context (Kolb, 1984).
Based on his leaming theory, Kolb gave several examples to explain that learners
could likely adjust their leaming preferences in different situations. Thus, the responses
of a given individual when focusing upon leaming preferences related to acquiring
driving skills might be quite different from the responses recorded when the individual
focuses upon the study of English Literature in an academic context (Kolb, 1984).
Similarly, a computer scientist with a general preference for a divergent leaming style
(CE/RO) might record a preference for a convergent leaming style (AC/AE) if, at the
time of taking a test, the respondent is asked to focus on leaming in the context of a
computer science course (Kolb, 1976, 1985).

Kolb's Leaming Style Inventory


The Experiential Leaming Theory postulates the existence of four leaming modes
that combine to form two leaming dimensions - concrete/abstract and acfive/reflective
(Kolb, 1984). These two main dimensions of the leaming process correspond to the two
major ways that individuals leam. The first dimension is how people perceive new
information or experience, and the second is how individuals process what they perceive.
As shown in Figure 1.2 and Figure 1.3, it is theorized that almost every individual
utilizes each leaming mode to some extent, but has a preferred leaming style resulting
from the tendency to either leam through Concrete Experience (CE) or through the

II

constmction of theoretical frameworks (Abstract Conceptualization - AC) combined with


the tendency to either leam through Active Experimentation (AE) or through reflection
(Reflective Observation - RO) (Kolb, 2000).
Based on this theory, four leaming preferences are described by Kolb (1984) as
Divergent (CE/RO), Assimilative (RO/AC), Convergent (AC/AE), and Accommodative
(AE/CE) in the Kolb's Leaming Style Inventory.
Kolb's Leaming Style Inventory (LSI) was first pubhshed in 1976 (Kolb, 1976).
The LSI I. revised as LSI II, consists of twelve sentence-completion items (Kolb, 1993).
There are four endings per sentence. Each ending corresponds to one of the leaming
stages in Kolb's experiential leaming model: Concrete Experience (CE), Reflective
Observation (RO), Abstract Conceptualization (AC), and Active Experimentation (AE).
Respondents are asked to rank the endings for 1 through 4 in a manner which best
describes the way they like to leam. Resjxinses are also asked to give four scores ranging
from 12-48. The total scores should be 120 for four leaming stages. These scores measure
which emphasis a respondent places on each stage of Kolb's leaming cycle. The four
scores are plotted on a grid to create an individual leaming profile. The four scores
produced from the LSI are used to create two leaming dimension mean scores. These
scores range from +48 to -48 (Kolb, 1993).
Each score is plotted on the intersecting grid of the Leaming Style Type Grid. The
two axes are labeled AC-CE and AE-RO. These two axes represent Kolb's belief that
leaming requires skills which are polar opposites. The first of these two scores is
obtained by subtracting the CE score from the AC score (the total plotted on the vertical

12

axis) which indicates one's leaming style preference in the concrete-abstract dimension.
The second score is obtained by subtracting the RO from the AE score (the total plotted
on the horizontal axis), which indicates one's leaming style preference in the activereflective dimension (Kolb, 1993).
In his studies in 1976 and 1984, Kolb (1976, 1984) used the LSI to investigate the
similarities in individuals by college majors and reported the results by undergraduate
majors. Business majors tended to be Accommodators; engineers usually were
Convergers; history, English, political science, education, science, and psychology
majors were Divergers; and mathematics, economics, sociology, chemistry and social
sciences majors were Assimilators. Physics majors were between the Assimilator and
Converger quadrants (Kolb, 1976, 1984).
As shown in Figure 1.4, Willcoxson and Prosser (1996) identified the results of
several later studies to categorize individuals in specific disciplines and professions to
cluster in different leaming styles. The information in these studies may provide general
ideas regarding different college majors and professions.
As noted earlier, Kolb's Leaming Style Inventory (LSI) provides true and relevant
results of adults' leaming style preferences. In Berger's study (1983), most hospitality
students were Divergers (33%) and Accommodators (29%) whereas most hospitality
professors were Convergers (42%). In Hsu's study (1999), 39% of incoming students and
over 55% of graduating seniors in a hospitality program in the United States were
Convergers. Furthermore, Hsu suggested that hospitality management major attracts

13

more Convergers than any other leaming style; and leaming experiences provided by the
hospitality major converted some students into Convergers.
In addition. Bagdan and Boger (2000) examined leaming style preferences and
hospitality undergraduate students' demographic variables: class, gender, age, American
College Testing Program (ACT) score, and Grade Point Average (GPA). They found no
significant differences on the Leaming Style Inventory (LSI) as examined by class,
gender, age. and ACT score results. A significant difference was found associating LSI
and GPA. Hospitality students who were identified as Diverging leaming preference on
the LSI had lower GPAs.

Acconunodative (AE/CE)
Business (Kolb, 1976)
Family medicine (Plovnick, 1975)
Family practice residents
(Sadler etal, 1978)
Social work (Kruzich et al, 1986)
Practicing architects (Newland et al,
1987)

Divergent (CE/RO)
English/languages/education,
philosophy/history
(Kolb, 1976.1984)
Arts/Humanities (Kolb, 1984)
" Social work graduates (Kruzich et
al, 1986)
" Liberal/ Fine Arts/Science
(Reading Brown et al, 1989)
Psychology (Katz, 1988)

Convergent (AC/AE)
Physical sciences (Kolb, 1984)
Occupational therapy (Katz, 1988)
Practicing chemists (Smedley, 1987)
" Social work academics (Kruzich et
al, 1986)
Engineering/Business (ReadingBrown et al, 1989)
Mathematics/Biology/Engineering
(Katz, 1988)

Assimilative (RO/AC)
Chemistry/Sociology/Mathematics,
Economics (Kolb, 1976, 1984)
Social sciences (Kolb, 1984)

Figure 1.4. Leaming Style Preferences, by Discipline or Profession (Willcoxson &


Prosser, 1996, p. 248).

14

Personality Types
In 1942, Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, studied
and elaborated on Carl G. Jung's work and developed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
(MBTI) (Myers, 1993). The MBTI is a self-reporting questionnaire designed to identify
and make psychological types understandable.
Although the MBTI is widely used, the developers are cautious about how the
MBTI is used. They suggested that the results must be interpreted by an institutional
certified psychological professional and are useful in identifying individual strengths and
unique talents. These cautions recognize the possibility of misinterpreting results and
therefore making assumptions about people and labeling them (Myers, 1993)
Individuals are categorized into one of sixteen personality profiles, which
characterize an individual's preferences in two major categories of Perceiving (taking in
information) or Judging (organizing information) characteristics. The variations in what
you prefer, use, and develop lead to fundamental differences between people. The
resulting predictable patterns of behavior form psychological types (Myers, 1993).
Adapting the theory of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator instiaiment, Hogan and
Champagne developed the Personal Style hiventory (PSl) in 1979, which is a simplified
variation of the MBTI instrument. The purpose of the PSl is to provide a simple
instmment for knowing one's preferences, but that profile, while different from the
profiles of other persons' personalities, has nothing to do with mental health or mental
problems (Hogan & Champagne, 1979).

15

The Personal Style Inventory provides a means of characterizing one's preferred


style with respect to four dimensions. Each dimension is presented in bi-polar scales for
all leamers: extixversion-inti-oversion, sensing-intuition, thinking-feeling, and judgingperceiving (Hogan & Champagne, 1979). It is designed to determine if individuals
demonsti-aie a balance among the four dimensions, E-I, S-N, T-F, and J-P, or if they have
slight, definite, or considerable strengths and weaknesses in each dimension.
Twenty questions comprise the PSl questionnaire. Each question has two endings.
The respondents are asked to allocate 5 points between the two question endings (from 0
to 5 for each ending, but the total score can not exceed 5) according to the individual's
preference in performing in a certain manner. Each dimension has five questions and ten
endings. The combined score of each dimension should be 25. The total scores of each
component (column) of the dimension, which describes one personality preference,
should range between 0 and 25. The questionnaire is followed by instmctions for selfevaluation and interpretation of the results. The total scores in each column indicate
relative strengths and balances in the four dimensions.

Column scores of 12 or 13 suggest a balance in the two components of the


dimension.

Column scores of 14 or 15 suggest slight imbalance; the dimension


component with the higher score is slightly stronger than the other
component.

16

Column scores between 16 and 19 suggest a definite imbalance; the


dimension component with the higher score is definitely stronger than the
other component.

Column scores between 20 and 25 suggest a considerable imbalance; the


dimension component with the higher score is considerably stronger than
the other component.

An individual's personality style type is identified by combining the four columns


with scores of 14 or greater. Column scores of 12 or 13 reflect a balance between the two
characteristics (Jewler &. Gardner, 1993, p. 54).
Additionally, the inventory is designed to determine if individuals demonstrate a
balance among the four dimensions or if they have slight, definite, or considerable
strengths and weaknesses in the dimensions. There are a total of sixteen personality types
which are based on four paired dimensions (Hogan & Champagne, 1979). The
characteristics of the 16 personality tyf>es are described in Figure 1.5 and Figure 1.6.
The following paragraphs describe the personal style types in the four dimensions.
Type descriptions are quoted from Jewler and Gardner (1993):

Extroversion - Introversion
Extroverted persons are attuned to the culture, people, and things around them.
The extrovert is outgoing, socially free, interested in variety and in working with people.
The extrovert may become impatient with long, slow tasks and does not mind being
interrupted by people.

17

Persons more inti-overted than exti-overted tend to make decisions somewhat


independently of culture, people, or things around them. They are quiet, diligent at
working alone, and socially reserved. They may dislike being interrupted while working
and may tend to forget names and faces.

Sensing - Intuition
The sensing type prefers the concrete, factual, tangible here-and-now, becoming
impatient with theory and the abstract, mistrusting intuition. The sensing type thinks in
detail, remembering real facts, but possibly missing a conception of the overall.
The intuitive person prefers possibilities, theories, invention, and the new and
becomes bored with nitty-gritty details and facts unrelated to concepts. The intuitive
person thinks and discusses in spontaneous leaps of intuition that may neglect details.
Problem solving comes easily for this individual, although there may be a tendency to
make errors in fact.

Thinking - Feeling
The thinker makes judgments based on logic, analysis, and evidence, avoiding
decisions based on feelings and values. As a result, the thinker is more interested in logic,
analysis, and verifiable conclusions than in empathy, values, and personal warmth. The
thinker may step on others* feelings and needs without realizing it, neglecting to take into
consideration the values of others.

The feeler makes judgments based on empathy, warmth, and personal values. As
a consequence, feelers are more interested in people and feelings than in impersonal logic,
analysis, and things, and in harmony more than in being on top or achieving impersonal
goals. The feeler gets along well with people in general.

Judging Perceiving
The judger is decisive, firm, and sure, setting goals and sticking to them. The
judger wants to make decisions and get on to the next project. When a project does not
yet have closure, judgers will leave it behind and go on to new tasks.
The perceiver is a gatherer, always wanting to know more before deciding,
holding off decisions and judgments. As a consequence, the perceiver is open, flexible,
adaptive, nonjudgmental, able to see and appreciate all sides of issues, always welcoming
new perspectives. However, perceivers are also difficult to pin down and may become
frustrated at times. Even when they finish tasks, perceivers will tend to look back at them
and wonder whether they could have been done another way. The perceiver wishes to roll
with fife rather than change it. (Jewler &. Gardner, 1993, pp. 54-55)

19

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The Relationship between Leaming Style and Personality Type


As mentioned eariier, Kolb's Experiential Learning Style theory as well as his
Leaming Style Inventory (LSI) and Hogan & Champagne's Personal Style Inventory
derived from Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) were all extracted from and
developed based on Jung's psychological types theory. There are relationships between
the subject's leaming style preference outcomes and the subject's personality type
outcomes in terms of experiential leaming modes (active experimentafion, reflective
observation, concrete experience, and abstract conceptualization) and personal
psychological types (exti-oversion, introversion, sensing, intuition, thinking, feeling,
judging, and perceiving) (Kolb, 1984).
According to Kolb (1984), there is a correspondence between the Jungian
concepts of introversion and reflective observation via intentional transformation, and
between extroversion and active experimentation via extension. He proposed that the
transformation processes of intention and extension can be applied to our concrete
apprehensions of the world as well as to our symbolic comprehensions (Kolb, 1984, p.
52).
f

Leaming occurs through the active extension and grounding of ideas and
experiences in the extemal world and through intemal reflection about the attributes of
these experiences and ideas (Kolb, 1984). Based on his findings, Kolb further explained
that the extraverted sensing type of personality is associated with the accommodative
leaming style, the introverted intuitive type of personality is associated with the
assimilative leaming style, the introverted feeling type of personality is associated with

22

the divergent leaming style, and the extraverted thinking type of personality is associated
with the convergent leaming style.

The Reliability and Validity of the Instruments


The estimated reliabilities of the LSI II for individual scales, such as Concrete
Experience (CE). Reflective Observation (RO), Abstract Conceptualization (AC), and
Active Experimentation (AE). ranged from 0.73 to 0.83 (Kolb, 1985). Kolb (1986) also
reported that four basic scales and two combination scores all showed very good intemal
reliability as measured by Cronbach's alpha (n = 268); and the combination scores
indicated almost perfect addifivity (1.0) as measured by Tukeys test. The cross-cultural
applicability of LSI has been tested in many countries around the worid, which proved
the LSI also reliable for use in other cultures (Kolb, 2000, p. 11)
Based on the first version of the MBTI manual (Myers, 1962), the early research
snidies found intemal consistency reliabilities for the four scales ranging from .75 to .85
with a low coefficient of .44 for the Thinking-Feeling index, and test-retest correlations
of about .70 for three of the four scales and .48 for the Thinking-Feeling (Mendelsohn,
1965; Sundberg, 1965). After that, the spilt-half reliability of the MBTI for four scores
are in the .70s and .80s (Myers & McCaulley. 1985a). The reliability MBTI coefficient
alpha is .91 for the E-I and T-F scales and .92 for the S-N and J-P scales (Myers et al.,
1998); however, the PSl is a variation of the MBTI that describes personality types and
no reports on reliability and validity were located of PSl. The reliability of PSl probably
differs from the MBTI.

23

Validity studies conflated the LSI with a number of personality tests, which
included the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI assesses psychological
types based on extroversion/inti-oversion, sensation/intuition, thinking/feeling, and
judging/perceiving. Both the MBTI and the LSI were developed from Jung's theory.
Several studies indicated the sti-ongest and most consistent relationships were between
concrete/abstiact on the LSI and feeling/thinking on the MBTI and between
active/reflective on the LSI and exti-overt/introvert on the MBTI (Kolb, 1976, 1984;
Margerison & Lewis, 1979).

Hospitality Programs of Higher Education in the U.S.


The higher education system in the United States has two types of institutions for
hospitality management programs: (1) 800 community colleges that offer hospitality
management programs with associate degrees, certificates, or diplomas, and (2) 170
universities and colleges that offer a four-year undergraduate degree and 40 programs
that offer graduate degrees in hospitality management (Riegel & Dallas, 1999).
According to Barrows (1999), the first four-year hospitality management program
was established by Cornell University in 1922, and the first two-year hospitality
management program was established at the City College of San Francisco in 1935. hi
the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, a sudden increase in the number of hospitality programs
was influenced by the terrific growth of the hospitality industi7, which increased the need
for hospitality professionals and managers. As the industry grew and matured, and
became more specialized, the need for an educated workforce has intensified. The

24

increasing complexity of running a business requires staff with greater academic


preparation than had been necessary in the past (Barrows, 1999).
Generally, admission to hospitality programs in the U.S. involves the same
selection criteria as for undergraduate programs in other majors, with the exact standards
and documents required varying widely from school to school. Secondary-level grades,
work experience and extracurricular activities, an admissions essay, and standardized test
scores, which include Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or American College Testing
Program (ACT) and Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) for students from
non-English-speaking countries, are among the factors most likely to be considered
(Hutton, 1997).
According to Hutton (1997), a four-year U.S. hospitality college education
combines career education with a base in the business disciplines and liberal arts.
Undergraduate students should complete two years of foundation studies, with liberal arts
and business management studies combined with introductory courses in hospitality areas.
Other areas and skills outside the major that may be required and that are of particular use
to hospitality professionals include people skills, communication skills, computer
knowledge, foreign languages, mathematics, speech, statistics, and practical ethics (Hsu,
2002; Hutton, 1997).
Hutton (1997) stated that some hospitality programs involve direct study in the
hospitality undergraduate student's major. Some undergraduate programs allow time for
career-oriented specialization in which lectures are combined with hands-on hospitality
work training on-campus, analysis of case studies, and experiential off-campus training.

25

In some hospitality programs, students may be able to earn specific concentrations in


hospitality areas, such as hotel and motel management, restaurant and institutional
operation/management, travel and tourism, sales and marketing, facility design, human
resources management, or group and convention sales (Hutton, 1997; Walker, 2002).

Higher Education in Taiwan


As described by the R.O.C. Ministry of Education (2002b), Taiwanese higher
education pattemed its universities after European and American models. In 1951, there
were only one university and three independent colleges in Taiwan, which were named
the National Taiwan University, the Provincial Normal College, the Provincial College of
Technology, and the Provincial College of Agriculture. However, at present, there are
156 accredited universities and colleges in Taiwan (R.O.C. Ministry of Education, 2002a).
According to the R.O.C. Ministi7 of Education (2(X)2b), secondary and higher
education in Taiwan are divided into two systems, the general education system and
technological and vocational education (TVE) system (see Figure 1.7 and Figure 1.8).
General higher education in Taiwan is provided at the following three levels: senior high
schools (SHSs) and general college/universities. The general college students need to
pass the "University Joint Entrance Examination Program (UJEEP)," according to the
R.O.C. Ministry of Education (2000) in Taiwan. The UJEEP was first implemented in
1954 and only four universities administered the test at that time. In the year of 2000, all
94 general universities and colleges have joined this program (R.O.C. Ministry of
Education, 2002b).

26

Technological and vocational education (TVE) in Taiwan is provided at the


following three levels: senior vocafional schools (SVSs), junior colleges (JCs), and
institutes/universities of technology (ITsAJTs) (R.O.C. Ministry of Educafion, 2002b).
The TVE college students need to pass the TVE entrance examinations to gain admission
to the school. In the 1996-1997 academic years, there was a total of 10
institutes/universities of technology with 30,806 students enrolled (including 28,672
undergraduates and 2.134 in graduate programs) and 70 junior colleges with a total of
412.837 students (197,230 in 5-year colleges, 214,622 in two-year colleges, and 985 in
three-year colleges). There were 204 senior vocational schools with 520,153 students
enrolled (R.O.C. Ministry of Education, 2002b).

Hospitality Undergraduate Programs in Taiwan


The first hospitality program at the university level was established in 1968.
There were only two four-year degree granting hospitality programs in operation until
1990. However, the number mushroomed after 1990 and hospitality became a disfinct
educational program in higher education. Due to the economy, social and educational
system changes, and the demands of the hospitality industry, the four-year degreegranting hospitality programs have increased from two to 35 programs since 1990 (R.O.C.
Tourism Bureau, 2(X)3).
According to the educational system and policy, hospitality undergraduate
students enrolled in general educational colleges/universities are mainly selected through
senior high school graduates who take the University Joint Entrance Examination

27

Program (UJEEP). This test covers Chinese Literature, English, Mathematics, Physics,
and Chemistry or Geography, and History. Students have limited exposure to the nature
of the hospitality industi^ before they are admitted to the program. After entering college,
most students who start college the same year usually enroll in the same classes from
freshman year to graduation (R.O.C. Ministi7 of Education, 2002a).

Statement of the Problem


Stuart (1992) suggested several factors that have an impact on how effectively
individuals can leam. These factors include age or generation, education, culture,
language fluency, level and types of intelligence, leaming environment, beliefs and
attitudes, leamed strategies, source of motivation, leaming style, and personality. Some
researchers also suggested that understanding students leaming style preferences in
accordance with personality types could help one plan for activities that take advantage
of one's natural skills and inclinations (Geary & Sims, 1995; Sims & Sims, 1995).
However, leaming preferences and personality types of students may differ significantly
across cultures and different historical periods.
Compared with hospitality programs in Taiwan, the United States (U.S.) has more
progressive hospitality programs and research studies. There have been several research
studies identifying leaming style preferences and personality types of students in the U.S.
In the U.S., people tend to enter academic and vocational fields that are consistent with
their own leaming styles and personality types (Canfield, 1988; Kolb, 1976; Moody,
1989; Myers & McCaulley, 1985a).

28

School Age:

School Le\cl:

.> 4

Primary

10 11 12

13

14

15

16

Lower Sec. Upper Sec. Tertiary Compulsory

Elementary School
(6 \ears)

JHS
(3 \eaTS)

College/University
(at least 4 years)

c=OSHS
(3 years)

General Education S\stcin

JC cno rr/L'T
(3 years)
Elementar> School
(6 vears)

JHS
(3 "^ears)

SVS
(3 \cars)

(2 years)

<=> rr/ui
j=C> JC ==>
I (2 years) (22 years)
t > iT/LT
(4 vears)

Technological and Vocational


Education System

rO JC

(5 \ears)

ITAJT
(2 years)

Legend
Lower Sec.:

Lou er Secondary

JHS:

Junior High School

Upfier S e c :

Upper Secondary

SHS:

Senior High School (General Education)

S\S:

Senior Vocational High School (TVE)

JC:

Junior College (TVE)

IT:

Institute of Technology (TVE)

LT:

University of Technology (TVE)

Figure 1.7.

The School System of Taiwan ( R O C . Ministry of Education, 2000).

29

Level and
Category
Secondary

Established
Body

Qualification for Admission

Senior High
School

National
Municipal
Private

Graduate from Junior high


school and pass Senior High
School entrance examination

Senior
Vocational
School

National
Municipal
Private

Graduate from Junior high


school and pass Senior
Vocational
School entrance examination

Period of Requirements for


Study
Graduation

3 years

3 years

Satisfactory
completion of
three years of
schooling
Satisfactory
completion of
three years of
schooling

Post-Secondary
University/
College'

National
Private

Junior College

National
Private

Junior College

National
Private

Junior College^

National
Private

Institute of
Technology'"*'^

National
Private

Institute of
Technology' "**'

National
Private

4-year Program
Graduate from senior high
school and pass entrance
examination
5-year Program
Graduate from junior high
school and pass entrance
examination
2-year Program
Graduate from senior high
school and pass entrance
examination
3-year Program
Graduate from senior high
school and pass entrance
examination
4-year Program
Graduate from senior
vocational school and pass
entrance examination
2-year Program
Graduate from junior college
and pass entrance examination

4 years

Satisfactory
completion of at
least 128 credits

5 years

Satisfactory
completion of at
least 220 credits

2 years

Satisfactory
completion of at
least 80 credits

3 years

Satisfactory
completion of at
least 106 credits

4 years

Satisfactory
completion of at
least 128 credits

2 years

Satisfactory
completion of at
least 72 credits

Notes:
In addition to the entrance examination, which is the gateway to a high school or
1.
college in Taiwan, some other admission channels, such as admission by
recommendations based on outstanding performance, have been increased.
The
3- year junior college programs were phased out in the 1990s.
2.
Some institutes of technology offer master's and doctoral programs.
3.
Figure 1.8. Secondary and Post-Secondary Education Institutions and System in Taiwan
(R.O.C. Ministry of Education, 2000).

30

The first four-year program of hospitality management, the Hotel School at


Comell University, was established in 1922 (Barrows, 1999). Hospitality programs in the
U.S. have successfully educated hospitality professionals and managers since the 1920s.
Researchers have found that hospitality students and managers have unique leaming
styles and different personality traits (Bagdan & Boger, 2000; Berger, 1983; Hsu, 1999;
Hsu, Smith, & Finley, 1991; Stone, 1988). Graves (1996, p. 109) found that personality
tiaits of successful managers were "energetic, sociable, trustwortiiy, friendly, stable,
disciplined, confident, and objective"; he further stated that energy and tiustworthiness
were most important among all the personality traits. Those studies were only conducted
on the hospitality students in the U.S.
Unfortunately, research studies regarding students" leaming style preferences and
personality types conducted on hospitality students in Taiwan were not found. The
dominant leaming styles and piersonality types of students in U.S. hospitality programs
may not be the same as those of students in different cultures and educational systems.
In order to assist the investigation, it was necessary to have a better understanding
of the different culture and educational systems of Taiwan. Hospitality education is one
of the fastest growing fields of study in Taiwan. After the establishment of the first
hospitality program in 1968, only two bachelor degree-granting programs were
established before 1990. There have been 35 four-year hospitality programs which were
established in die past decade (R.O.C. Tourism Bureau, 2003).
Two major reasons can explain the aggressive establishment of hospitality
programs. One reason is that a strong, steady economy has increased the hospitality

31

industi7 in Taiwan (Anderson, 1998). The other reason is Uiat the demand for hospitality
professionals was supplemented rapidly because the number of visitor arrivals has grown
significantly over the past decade (R.O.C. Tourism Bureau, 1998).
In recent years, Taiwan has experienced political and economic changes that
direcUy impact Uie development of higher education (R.O.C. Ministry of Education,
2001). Together witii the advent of an open society, a prosperous economy, and the
acceleration of conununication technologies in the 1990s, higher education has been able
to expand at a faster rate. From the original four state universities, there are now more
than 156 private and public universities and colleges in Taiwan. The college student
enrollment has also increased from 6,665 in 1951 to over 647,000 in 2001 (R.O.C.
Ministiy of Education, 2002b).
In general, college students in Taiwan have limited exposure to the nature of the
fields they study before being admitted to the programs due to a test-oriented admission
system. Before the year 2002, all undergraduate freshmen were admitted through the
outcome of the University Joint Entrance Examination (UJEE), which is a highly
competitive national standardized examination. The two-day examination tests students'
basic knowledge on Language Arts (Chinese Literature and English), Mathematics,
Natural Sciences (Chemistry, Physics, and/or Biology), Liberal Arts (History and
Geography), and Social Studies (Dr. Sun Yi-Sen philosophy). Over 100,000 high school
graduates have taken the UJEE each year from 1985 (R.O.C. Ministry of Education,
2002b).

32

The registiation process of the UJEE requires that each test attendee fill out an
Intention of Study Field (ISF) form to match the student's aptitude, interests, and career
goals wiUi academic programs. The lengthy ISF form lists all the academic programs
offered by tiie universities and colleges. Each program admits students who have met
their academic standards (UJEE scores) and have selected the program as one of their
study intentions (R.O.C. Ministry of Education, 2002b).
Theoretically, college student candidates could apply for the program suitable for
their career goals based on candidates' UJEE outcomes; nevertheless, the admission rate
was low because the program admission standards placed more emphasis candidates'
UJEE outcomes than their career goals. In order to increase the odds of receiving the
opportunity to pursuer higher education, examinees tended to select all the programs and
universities listed in the ISF form. This practice disregarded the consideration of
students' personality preferences and career goals in the selection process.
Another factor may influence program selection. In order to efficienUy prepare for
die UJEE exam, students in Taiwan tended to develop a specific leaming style preference
early in high school that could help tiiem perform well on tiie rigorous UJEE exam, and
to increase the opportunity of being admitted to the top ranked universities (R.O.C.
Ministi7 of Education, 2002b). This early style preference may influence later choices
conceming education.
Therefore, students in Taiwan might develop a uniform leaming style(s) via their
own personality type(s) that is (are) different from their American counterparts in
hospitality programs. The educational system in Taiwan is less flexible than the system

33

in the United States. After entering college, most students who start college the same year
usually enroll in the same classes from tiieir freshman year to graduation much like some
cohort programs in tiie U.S. (R.O.C. Ministi7 of Education, 2002b). Taiwanese students
have limited exposure to tiie nature of tiie hospitality industry before they are admitted to
the program. Given tiiese reasons, tiie distiibution of the leaming styles and personality
t>pes of American hospitality students may not be the same as that of Taiwan's
hospitality students.

Research Purpose
The purpose of this study was to identify and compare leaming style preferences
and personality types of hospitality students in Taiwan and the United States.
The specific objectives of this study were: (1) to identify hospitality management
students' leaming styles and personality styles in Taiwan and the United States, and (2)
to compare students' leaming style and personality types in Taiwan and the United States.

Definition of Terms
The following terms are defined in the manner in which they are used in this
study.
Leaming style is the way each person begins to concentrate on, process,
internalize, and retain new and difficult academic information (Dunn & Dunn, 1998, p.
11). Leaming style is an individual's characteristic mode of gaining information during
educational experience (Carrier, Newell, & Lange, 1982).

34

Personality tiieories are the conceptions of human behavior and experience


employing a set of psychological constructs (or concepts) in attempting to explain,
predict, and contixil the actions of individuals (Aiken, 1996).
Kolb's ext?eriential leaming theory is to postulate the existence of four leaming
modes, which include Concrete Experience (CE). Reflective Observation (RO), Abstract
Conceptualization (AC), and Active Experimentation (AE). The leaming modes combine
to form two leaming dimensions - concrete/abstract and active/reflective. The theory
emphasizes tiie importance of experience to the leaming process (Kolb, 1984). The
definitions of tiiese four leaming modes are used from Kolb (2000):
1.

Concrete Experience (CE) is the ability to involve oneself fully, openly,


and without bias to new experiences.

2.

Reflective Observation (RO) is the ability to view experiences from many


perspectives.

3.

Abstract Conceptualization (AC) is the ability to create concepts that


integrate observations into logically sound theories.

4.

Active Experimentation (AE) is the ability to use theories to make


decisions and solve problems, (p. 6)

Personal style inventory (PSl), which was developed by R. Craig Hogan and
David W. Champagne in 1979, is the semantic differential format of the Myers-Briggs
Type Indicator, which describes personality types. The purpose of this inventory is to
give individuals a picture of the shape of their preferences; but that profile,, while it is

35

different from the profiles of other persons' personalities, has nothing to do with mental
healtii or mental problems (Hogan & Champagne, 1979).
Myers-Briggs Tvtie Indicator (MBTI^ was developed by Katherine C. Briggs and
Isabel Briggs Myers in 1942 for tiie purpose of adapting the personality theory of Carl G.
Jung on psychological types to practical use in education and counseling (Myers &
McCaulley. 1985a).
Thus, the MBTI is based on the Jungian concepts of the two psychological
attitudes (extroversion and introversion) and the psychological functions (thinking,
feeling, sensing, and intuition). Furthermore, according to Jungian theory, the two
psychological functions of thinking and feeling represent the mental processes of judging.
The MBTI consists of four preference indexes that are based upon the use of perception
and judgment by individuals as follows: (1) Extroversion-Inti-oversion (E-1) Index; (2)
Sensing-Intuition (S-N) Index; (3) Thinking-Feeling (T-F) Index; and (4) JudgmentPerception (J-P) Index (Myers &. McCaulley, 1985b).

Significance of the Study


This study not only examined the identification of leaming styles and personality
types on hospitality college students in Taiwan and the United States, but also attempted
to find the differences between tiie two countries' hospitality students based on different
cultures and educational environments.
This study is especially significant for Taiwanese college students and educators
because leaming style and personal type have been rarely researched in the hospitality

36

programs in Taiwan. Based on the limitations of UJEEP, Taiwanese students and


educators exist in a limited and restincted educational system. It is difficult for students to
understand tiieir own leaming preferences and personality types and for educators to
constantly develop and revise instiiiction for different leaming styles and personality
types of students. The results can aid hospitality educators in improving their teaching
based on a clearer understanding their students.

Assumptions and Limitations


The following linutations were recognized:
1.

The study considers only Kolb's experiential leaming theory and the
Jung/Myers personality theory. There are other theories that could impact
the findings.

2.

In consideration of time and cost. Personal Style Inventory (PSl) was


substituted for tiie Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) as tiie personality
instmment. The use of the PSl may have affected the accuracy and
reliability of the study.

3.

The study used a non-probability sampling method to select subjects.


According to Harris (1998), Keppel (1991), and Siegel and Castellan
(1991). the limitations of non-probability samphng are that the samples
contain unknown quantities of errors. Availability samples may not
represent the population and therefore have no extemal validity;
convenience samples are only for exploratory research or for quick, non-

37

generalizable information relevant to a specific research need. Since the


purpose of tiiis study was to explore leaming styles and personality types
information, non-probability sampling was appropriate.
4.

To be solicited as a possible subject for tiie study, a student must have


been enrolled in a hospitality program at a large, well-established
university in Taiwan or the United States. The subjects were solicited from
two particular universities in Taiwan and from one particular university in
the United States, h is not appropriate to generalize the result to other
colleges and universities that were not included in the study.

Summary
As indicate in this study, theories of leaming styles deal with students' personality
types and their preferences in leaming. An increased awareness of personality types and
leaming style preferences has been seen as a possible factor in improving student
academic success. Understanding students can help educators in higher education achieve
educational goals and assist students' academic achievements. The purpose of this study
to identify and compare leaming style preferences and personality types of hospitality
students in Taiwan and the United States was described. Finally, the significance of tiie
study was explained, limitations were specified, and terms were defined in this chapter.

38

CHAPTER II
LEARNING STYLES AND PERSONALITY TYPES OF HOSPITALITY
UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS IN TWO TAIWAN GENERAL UNIVERSITIES

Abstract
The objectives of tiiis study were to identify the leaming styles and personality
types of undergraduate students in two hospitality programs of general universities in
Taiwan (N = 497). It was hypothesized that Taiwanese hospitality students might have
developed certain leaming styles that are more effective in test taking. The instrument
used in this study included demographic information, Kolb's Leaming Style Inventory
(LSI), and the Personal Style Inventory (PSl). Among the 497 students surveyed, 81%
were female. Over 69*7c of the respondents had exti-overted personality preferences
distributed among four dominated personality types ESFJ (25.2%), ESFP (13.9%), ESTJ
(10.9%), and ISFJ (10.5%). The distiibution of leaming styles was as following: 42.7%
were Assimilators, 33.6% were Convergers, 18.1% were Divergers, and only 5.6% were
Accommodators. Assimilators and Convergers prefer to leam new information abstractiy.
Given that, the majority of leaming style preferences might be more suitable for testoriented leaming. Such leaming abilities require long hours of studying, test practicing,
and review of mistakes.

39

Inti-oduction
Hospitality Education in Taiwan
In recent years, Taiwan has experienced political and economic changes that
directly affect tiie development of higher education (R.O.C. Ministry of Education, 2001).
Togetiier witii tiie advent of an open society, a prosperous economy and tiie acceleration
of communication technologies, higher education has been able to expand at a fast rate in
the 1990s. From the originally established four state universities, there are now more than
156 private and public universities and colleges in Taiwan (R.O.C. Ministi^ of Education,
2002b).
Hospitality education is one of the fastest growing fields of study in Taiwan.
Since the establishment of the first hospitality program in 1968, only two bachelor
degree-granting programs had established by 1990. Currently, there are 35 four-year
degree-granting hospitality programs (R.O.C. Tourism Bureau. 2(X)3). Two reasons
explain why hospitality programs have bloomed: one was the strong, steady economy
that increased the demands for quality hospitality establishments to provide services to
domestic and intemational customers (Anderson, 1998). Another was the increased need
for trained hospitality professionals as the establishments mushroomed (R.O.C. Tourism
Bureau. 2002).
In general, college students in Taiwan have limited exposure to the nature of the
fields they study before being admitted to programs, due to a test-oriented admission
system. Before the year 2002, all undergraduate freshmen were admitted based on the
outcome of tiie University Joint Entrance Examination (UJEE), which is a highly

40

competitive national standardized examination. The two-day examination tests students'


basic knowledge of Language Arts (Chinese Literature and English), Mathematics,
Natural Sciences (Chemistry, Physics, and/or Biology). Liberal Arts (History and
Geography), and Social Studies (Dr. Sun Yi-Sen philosophy). Over 100,000 high school
graduates have taken tiie UJEE each year since 1985 (R.O.C. Ministry of Education,
2002b).
The registiation process of the UJEE requires each test attendee to fill out an
hitention of Study Field (ISF) form to match the student's aptitude, interests, and career
goals witii academic programs. The lengthy ISF form lists all academic programs offered
by universities and colleges. Each program admits students who meet the academic
standards (UJEE scores) and who select the program as one of tiieir study intentions
(R.O.C. Ministi7 of Education, 2002b).
Theoretically, college student candidates could apply for the program suitable for
their career goals based on candidates' UJEE outcomes; nevertheless, the admission rate
was low because the program admission standards placed more emphasis on candidates'
UJEE outcomes than their career goals. In order to increase the odds of having the
opportunity to pursuer higher education, examinees tended to apply to all the programs
and universities listed in the ISF form. This practice disregarded the consideration of
students' personality preferences and career goals in the selection process.
Another factor may influence program selection. In order to efficientiy prepare for
the UJEE exam, students in Taiwan tend to develop a specific leaming style preference
eariy in high school that could help them perform well on the rigorous UJEE exam, and

41

to increase tiie opportunity of being admitted to the top ranked universities (R.O.C.
Ministry of Education. 2002b). This early style preference may influence later choices
conceming education.

Personality Theory
As described by Aiken (1996. p. 3), personality is a person's private, central, and
inner core, hicluded within tiiis private core are an individual's motivations, attitudes,
interests, beliefs, fantasies, cognitive styles, and other mental processes. No two
individuals are exactiy alike; everyone is unique (Aiken, 1996, p. 3). Studies of
personality preferences explore what makes a person interested in different things and
attracts them to different fields and lifestyles.
The studies of personality include several theories that answer the questions
conceming who the individuals are and how and why they are similar and different from
one another (Aiken, 1996). One of the most important theories is the Psychological Type
Theory developed by Carl G. Jung (1875-1961). It explained some apparently random
differences in behavior. From his observations of clients and other subjects, Jung (1923)
found predictable and differing pattems of normal behaviors. His theory of Psychological
Type recognizes the existence of these pattems or types and provides an explanation of
how types develop. He also observed that a person is drawn toward either the extemal
world or the intemal world. As one exercises one's preferences, one develops distinct
perspectives and approaches to life and human interaction (Jung, 1923).

42

Botii tiie Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Kolb's Leaming Style
Inventory (LSI) were developed using tiie theoretical framework of Jung's theory (Aiken,
1996, p. 25; Kolb, 1976, 1984). The MBTI assesses psychological types based on
exuxiversion/intixiyersion (E-I), sensing/intuition (S-N), tiiinking/feeling (T-F), and
judging/perceiving (J-P) (Myers & McCaulley, 1985b). The LSI postulates the existence
of four leaming modes, which include Concrete Experience (CE), Reflective Observation
(RO), Abstiact Conceptualization (AC), and Active Experimentation (AE).

Kolb's Leaming Style


According to Kolb (1976, 1984), the four leaming modes combine to form two
leaming dimensions: concrete/abstract and active/reflective, which stipulate a person's
preference of perceiving and processing the information. Based on individual's unique
combinations of those leaming dimensions, Kolb (1976, 1984) further described four
leaming preferences. Divergent (CE/RO), Assimilative (RO/AC), Convergent (AC/AE),
and Accommodative (AE/CE). He proposed that the dominant leaming styles represent
personality characteristics, and are relatively stable over time. Nevertheless, Kolb also
stated that a person's leaming style is influenced by long-term or short-term situational
factors and by one's level of maturity. Kolb's Leaming Theory emphasizes the
importance of experience in the leaming process.
In the United States, researchers suggested that individuals tend to enter academic
and vocational fields that are consistent with their own leaming styles (Canfield, 1988;

43

Kolb, 1976; Moody. 1989; Myers & McCaulley, 1985a). Hsu et al. (1991) reported that
78% of unit-level and 76% of district-level restaurant managers were Convergers.
Berger (1983) reported that most hospitality students were Divergers (33%) and
Accommodators (29%), whereas most hospitality professors were Convergers (42%).
Hsu (1999) reported 39% of tiie incoming students and 55% of the graduating seniors in a
hospitality program in the United States were Convergers, which means they perceived
their environments through analytic or abstract conceptualization and transformed that
information through action. She suggested that the hospitality management major attracts
more Convergers than any other leaming style. The leaming experiences provided by the
hospitality major also changed some students' preferences into Convergers.
Researchers also have suggested that it would be beneficial to students if they
knew their leaming style preferences because they could develop leaming strategies that
would take advantage of their strengths and compensate for their weaknesses. It would
also be helpful to educators if they could design teaching plans that would improve their
teaching effectiveness based on understanding their students' leaming preferences
(Kosower & Berman, 1996; Haygood & han-Nejad, 1994; Horton & Oakland, 1997; Luk,
1998; Fouzder & Markwick, 2000; Taylor, 2001).
Hospitality is a newly accepted academic field in Taiwan. No research has been
conducted that investigates the distribution of leaming styles and personality types of
students in Taiwan postsecondary hospitality programs. Therefore, the objective of this
study was to investigate the distribution of leaming styles and personality types of the
hospitality students in two general universities in Taiwan.

44

Research Ouestions
The specific objectives of tiiis study were to: (1) identify hospitality
undergraduate students' leaming styles and personality styles, and (2) compare students'
demographic backgrounds witii leaming styles and personality types.

Hypotheses
Hypotiiesis I.

There were no differences in leaming styles of Taiwanese


hospitality undergraduate students based on gender, academic
classification, and work status.

Hypothesis II.

There were no differences in personality types of Taiwanese


hospitality undergraduate students based on gender, academic
classification, and work status.

Hypothesis IIL There were no differences in leaming styles of Taiwanese


hospitality undergraduate students based on four Personality
Dimensions (Extroversion/Introversion (E-I) dimension,
Sensing/iNtuition (S-N) dimension, Thinking/Feeling (T-F)
dimension, and Judging/Perceiving (J-P) dimension) and 16
Personality Types.

Significance of the Study


This was the first study to investigate the distribution of hospitality college
students' leaming .styles and personality types in Taiwan. The findings of the study might

45

be beneficial to both students and educators. For tiie students, knowing their leaming
styles and personality types could encourage them to develop leaming strategies that
could take advantage of their strengths and compensate for their weaknesses. For
hospitality educators, knowing their students' leaming styles and personality types might
stimulate them to refine teaching plans and instmctional styles to maximize leaming
potential of all students.

Assumptions and Limitations


The following limitations were recognized:
1.

The study considered only the experiential leaming tiieory and the
Jung/Myers personality theories. There are other tiieories that could
impact the findings.

2.

In order to have been solicited as a possible subject for the study, a student
must have been enrolled in a hospitality program at a large, wellestablished university in Taiwan. The subjects were solicited from two
universities in Taiwan. U is not suitable to generalize the results to other
colleges and universities not included in tiie study.

46

Methodology
Sampling
The population for this study consisted of college students enrolled in hospitality
programs in Taiwan. The sample was comprised of undergraduate students who enrolled
in two hospitality programs at well-established four-year universities in Taiwan in spring
semester 2002. In Taiwan, students admitted at the same time are usually enrolled in the
same classes. Therefore, the survey was administered on-site in required classes at the
freshman, sophomore and junior levels for the hospitality major. Participation was
voluntary. A copy of the letter requesting participation in tiiis study can be found in
Appendix H.
The study used a non-probability sampling method to select subjects. According
to Harris (1998), Keppel (1991). and Siegel and Castellan (1991), the limitations of nonprobability sampling are that the samples contain unknown quantities of errors.
Availability samples may not represent tiie population, and therefore have no extemal
validity, and convenience samples are only for exploratory research or for quick, nongeneralizable information relevant to a specific research need. Because the purpose of
this study was to explore leaming styles and personality types' information, nonprobability sampling was appropriate (Harris, 1998; Keppel, 1991; Siegel & Castellan,
1991).

47

The Instmment
The instmments used for tiie study included three parts: demographic background,
Kolb's Leaming Style Inventory (LSI-II) (Kolb, 1993). and the Personal Style Inventory
(PSD (Hogan & Champagne. 1979). All questions were printed in traditional Chinese
along witii English. A copy of the instilments can be found in Appendix A
(Demographic Background). Appendix C (Kolb LSI), and Appendix F (PSl). In
additional, a copy of request for permission to use the instmments and the approval letter
can be found in Appendix B.

Kolb Leaming Style Inventory


As described by Kolb (1993). 12 sentence stems comprise the LSI. There are four
endings per sentence. Each ending corresponds to one of the leaming stages in Kolb's
experiential leaming model: Concrete Experience (CE). Reflective Observation (RO),
Abstract Conceptualization (AC) and Active Experimentation (AE). Respondents are
asked to rank the endings from 1 through 4 in an order that best describes the way they
like to leam. Responses are totaled to provide four leaming stage scores; each ranging
from 12-48. The total of the four leaming stage scores should be 120. The leaming stage
scores measured the emphasis of a respondent's places on each stage of Kolb's leaming
cycle. The four scores were then plotted onto a grid to create a leaming profile for tiie
individual.
In addition, the four leaming stage scores were combined to create two leaming
dimension scores. The first leaming dimension, AC-CE score, was obtained by

48

subtiacting tiie CE score from tiie AC score, indicating one's learning style preference in
tiie concrete-abstiact dimension. The second dimension, AE-RO score, was obtained by
subtiacting tiie RO from tiie AE score, indicating one's leaming style preference in
active-reflective dimension. The leaming dimension scores range from +4S to -48 (Kolb,
1993). Each dimension score was plotted onto tiie intersecting Leaming Style Type Grid
in which AC-CE is tiie vertical and the AE-RO is the horizontal axes. These two axes
represent tiie required leaming skills that are polar opposites (Kolb, 1993).
The reported reliabilities for LSI individual scales, such as Concrete Experience
(CE). Reflective Observation (RO), Abstract Conceptualization (AC), and Active
Experimentation (AE), ranged from 0.73 to 0.83 (Kolb, 1985).

Personality Style Inventory


According to Hogan and Champagne (1979), the Personal Style Inventory
provides a means of characterizing one's preferred style with respect to four dimensions.
Each dimension is presented through bi-polar scales in all leamers: Extroversion (E)Intitiversion (I), Sensing (S)-intuition (N), Thinking (T)-Feeling (F), and Judging (J)Perceiving (P) (Hogan & Champagne, 1979). Additionally, the inventory is designed to
determine if individuals demonstrate a balance among the four dimensions (indices), E-I,
S-N, T-F, and J-P, or if they have slight, definite, or considerable strengths and
weaknesses in the Personal Styles.
The PSl is a 20 two-stem form questionnaire (Jewler & Gardner, 1993). Each
question has two stems. The respondents were asked to allocate a total of 5 points

49

between two stems based on their personal preferences from zero (0, least likely to be the
way one likes to do) to five (5, most likely to be the way one likes to do). However, the
total scores of the two stems could not exceed five.
The responding scores obtained from the PSl are added to constmct four
dimension (index. 5 questions each) scores. Each dimension (index) includes two
components (columns), which are constmcted by one of the two preference stems; the
scores of each component (column) ranged between 0 and 25 (see Appendix G for
scoring sheets for the Personal Style Inventory). The total scores in each column indicate
relative strengths and balances in the four dimensions (for example. E and I is one
dimension), where:

Column scores of 12 or 13 suggest a balance in the two components of the


dimension.

Column scores of 14 or 15 suggest slight imbalance; the dimension


component with the higher score is slightly stronger than the other
component.

Column scores between 16 and 19 suggest a definite imbalance; the


dimension component witii the higher score is definitely stronger than the
other component.
Column scores between 20 and 25 suggest a considerable imbalance; tiie
dimension component with the higher score is considerably sti-onger than
the other component.

50

An individual's personality style type is identified by combining the four columns


witii scores of 14 or greater. Column scores of 12 or 13 reflect a balance between the two
characteristics (Jewler & Gardner, 1993, p. 54).
The PSl is a simplified variation of tiie MBTI tiiat describes personality types. No
reports on reliability and validity were located. However, tiie spilt-half reliabilities of the
MBTI for four scores are in the .70s and .80s (Myers & McCaulley, 1985a). The
reliability MBTI coefficient alpha is .91 for tiie E-I and T-F scales and .92 for the S-N
and J-P scales (Myers et al., 1998).
Validity studies correlated the LSI witii a number of personality tests, which
included the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Kolb's studies (1976, 1986) indicated
tiie strongest and most consistent relationships were between concrete/abstract on the LSI
and feeling/tiiinking on the MBTI and between active/reflective on tiie LSI and
extrovert/introvert on the MBTI.

Data Analysis
IDemographic differences. Students' demographic proportion differences were
analyzed by chi-squares analysis (Levine, Berenson. & Stephan, 1999, p. 692).
Reliability coefficient alpha. The reliability coefficient alphas of each of the
dominate leaming style constmcts, which included Divergers (CE/RO), Assimilators
(RO/AC), Convergers (AC/AE), and Accommodators (AE/CE), and the dynamic
personality dimensions, which include, E-I, S-N, T-F, and J-P scales, were measured
through tiie Reliability Analysis procedure (George & Mallery, 2001).

51

Kolb Leaming Styles and Personalitv Typps Students' learning styles were
determined by using scoring procedures described by the LSl-II (Kolb, 1993). In addition,
tiie personality types were determined using scoring procedures described by PSl (Hogan
& Champagne, 1979). Altiiough the respondents replied to the question stems in
numerical rankings, tiie leaming style and personality type outcomes were categorical
variables.
Leaming stages and personalitv dimensions. The differences in students' leaming
stages (CE. RO. AC, and AE). and leaming dimensions (AC-CE and AE-RO) among
demographic categories were determined by Analysis of Variances. Means were further
separated by the Tukey-Kramer procedures (Levine. Berenson. & Stephan. 1999, p. 616).
The personal dimension (E-1, S-N, T-F, and J-P dimensions) differences were
analyzed by Analysis of Variances and the means were separated by the Tukey-Kramer
procedure (Levine, Berenson, & Stephan, 1999, p. 616).
Chi-squares Analyses. After students' leaming styles and personality types were
identified, contingency tables were constmcted to analyze the frequency and proportion
distributions of leaming styles and personality types among demographic variables
(Levine, Berenson, & Stephan, 1999, p. 692). If the degrees of freedom of the
contingency table analyses were greater than one, z-tests for the difference between two
proportions were conducted to locate the exact differences (Levine, Berenson, & Stephan,
1999, p. 670).

52

To test Hypothesis I, chi-square analyses were utilized to compare Kolb's


leaming styles of hospitality undergraduate students with students' gender, academic
classification, and three types of work status (full-time job, part-time job, and no job).
To test Hypothesis II. chi-square analyses were utilized to compare four
personality dimensions of hospitality undergraduate students with students' gender,
academic classification, and three types of work status (full-time job, part-time job, and
no job).
To test Hypothesis ID, chi-square analyses were utilized to compare Kolb's
leaming styles of hospitality undergraduate students with students' personality
dimensions, which included Exti-oversion-Inti-oversion dimension, Sensing-iNtuition
dimension. Thinking-Feeling dimension, and Judging-Perceiving dimension, and 16
personality types.

53

Results
Reliability of the Instiiiment
As shown in Table 2.1. the estimated reliability coefficients (alpha) of the LSI for
individual scales, such as Absti-act Conceptualization (AC), Reflective Observation (RO),
Concrete Experience (CE). and Active Experimentation (AE), ranged from 0.64 to 0.76.
As shown in Table 2.2. tiie estimated reliability coefficients of the PSl for individual
dimension scales. Exti-oversion-hiti-oversion (E-I), Sensing-iNtuition (S-N), ThinkingFeeling (T-F). and Judging-Perceiving (J-P), ranged from .36 to .64.

Table 2.1.

.
Mode

Cronbach's
Alpha

Table 2.2.

The Reliability Coefficients of Leaming Mode for Kolb's Leaming Style


Inventory.
Concrete
Experience
(Feeling)

Reflective
Observation
(Watching)

Abstract
Conceptualization
(Thinking)

Active
Experimentation
(Doing)

0.64

0.71

0.76

0.72

The Reliability Coefficients of Personality Dimension for Personality Style


Inventory.

,.
Personality
_.
. ^
Lhmension

Extroversion, .
Introversion
,p .

SensingiNtuition
(S+N)

ThinkingFeehng
(T+F)

JudgingPerceiving
(P+J)

Cronbach's
Alpha

0.64

0.47

0.36

0.45

54

E)emographic Information
Respondents were asked to provide demographic information related to their
gender, age, school attendance (part-time or full-time), major, academic classification
(freshman, sophomore, junior or senior), work status (part-time, full-time or none), work
experience, and grade point averages (GPA). Table 2.3 presented tiie summary of the
demographic information.
Among tiie 497 hospitality students surveyed, 81% were females (n = 401) and
19% were males (n = 96). Respondents ranged from 18-32 years of age with an average
age of 20.5 years (SD = 1.64). Ninety-six percent of the subjects were between 18 and 23
years of age.
For school status, 36.2% were freshmen (n = 180). 35.2% were sophomores (n =
175) and 28.6% were juniors (n = 142). Due to the time frame (May) when the survey
was conducted, the senior classes were completed; hence, there were no senior
participants in the study. Regarding work status and work experience, all (N = 497) of the
participants were full-time students; however, 49.9% (n = 248) of them reported working
part-time (49.1 %. n = 244) or full-time (0.8%, n = 4). Over 80% of tiie respondents had
limited work experiences (60.8% had less than 6 months of work experience and 20.7%
(n = 103) had never worked) before attending college. For those who had work
experience, tiie average length of working was 10.09 months (SD = 13.94), ranging
between 0 and 96 months. The mean of academic grade percentile was 78.93 point (SD =
4.94), ranging between 60 and 96 points for the respondents (n = 460).

55

Table 2.3.

Sample Description.

Classification
Characteristics
Gender
Female
Male
Overall

Overall
n

Freshman
n
%

Sophomore
%
n

Junior
n

80.7
19.3
100.0

144
36
180

29.0
7.2
36.2

139
36
175

28.0
7.2
35.2

118
24
142

23.7
4.8
28.6

4.2
23.7
31.0
19.3
11.7
6.0
4.0

21
97
49
7
1
0
5

4.2
19.5
9.9
1.4
0.2
0.0
1.0

0
21
95
40
14
4
1

0.0
4.2
19.1
8.0
2.8
0.8
0.2

0
0
10
49
43
26
14

0.0
0.0
2.0
9.9
8.7
5.2
2.8

249

50.1

100

20.1

71

14.3

78

15.7

248

49.9

80

16.1

104

20.9

64

12.9

4
244
249

0.8
49.1
50.1

0
80
100

0.0
16.1
20.1

2
102
71

0.4
20.5
14.3

2
62
78

0.4
12.5
15.7

Work Experiences (Range 0-96 months)


63
20.7
103
None
89
40.0
199
0-6 Montiis
14
15.3
76
7-12 Months
1
5.6
28
13-18 Months
8
9.5
47
19-24 Months
0
2.6
13
25-30 Months
5
6.2
31
31+Months

12.7
17.9
2.8
0.2
1.6
0.0
1.0

26
70
39
12
18
1
9

5.2
14.1
7.8
2.4
3.6
0.2
1.8

14
40
23
15
21
12
17

2.8
8.0
4.6
3.0
4.2
2.4
3.4

401
96
497

Age (Range 18-32 years old)


21
18
118
19
154
20
96
21
T)
58
30
23
20
24-tSchool Attendance
Full-time student
without a job
Full-time Student
with a job
Woilc Status
Full-time
Part-time
Do not Work

56

Leaming Stvle
Completion of Kolb's Leaming Style Inventory (LSI) generated six scores: four
leaming stage scores and two leaming dimension scores. Each respondent was identified
as preferring one of tiie four leaming styles (Converger, Diverger, Assimilator, or
Accommodator) according to tiie respondent's scores on Kolb's Leaming Style hiventory
(LSI). Table 2.4 presented gender and the leaming stage and leaming dimension mean
scores for all tiie respondents. The leaming stages are Concrete Experience (CE),
Reflective Observation (RO), Abstract Conceptualization (AC), and Active
Experimentation (AE).
The leaming stage mean scores by academic classification were presented in
Table 2.5. The possible scoring range was between 12 and 48 for each leaming stage and
between -36 and 36 for each leaming dimension. The mean scores of the leaming
dimension pairs were plotted on the leaming style typie grid to determine the leaming
style type preferences of respondents. The leaming style preferences of all respondents
were presented in Table 2.4 and Table 2.5.
The dimension abstract conceptualization minus concrete experience (AC-CE)
represented the vertical axis; the dimension active experimentation minus reflective
observation (AE-RO) represented the horizontal axis.
Forty-two percent (42.7%) of tiie respondents were identified as Assimilators,
followed by one-tiiird of Convergers (32.6%), Divergers (18.1%), and Accommodators
(5.6%). No differences on the leaming styles proportion distributions were detected on
gender (Table 2.6), academic classification (Table 2.7), and work status (Table 2.8).

57

Table 2.4.

Leaming Stage and Learning Dimension Mean Scores and Gender.

Gender

CE'

Male

96

Female

401

Overall

497

29.14"
5.54"
30.18
5.79
29.94
5.75

AC^

RO^
29.84
6.11
31.43
6.06
30.15
6.12

28.66
6.42
28.08
6.60
28.19
6.56

AE^

AC-CE^

AE-RO''

0.48
10.11
-2.05
10.20
-1.74
10.19

-0.65
11.32
2.09
10.19
1.57
10.46

30.78
6.94
31.94
6.42
31.71
6.44

a = mean.
b = standard deviation.
1 = Concrete Experience. Feeling (Range 17 - 45)
2 = Reflective Observation. Watching (Range 13 - 45)
3 = Abstract Conceptualization. Thinking (Range 13 - 46)
4 = Active Experimentation, Doing (Range 16 - 47)
5 = Abstract Conceptualization/Concrete Experience (Range -28 - 22)
6 = Active Experimentation/Reflective Observation (Range 23 - 26)

Table 2.5.

Leaming Stage and Leaming Dimension Mean Scores and Academic


Classification.

Academic
Classification

CE'

Freshman

180

Sophomore

175

Junior

142

Overall

497

29.71'
5.83"
30.37
5.80
29.69
5.59
29.94
5.75

AC^

RO'
30.16
6.01
30.02
6.38
30.29
5.99
30.15
6.12

28.04
6.61
27.96
6.99
28.66
5.95
28.19
6.56

AE^

AC-CE' AE-RO*"

32.08
6.91
31.62
6.12
31.36
6.24
31.71
6.44

a = mean.
b = standard deviation.
1 = Concrete Experience, Feeling (Range 17-45)
2 = Reflective Observation, Watching (Range 13-45)
3 = Abstract Conceptualization, Thinking (Range 13-46)
4 = Active Experimentation. Doing (Range 16-47)
5 = Abstract Conceptualization/Concrete Experience (Range -28 - 22)
6 = Active Experimentation/Reflective Observation (Range -23 - 26)

58

-1.67
10.09
-2.41
10.94
-1.03
9.36
-1.74
10.19

1.92
10.67
1.60
10.51
1.07
10.19
1.57
10.46

Table 2.6.

Frequency Distributions and Chi-square between Gender and Learning


Styles of Hospitality Students in Taiwan.
Accommodator

Gender

Male

Assimilator

Converger

Diverger

Overall

5.2

42

43.8

27

28.1

22

22.9

96

Female

23

5.7

170

42.4

140

34.9

68

17.0

401

Overall

28

5.6

212

42.7

167

33.6

90

18.1

497

Note: x~ = 2.653. df =3.p = 0.448

Table 2.7.

Frequency Distributions and Chi-square between Students' Academic


Classification and Leaming Style of Hospitality Students in Taiwan.
Accommodator

Academic
Classification

Assimilator

Converger

Diverger

Overall

11

6.1

77

42.8

63

35.0

29

16.1

180

4.0

71

40.6

61

34.9

36

20.6

175

Junior

10

7.0

64

45.1

43

30.3

25

17.6

142

Overall

28

5.6

212

42.7

167

33.6

90

18.1

497

Freshman
Sophomore

Note: x2 = 3.430, df=6,p

= 0.753

59

Table 2.8.

Frequency Distributions and Chi-square between Students' Work Status and


Leaming Style of Hospitality Students in Taiwan.
Accommodator

Work Status

Assimilator

Converger

Diverger

Total

Full-TimeJob

25.0

25.0

50.0

Part-Time Job

13

5.3

100

41.0

90

36.9

41

16.8

244

No Job

15

6.0

111

44.6

76

30.5

47

18.9

249

Overall

28

5.6

212

42.6

167

33.6

90

18.2

497

Sole: x2 = 5.132. df = 6. p = 0.527

60

Personality Type
The Personal Style Inventory (PSl) generated 8 scores: extroversion, introversion,
sensing, intuition, tiiinking, feeling, judging, and perceiving, which characterize one's
preferences when paired into four dimensions (indices) (Hogan & Champagne, 1979).
Each dimension had two types: Exti-oversion-hitroversion, Sensing-iNtuition, ThinkingFeeling, and Judging-Perceiving. Each subject was classified as one of 16 possible
personality types, according to tiie respondent's tendency toward each personality trait on
tiie Personal Style hiventory (PSD- The combined score of each dimension should be 25.
The possible scoring range of each component of the dimension should be between 0 and
25.
After completion of the Personal Style Inventory (PSl), each respondent was
classified as either an Extroversion (E) type or an Introversion (1) type, depending upon
the respondent's score of tendency on the E-1 dimension; a Sensing (S) type or an
iNtuition (N) type, depending upon the subject's score of tendency on the S-N dimension;
a Thinking (T) type or a Feeling (F) type, depending upon the subject's score of tendency
on the T-F dimension; and a Judging (J) type or a Perceiving (P) type, depending upon
the subject's score of tendency on the J-P dimension. The personality type was
determined by combining the four dominate tendencies.
Table 2.9 and Table 2.10 presented mean scores and their standard deviation for
eight personality types classified by gender (Table 2.9) and academic classification
(Table 2.10). All respondents showed stronger tendencies on Extroversion (E), Sensing
(S), and Feeling (F) scores with respect to their con-esponding personality types.

61

Table 2.9.
Gender
Male

Female

Overall

Personality Dimensions Mean Scores of Personality Type by Gender.


n

E'

I^

s-^

N^

T^

F^

J^

p8

96

14.29"
3.77"

10.71
3.77

15.59
2 72

9.41
2.72

11.35
2.95

13.65
2.93

12.47
3.34

12.53
3.34

401

14.63
4.02

10.37
4.02

14.59
3.08

10.41
3.08

10.53
2.65

14.47
2.65

13.53
3.62

11.47
3.62

497

14.56
3.97

10.44
3.97

14.78
3.04

10.22
3.04

10.69
2.72

14.31
2.72

13.32
3.59

11.68
3.59

a = mean
b = standard deviation
1 = Extroversion (Range 2 - 25)
2 = Introversion (Range 0 - 2 3 )
3 = Sensing (Range 4 - 2 3 )
4 = iNtuition (Range 2 - 2 1 )
5 = Thinking (Range 3 - 1 9 )
6 = FeeUng (Range 6 - 2 2 )
7 = Judging (Range 2 - 23)
8 = Perceiving (Range 2 - 23)

62

Table 2.10. Personality Dimensions Mean Scores of Personality Type by Academic


Classification.
Academic
Classification

Freshman

E"

I-

S^

N^

T^

F^

J^

p8

180

14.68'
3.97"

10.32
3.97

14.74
3.13

10.26
3.13

10.63
2.95

14.37
2.95

13.41
3.55

11.59
3.55

Sophomore

175

14.76
3.91

10.24
3.91

14.83
2.75

10.17
2.75

10.67
2.67

14.33
2.67

13.10
3.71

11.90
3.71

Junior

142

14.16
4.03

10.84
4.03

14.77
3.27

10.23
3.27

10.79
2.47

14.31
2.47

13.48
3.49

11.52
3.49

14.56 10.44
"^^'^'
^^'
3.97
3.97
a = mean
b = standard deviation
1 = Extroversion (Range 2 - 2 5 )
2 = Introversion (Range 0 - 23)
3 = Sensing (Range 4 - 2 3 )
4 = iNtuition (Range 2 - 2 1 )
5 = Thinking (Range 3 - 1 9 )
6 = Feeling (Range 6 - 22)
7 = Judging (Range 2 - 23)
8 = Perceiving (Range 2 - 23)

14.78
3.04

10.22
3.04

10.69
2.72

14.31
2.72

13.32
3.59

11.68
3.59

63

Table 2.11 presented the proportional distributions of the four personality


dimensions. Extroversion-Introversion, Sensing-iNtuition, Thinking-Feeling, and
Judging-Perceiving. The chi-square analysis indicated that there were no statistically
significant differences regarding personality type on the E-I Index between male and
female students (x2 = 0.490, p = 0.484).
Furthermore, each subject was classified as either a Sensing (S) type or an
iNtuition (N) type, depending upon the subject's score on tiie S-N Index. The chi-square
analysis indicated tiiat there were significant differences regarding personality type on the
S-N Index between male and female hospitality undergraduate students (x2 = 6.182, p =
0.013).
Also, each subject was classified as either a Thinking (T) type or a Feeling (F)
type, depending upon the subject's score on tiie T-F Index. The chi-square analysis
indicated that tiiere were significant differences regarding personality type on the T-F
hidex between male and female students (x2 = 6.661, p = 0.009).
Finally, each subject was classified as either a Judging (J) type or a Perceiving (P)
type, depending upon the subject's score on tiie J-P hidex. The chi-square analysis
indicated tiiat tiiere were no significant differences regarding personality type on the J-P
Index between male and female hospitality undergraduate students (x2 = 0.241, p =
0.071).

64

Table 2.11. Frequency Distributions and Chi-square between Personality Dimension and
Hospitality Undergraduate Students' Gender.
Male
(n = 96)
n

Female
(n = 401)
%

Total

Chi-Square
P<

E\tix)version-Inti-oversion Dimension

.484 (5)

64

12.9

282

56.7

346

32

6.4

119

23.9

151

Sensing-iNtuition Dimension

013

84

16.9

304

61.2

388

^'^'

12

2.4

97

19.5

109

Thinking-Feeling Dimension

(X)9

34

6.8

91

18.3

125

62

12.5

310

62.4

372

Judging-Perceiving Dimension

.071 {ns)

49

9.9

245

49.3

294

47

9.5

156

31.4

203

Overall

96

69.6

401

30.4

497

Note: ns = not significant

65

The personality type of ESPJ (25.2%), ESFP (13.9%), ESTJ (10.9%), and ISFJ
(10.5%) were tiie majority personality types of hospitality students (n = 300) (Table 2.12),
followed closely by tiie personality types of ENFP (8.5%) and ISFP (6.8%). When
breaking by gender (Table 2.13), tiie majority disti-ibutions of both male students' and
female students' personality types were close to tiie distiibution of the samples. The first
four major personality types for female students were 108 ESFJ (26.9%), 53 ESFP
(13.2%), 42 ISFJ (10.5%), and 41 ESTJ (10.2%) The four major personality types for
male students were 17 ESFJ (17.7%), 16 ESFP (16.7%), 13 ESTJ (13.5%), and 11 ISFP
(11.5%); however, tiiere were significant differences (x2 = 27.272, p = 0.027) regarding
personality types on the PSl between male and female students.
Table 2.14 presented the personality type of hospitality students by academic
classification. The proportion distributions of freshmen were ESFJ (n = 42, 27.2%),
ESFP (n = 25. 13.9%), ENFP (n = 19, 10.6%). ESTJ (n = 17, 9.4%), and ISFJ (n = 17,
9.4%); for sophomores were ESFJ (n = 44, 25.1%), ESFP (n = 28, 16.0%), ISFJ (n = 20,
11.4%), and ESTJ (n = 18, 10.3%); while for juniors were ESFJ (n = 32, 22.5%), ESTJ (n
= 19, 13.4%), ESFP (n = 17. 11.3%), and ISFJ (n = 15, 10.6%).
There were no significant differences on tiie distribution of Personality Types
among academic classification of hospitality undergraduate students in Taiwan (x2 =
33.450, p = 0.303) (Table 2.14).
Table 2.15 showed the distributions of Personality Types by work status. Four
Taiwanese hospitality undergraduate students of the overall sample (N = 497) were
working full-time jobs, one was ENTJ and three were ISFJ. The Personality Type

66

distiibutions of students who work part-time were ESFJ (n = 62, 25.4%), ESFP (n = 38,
15.6%), ESTJ (n = 27, 11.1%), and ENFP (n = 21, 8.6%); while students who did not
work had different (x2 = 49.625, p = 0.014) distributions, ESFJ (n = 63, 25.3%), ESFP (n
= 31, 15.6%). ISFJ (n = 29, 11.6%), and ESTJ (n = 27, 10.8%), from the ones who work.

Table 2.12. Hospitality Undergraduate Student Personality Type Distribution (N = 497).


ESTJ
54
(10.87%)

ESTP
23
(4.63%)

ESFJ
125
(25.15%)

ESFP
69
(13.88%)

ENTJ
6
(1.21%)

ENTP
3
(0.60%)

ENFJ
24
(4.83%)

ENFP
42
(8.45%)

ISTJ
22
(4.43%)

ISTP
9
(1.81%)

INFJ
7
(1.41%)

INFP
19
(3.82%)

INTJ
4
(0.80%)

INTP
4
(0.80%)

ISFJ
52
(10.46%)

ISFP
34
(6.84%)

E = Extroversion
I = Introversion
J = Sensing
N = iNtuition
T = Thinking
F = Feeling
J = Judging
P = Perceiving

67

Table 2.13. Frequency Distributions between Students' Gender and Personality Type of
Hospitality Students in Taiwan.
Male
rersonaiiiN
~
"
Type
ENFJ

Overall

Female
n

z-score

n
>

P<

0.4

T2

4.4

24

4.8

-5.77

0.000

ENFP

1.0

37

7.4

42

8.5

-6.98

0.000

ENTJ

0.2

1.0

1.2

-2.31

0.021

ENTP

0.0

0.6

0.6

-2.45

0.014

ESFJ

17

3.4

108

21.7

125

25.2

-10.76

0.000

ESFP

16

3.2

53

10.7

69

13.9

-6.30

0.000

ESTJ

13

2.6

41

8.2

54

10.9

-5.39

0.000

ESTP

10

2.0

13

2.6

23

4.6

-0.88

0.376

LNFJ

0.0

1.4

1.4

-3.74

0.000

LNFP

0.2

18

3.6

19

3.8

-5.52

0.000

L\TJ

0.2

0.6

0.8

-1.41

0.157

LNTP

0.4

0.4

0.8

0.00

1.000

ISFJ

10

2.0

42

8.5

52

10.5

-6.28

0.000

ISFP

11

22

23

4.6

34

6.8

-2.91

0.004

ISTJ

1.0

17

3.4

22

4.4

-3.62

0.000

ISTP

0.4

1.4

1.8

-2.36

0.018

96

19.3

401

80.7

497

100

-5.77

0.000

Overall

Note: x2 = 27.27:!,df = 15.p = 0.027


E = Extroversion
1 = Introversion
J = Sensing
N = i.Niuition
T = Thinking
F = Feeling
J = Judging
P = Perceiving

68

Table 2.14. Frequency Distinbutions among Students' Academic Classification and


Personality Type.

Personality
Type

Freshman

Sophomore

Junio r
n

overall
%

ENFJ

1.8

10

2.0

1.0

24

4.8

ENFP

19

3.8

14

2.8

1.8

42

8.5

ENTJ

0.6

0.4

0.2

1.2

ENTP

0.0

0.0

0.6

0.6

ESFJ

49

9.9

44

8.9

32

6.4

125

25.2

ESFP

25

5.0

28

5.6

16

3.2

69

13.9

ESTJ

17

3.4

18

3.6

19

3.8

54

10.9

ESTP

1.4

1.8

1.4

23

4.6

INFJ

0.4

0.4

0.6

1.4

INFP

1.2

0.6

10

2.0

19

3.8

INTJ

0.6

0.2

0.0

0.8

INTP

0.4

0.0

0.4

0.8

ISFJ

17

3.4

20

4.0

15

3.0

52

10.5

ISFP

1.8

13

2.6

12

2.4

34

6.8

ISTJ

10

2.0

1.0

1.4

22

4.4

ISTP

0.4

1.2

0.2

1.8

180

36.2

175

35.2

142

28.6

497

100.0

Overall

Note: x2 = 33.450, df = 30, p = 0.303


E = Extroversion
I = Introversion
J = Sensing
N = iNtuition
T = Thinking
F = Feeling
J = Judging
P = Perceiving
69

Table 2.15. Frequency Distiibutions among Students' Work Status and Personality
Type.

Personality
Type

Full-Time

Part-Time

Overall

No Job(
n

ENFJ

0.0

15

3.0

1.8

24

4.8

ENFP

0.0

21

4.2

21

4.2

42

8.5

ENTJ

0.2

0.6

0.4

1.2

ENTP

0.0

0.2

0.4

0.6

ESFJ

0.0

62

12.5

63

12.7

125

25.2

ESFP

0.0

38

7.6

31

6.2

69

13.9

ESTJ

0.0

27

5.4

27

5.4

54

10.9

ESTP

0.0

14

2.8

1.8

23

4.6

LNFJ

0.0

0.6

0.8

1.4

INFP

0.0

1.4

12

2.4

19

3.8

INTJ

0.0

0.4

0.4

0.8

INTP

0.0

0.6

0.2

0.8

ISFJ

0.6

20

4.0

29

5.8

52

10.5

ISFP

0.0

12

2.4

-)2

4.4

34

6.8

ISTJ

0.0

12

2.4

10

2.0

22

4.4

ISTP

0.0

0.8

1.0

1.8

Overall

0.8

244

49.1

249

50.1

497

100.0

Note: x2 = 49.625, df=30. p = 0.014


E = Extroversion
I = Introversion
J = Sensing
N = iNtuition
T = Thinking
F = Feeling
J = Judging
P = Perceiving

70

Leaming Style and Personalitv Type


There were differences (x2 = 88.306, p < 0.000) on Kolb's leaming styles among
students' personality types (Table 2.16). However, for the purpose of further analysis,
each subject was re-classified according to the subject's scores on each of the PSl four
dimensions.
As shown in Tables 2.17, 2.18, 2.19, and 2.20, there were statistically significant
differences in students' four leaming styles based on Extroversion-Introversion
dimension (x2 = 22.610, p < 0.000), Thinking-Feeling dimension (x2 = 25.315, p <
0.000). and Judging-Perceiving dimension (x2 = 8.089, p < 0.044) of personality types.

Conclusion
The first hypotheses for Taiwanese undergraduate hospitality students' leaming
styles stated that there were no significant differences in leaming styles of Taiwanese
hospitality students based on gender, academic classification, and work status; this
hypothesis was supported by tiie findings (see Table 2.21).

71

Table 2.16. Chi-square Comparison of Leaming Style by Personality Type of


Hospitality Undergraduate Students.
Personality
Type

Leaming Style

Accommodator

Converg ;er

Assimilator

Diverger

ENFJ

24

11

ENFP

42

22

13

ENTJ

ENTP

ESFJ

125

48

57

12

ESFP

69

30

28

11

ESTJ

54

20

18

ESTP

23

INFJ

INFP

19

12

LNTJ

INTP

ISFJ

52

24

16

12

ISFP

34

20

ISTJ

22

ISTP

497

28

212

167

90

100.0

5.6

42.7

33.6

18.1

Overall

Note: x2 = 88.306, df = 45, p = .000


E = Extroversion
I = Introversion
J = Sensing
N = iNtuition
T = Thinking
F = Feeling
J = Judging
P = Perceiving

72

Table 2.17. Extixiversion-hitixiversion Dimension Personality Types and Leaming Styles


Frequency Distiibution of Hospitality Students in Taiwan.
Extroversion-Introversion Dimension

Leaming Style

Extroversion

Introversion

Accommodator

Total
n

z-score

p<

19

67.9

32.1

28

2.67

0.008

Assimilator

138

65.1

74

34.9

212

6.22

0.000

Converger

138

82.6

29

17.4

167

11.93

0.000

51

56.7

39

43.3

90

1.79

0.074

346

69.6

151

30.4

497

12.37

0.000

Diverger
Total
Note: x2 = 22.61, df=3,p

= 0.000

Table 2.18. Sensing-iNtuition Dimension Personality Types and Leaming Styles


Frequency Distribution of Hospitality Students in Taiwan.
Sensing-iNtuition Dimension
iNtuition

Sensing
Leaming Style

Total

7c

z-score

P<

22

78.6

21.4

28

4.28

0.000

Assimilator

160

75.5

52

24.5

212

10.49

0.000

Converger

135

80.8

32

19.2

167

11.27

0.000

71

78.9

19

21.1

90

7.75

0.000

388

78.1

109

21.9

497

17.70

0.000

Accommodator

Diverger
Total
Note: x2 = 1.623, df=3,p

= 0.654

73

Table 2.19. Thinking-Feeling Dimension Personality Types and Learning Styles


Frequency Distiibution of Hospitality Students in Taiwan.
Thinking-Feeling Dimension
Thinking
Leaming Style

Feeling

Total
%

z-score

p<

Accommodator

16

57.1

12

42.9

28

1.07

0.285

Assimilator

45

21.2

167

78.8

212

-11.85

0.000

Converger

32

19.2

135

80.8

167

-11.27

0.000

Diverger

32

35.6

58

64.4

90

-3.88

0.000

125

25.2

372

74.8

497

-15.67

0.000

Total

Note: x2 = 25.315,df=3.p = 0.000

Table 2.20. Judging-Perceiving Dimension Personality Types and Leaming Styles


Frequency Distribution of Hospitality Students in Taiwan.
Judging-Perceiving Diimension
Perceiving

Judgi ng
Leaming Style

Total
c-score

P<

21

75.0

25.0

28

3.74

0.000

Assimilator

113

53.3

99

46.7

212

1.36

0.174

Converger

108

64.7

59

35.3

167

5.36

0.000

52

57.8

38

42.2

90

2.09

0.037

294

59.2

203

40.8

497

5.77

0.000

Accommodator

Diverger
Total

Note: x2 = 8.089. df = 3, p = 0.044

74

The second hypothesis in personality types stated that there were no significant
differences in personality types of Taiwanese hospitality students based on Academic
Classification, which included freshman, sophomore, and junior; this hypothesis was
supported by tiie findings.
However, tiie otiier two variables, which stated that tiiere were significant
differences in personality types of Taiwanese hospitality students based on gender and
work status were supported by tiie data (see Table 2.22).
The third hypothesis stated that only one of the four personality dimensions, the
Sensing-iNtuition dimension, would not differ among leaming styles. There were no
significant differences in leaming styles of Taiwanese hospitality undergraduate students
based on Sensing-iNtuition dimension. Therefore, this hypothesis was not supported.
However, there were significant differences in leaming styles of Taiwanese
hospitality undergraduate students based on other personality dimensions, which included
Extroversion-Introversion, Thinking-Feeling, or Judging-Perceiving, and 16 personality
types (see Table 2.23).

75

Table 2.21. Summary of Hypothesis I.


Hypotiiesis I.

There were no significant differences in leaming styles of Taiwanese


hospitality undergraduate students based on following background
variables:
Gender

Failed to Reject

Academic Classification

Failed to Reject

Work Status

Failed to Reject

Table 2.22. Summary of Hypothesis II.


Hypothesis D.

There were no significant differences in personality types of Taiwanese


hospitality undergraduate students based on following background
variables:
Gender

Rejected

Academic Classification

Failed to Reject

Work Status

Rejected

Table 2.23. Summary of Hypothesis III.


Hypothesis HI. There were no significant differences in leaming styles of Taiwanese
hospitality undergraduate students based on following four personality
dimensions and personality types:
Extroversion-Introversion dimension

Rejected

Sensing-iNtuition dimension

Failed to Reject

Thinking-Feeling dimension

Rejected

Judging-Perceiving dimension

Rejected

16 Personality Types

Rejected

76

Discussion
No previous research was located regarding tiie distributions of leaming style and
personality type profiles of hospitality undergraduate students in Taiwan. Taiwanese
students do not choose academic fields based on personality or leaming styles, due to the
test-oriented educational system. In conti-ast, in the United States, several researchers
have found that U.S. students tend to enter academic and vocational fields tiiat are
consistent witii tiieir own prefen:ed leaming styles (Canfield, 1988; Kolb, 1976; Moody,
1989: Myers & McCaulley, 1985a).
The United States hospitality programs have successfully educated hospitality
managers since the 1920s. Hospitality managers have personalityti-aitsthat differ from
those of managers in other professions (Stone, 1988). Stuart (1992) highlighted several
factors that have an impact on how effectively individuals can leam. These factors
include age or generation, education, culture, language fluency, level and types of
intelligence, leaming environment, beliefs and attitudes, leamed strategies, and source of
motivation, as well as leaming style and personality. These leaming preferences and
personalities may differ significantiy across cultures and different historical periods.
Kolb (1976) stated that validity studies correlated witii Kolb's Leaming Style
Inventory (LSI) and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI assesses
psychological types based on extroversion/introversion, sensation/intuition,
tiiinking/feeling, and judging/perceiving. Kolb's studies indicated the strongest and most
consistent relationships were between concrete/absti-act on the LSI and feeling/tiiinking

77

on tiie MBTI and between active/reflective on the LSI and extrovert/introvert on the
MBTI.
However, the reliability coefficients of Personal Style Inventory in this study were
lower than that of MBTI. There are probably several reasons for this difference. First, the
PSl is a shorter variation of the MBTI; the number of questions was significantiy fewer;
possibly the difference in length of instrument influenced reliability. Second, although
the instmment included Chinese and English versions, the respondents might have been
confused by the meaning of the original wording of the questions due to language and
cultural differences.

Leaming Stvle
It has been implied that individual hospitality students in the United States have
unique, common leaming styles (Hsu. 1999). In the United States, several researchers
found that individuals tended to enter academic and vocational fields that were consistent
witii tiieir own leaming styles (Canfield, 1988; Kolb. 1976; Moody. 1989; Myers &
McCaulley. 1985a).
In Asia and tiie United Kingdom (UK), several studies, using different leaming
style instilments, have attempted to identify tiie leaming preferences of hospitality
students (Lashley. 1999; Honey & Mumford, 2000; Wong et al., 2000). These studies
imply that the majority of sttidents who are interested in hospitality programs in the UK
prefer practical activity as their leaming style; they are less contented with theorizing and

78

reflection. As such, tiiese students display leaming preferences for activist leaming,
which is similar to Kolb's active experimentation leaming mode (Lashley, 1999).
Not surprisingly, students witii activist leaming style preferences learn most
easily from activities involving group work tiiat is exciting, challenging and quick to
change. On the otiier hand, activists find it more difficult to leam when they have to take
a passive role, do not become involved or undertake solitary work. They do not practice
intensely and do not enjoy the constraints of having to follow precise instmctions (Honey
& Mumford, 2000). Other researchers have found that hospitality students attending
colleges and universities in several countries in Asia already display preferences for
reflective leaming styles, which are similar to the reflective observation leaming mode
(Wong et al., 2000).
However, there have been no studies conceming Taiwanese hospitality
undergraduate students' leaming styles* distribution in the general educational system in
Taiwan. In addition, there have been no studies performed to see whether hospitality
undergraduate students leam in Taiwan any differently by gender, academic classification,
and woiic status. Therefore, this study attempted to identify the leaming styles of
hospitality undergraduate students in Taiwan using Kolb's Leaming Style Inventory
(LSI).
This study found that there were no significant differences in leaming styles of
the Taiwanese hospitality undergraduates based on gender, academic classification, and
work status. However, knowing the leaming style of a particular hospitality student or
group can be useful in selecting a compatible method of leaming, since hospitality

79

education is essentially a leaming experience in which an individual is taught to handle


complex situations in the real worid. For an educator and a hospitality administrator,
knowing the leaming style of a particular hospitality student or group of students can be
useful in promoting teaching and managing effectiveness. Also, this knowledge can assist
in improving the selection and design of the hospitality curricula and program.

Personality Type
This study attempted to identify and compare personality types of Taiwanese
hospitality undergraduate students based on their demographic information using the
Personal Style Inventory (PSl). Furtiier, tiie study tried to indicate theti-endof personality
t>pe of Taiwanese hospitality undergraduate students.
The hypothesis that there were no differences in the distinbutions of personality
types based on academic classification of hospitality undergraduate .students in Taiwan
was supported. There were statistically significant differences in the distributions of
personality types based on gender and work status of hospitality undergraduate students;
both the gender and work hypotheses were supported by the results of this study.

Conclusion
The use of leaming style and personality type knowledge to help in creating an
effective education environment is one strategy from which educators and administrators
can benefit. Conversely, if educators do not know how their students leam and recognize
tiie students' personality traits, they may not be able to teach them effectively. In fact.

80

college professors, who normally engage in teaching-and-talking, questioning, student


presentations, and use of small-group strategies such as case studies, cooperative leaming,
and simulations, may appreciate guidelines for using the learning styles approach in their
curricula.
These findings linking leaming styles and personality types should be useful for
hospitality students, educators, and administrators in Taiwan. Hospitality programs
shouldtiryto establish a unique and professional educational environment to better help
students achieve their educational goals. Educators and administrators should increase
awareness of personality types and leaming style preferences, which have been suggested
by researchers to be possible factors in improving students' academic achievement.
Knowledge about leaming styles and personality types is a new fundamental tool in
Taiwan for the benefit of educators; it can provide deeper understanding of students than
has previously been considered.

Future Research
This benchmark study has provided an initial exploration of leaming styles and
personality types of hospitality undergraduate students in Taiwan. There is clearly a need
for furtiier research conceming hospitality students, educators, and administrators. The
following areas are suggested:
1.

Replicate the current study using random samples; consider all hospitality
programs in Taiwan and try to establish population norms.

81

2.

Conduct research to identify and compare leaming styles and personality


types between hospitality educators and hospitality students.

3.

Consider doing a four-year longitudinal tracking study on the learning


styles and personality types of hospitality students from freshman to senior
year.

4.

Consider research to identify students' leaming styles and personality


types using the concept of leaming environment and students' academic
achievement.

5.

Further explore the aspect of students' background differences related to


leaming styles and personality types.

6.

Further investigate parents' and industry's expectations for students


compared to students' personality and leaming style preferences.

7.

Include other personality variables (e.g., critical thinking, motivation, and


attitude) to identify relationships with leaming styles.

82

CHAPTER III
LEARNING STYLES, PERSONALITY TYPES, AND IMPLICATIONS FOR
HOSPITALITY UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS IN THE UNITED STATES

Introduction
Stuart (1992) highlighted several factors that have an impact on how effectively
individuals can leam. These factors include age or generation, education, culture,
language fluency, level and types of intelligence, leaming environment, beliefs and
attitudes, leamed sti-ategies, and source of motivation, as well as leaming style and
personality. An increased awareness of personality types and leaming style preferences
has been suggested by researchers as being a possible factor in improving student
academic achievement (Borg & Shapiro, 1996; Haygood & Iran-Nejad, 1994; Horton &
Oakland, 1997; Sternberg, 1997; Luk, 1998; Fouzder & Markwick, 2000; Taylor, 2001;
Ziegert. 2000).
To better serve and help students in achieving their educational goals, university
administrators and teachers are under pressure to contribute more suitable and effective
teaching methods and services (Sims & Sims, 1995). Everyone has different personality
types/Ieaming style preferences. Understanding students leaming style preferences in
association with personality can help one plan for activities that take advantage of one's
natural skills and inclinations (Geary & Sims, 1995; Sims & Sims, 1995; Sternberg,
1997).

83

However, tiiese leaming preferences and personalities may differ significantly


across cultures and different historical periods. Upon researching literature studies, only a
few investigations were found on tiie leaming styles and personality types of hospitality
undergraduate students in tiie United States. Hospitality educators need to have more
knowledge and understanding of their students' personality and learning process,
particularly related to how individuals leam, so they can design and implement their
teaching to enhance leaming.

Leaming Style Preference


Leaming is a continuing process. Students leam from different sources, such as
classroom leaming strategies and work experiences. Leaming style is the way each
person begins to concentrate on, process, internalize, and retain new and difficult
academic information (Dunn & Dunn, 1992, 1993, 1998). h also is an individual's
characteristic mode of obtaining information during an education experience (Carrier,
Newell, & Lange, 1982). Leaming style affects not only how one processes material as
one studies, but also how one absorbs the information during an educational experience
(Carrier, Newell, & Lange, 1982). The tiieories of leaming styles deal with how
individuals prefer to leam.
Although people leam all the time, tiiey do not all leam in the same way (Kolb,
1976). Kolb (1984) developed his tiieory of leaming by drawing on works of Dewey,
Lewin. and Piaget. Kolb (1976, 1984) studied the relationship between learning and

84

experience and determined that each individual's leaming style is the result of a
combination of heredity, past life experiences, and demands of the present environment.
Based on Kolb's Experiential Leaming Theory, individuals leam from immediate,
here-and-now experiences, as well as from concepts and books. Leaming takes place in
all human settings (Kolb, 1984, 1985). Kolb (1984) stated that Experiential Leaming
Theory postulates the existence of four leaming modes that combine to form two leaming
dimensions - concrete/abstract and active/reflective. These two main dimensions of the
leaming process correspond to the two major ways that people leam.
It is theorized that almost every individual utilizes each leaming mode to some
extent, but has a preferred leaming style resulting from the tendency to either leam
through Concrete Experience (CE) or through the constmction of theoretical frameworks
(Abstract Conceptualization-AC) combined with the tendency to either leam through
Active Experimentation (AE) or tiirough reflection (Reflective Observation-RO) (Kolb,
1984).
Kolb (1976, 1984) described four leaming styles, which are Divergent (CE/RO),
Assimilative (RO/AC), Convergent (AC/AE), and Accommodative (AE/CE). He furtiier
proposed tiiat tiie dominant leaming styles represent personality characteristics, and are
relatively stable over time. However, he also stated tiiat leaming styles are influenced by
long or short-term situational factors and by levels of maturity.
Based on Kolb's (2000) leaming theory, the characteristics of these four leaming
styles are described as follows: Leamers who perceive information concretely and
process it reflectively are known as Divergers, who tend to be feeling-oriented and are

85

known as people persons. Leamers who perceive information abstractly and process it
reflectively are known as Assimilators, who are goal .setters and systematic planners and
are likely to excel at inductive reasoning and creating models and theories. Leamers who
perceive information abstractly and process it actively are known as Convergers, who are
good at decision making, problem solving, and finding practical uses for theories.
Leamers who perceive information concretely and process it actively are known as
Accommodators. who enjoy doing, carrying out plans and tasks, and getting involved in
new experiences.
Because of a personal unique set of experiences, individuals develop a preferred
style of leaming. Leaming styles are simply the ways people prefer to absorb and
incorporate new information. Personal leaming style affects the way individuals solve
problems, make decisions, and develop and change their attitudes and behavior; it also
largely determines the career which a person will find the most comfortable fit. In
addition, leaming style determines what kind of leaming experience each type of leamer
will find effective, comfortable, and growth-promoting (Kolb, 1984).

Personality Type
Students also have their own personality types that affect how they leam. Aiken
(1996. p. 3) stated that personality can be defined as a person's private, central, and inner
core. Included within this private core are an individual's motivations, attitudes, interests,
beliefs, fantasies, cognitive styles, and other mental processes. No two people are exactiy
alike; everyone is unique (Aiken, 1996. p. 3). One of most important personality theories

86

is Psychological Type developed by Carl G. Jung (1875-1961) to explain some of the


apparenUy random differences in people's behavior.
According to Jung's theory (1923). predictable differences in individuals are
caused by differences in the way individuals prefer to use their minds when taking in
information (perceiving) and coming to conclusions (judging). Jung (1923) found that
there are two opposite ways to perceive (sensing and intuition) and two opposite ways to
judge (thinking and feeling). People use these four essential processes daily in both the
extemal world (extroversion) and intemal world (introversion). In tum, these processes
generate eight ways for individuals to use their minds (Jung, 1923).
Jung (1923) believed everyone has a natural preference for using one kind of
perceiving and one kind of judging toward either the extemal worid or the intemal worlds.
As one exercises one's preferences, one develops distinct perspectives and approaches to
life and human interaction. Referring to its relationship with leaming. Myers and
McCaulley (1985a) indicated tiiat personalityti-aitscould make a difference in how
individuals leam and what they leam.

Leaming Stvle Studies


A large number of leaming style studies have been conducted since the 1970s.
There are over tiiousand research articles about leaming styles. The Leaming Style
Inventory (LSI) has been used in a number of studies investigating leaming styles of
adults (Kolb, 2000).

87

Altiiough years have passed since some studies were completed, the results and
discussions of tiiose studies are still time and relevant. For example, various studies
conducted during different periods of time on the differences of women's and men's
leaming style preferences showed tiiat women tended to prefer concrete experience
leaming styles, whereas men were more likely to opt for absti-act conceptualization
modes of leaming (Kolb, 1984; Smith & Kolb, 1986). Vemon-Gerstenfeld (1989) found
tiiat women were slightiy more reflective in their leaming styles than men were. In a
study conducted by Prosser-Gelwick (1985), more women appeared to be concrete
leamers, and more men appeared to be abstract leamers. A meta-analysis of 26 previous
studies revealed slightly lower scores for women on the abstract conceptualization scale
and men were more likely than women to start the leaming process with abstract concepts
(Severiens & Ten Dam, 1994).
Several studies explored instmctional strategies to increase retention based on
college students' leaming style preferences. Nelson, Dunn, Griggs, Primavera, Fitzpatric,
and Miller (1993) reported significantly higher overall grade point averages when the
instmctional strategies were congment, rather tiian incongment. Clark-Thayer (1987)
found that higher achievement related to students' leaming styles across subject matter.
Studies also found that students working in leaming environments that matched
witii tiieir leaming styles and preferences had higher academic achievement (Kolb, 1984;
Dunn, Beaudey. & Klavas, 1989), gained greater satisfaction from the course (Kolb,
1984), performed better on problem-solving measures and needed less time to leam
outside of cla-sses (Katz, 1990).

88

Furtiiermore, students tended to positively evaluate teachers who taught according


to students' leaming styles (Armstrong, 1981; Lockhard & Schmeck, 1983; Mun-ay,
1984), and individuals tended to enter academic and vocational fields that were consistent
witii tiieir own leaming styles (Canfield, 1988; Kolb, 1976; Moody, 1989; Myers &
McCaulley, 1985a). Fung, Ho, and Kwan (1993) clearly indicated that individual leaming
sty les and preferences are important student characteristics that should be taken into
account in designing effective instmctional strategies for students.
As noted earlier, Kolb's Leaming Style Inventory (LSI) provides tme and relevant
results of adults' leaming style preferences. Keeping that idea in mind while evaluating
research studies on hospitality undergraduate students, it was found that, in Berger's
study (1983), most hospitality students were Divergers (33%) and Accommodators (29%)
whereas most hospitality professors were Convergers (42%). In Hsu's study (1999) 39%
of incoming students and over 55% of graduating seniors in a hospitality program in the
United States were Convergers. Furthermore, Hsu suggested that hospitality management
major attracts more Convergers than any other leaming style; and leaming experiences
provided by the hospitality major converted some students into Convergers.
In addition, Bagdan and Boger (2000) examined leaming style preferences and
hospitality undergraduate students' demographic variables: class, gender, age, American
College Testing Program (ACT) score, and Grade Point Average (GPA). They found no
significant differences on the Leaming Style Inventory (LSI) as examined by gender,
class, age, and ACT score results. A significant difference was found associating LSI and

89

GPA. Hospitality students who were identified as Diverging leaming preference on the
LSI had lower GPAs.
In regard to the hospitality industry, Hsu, Smith, and Finley (1991) reported that
78% of unit-le\el and 76% of district-level restaurant managers were Convergers. Based
on Kolb's (1984) tiieory. this could be expected, in tiiat leaming style preferences would
relate to career choice. Kolb (1981. 1984) also suggested tiiat not only professional or
academic demands may temporarily affect or permanentiy alter leaming style preferences,
but also tiiat an individual will respond to the demands of different leaming contexts by
utilizing, to various degrees, concrete, absti-act. active or reflective leaming sti-ategies.

Research Objectives and Hypotheses


The purpose of this study was to identify leaming styles and personality types of
hospitality undergraduate students in the United States.
The specific objectives of this study were: (1) to identify hospitality
undergraduate students' leaming styles and personality styles, and (2) to determine the
relations among students' demographic information, leaming style, and piersonality types.
Three hypotheses were developed to examine the relations between leaming
styles or/and personality types and students' background information.
Hypothesis 1.

There were no statistically significant differences in leaming


styles of hospitality undergraduate students based on the
following background variables:
A.

Gender.

90

Hypotiiesis 11.

B.

Academic Classification.

C.

Work Status.

There were no statistically significant differences in personality


types of hospitality undergraduate students based on the
following background variables:
A.

Gender.

B.

Academic Classification.

C.

Work Status.

Hypothesis III. There were no statistically significant differences in leaming


styles of hospitality undergraduate students based on the
following personality variables:
A.

Four Personality Dimensions: Extroversion-Introversion


dimension, Sensing-iNtuition dimension. Thinking-Feeling
dimension, and Judging-Perceiving dimension.

B.

16 Personality Types.

91

Methodology
Introduction
The major purposes of this study were to identify leaming style preferences and
personality types of hospitality students in the United States. Two standardized
assessment instiuments were administered to the subjects of this study: Kolb's Leaming
Style Inventory (LSI) and tiie Personal Style Inventory (PSl). Identification of the
subjects for the purpose of correlation was done by the use of a unique three-digit
numeric code for each individual subject. Statistical analysis of the data was performed
using descriptive statistics and chi square analysis. The selection of sample, research
instmment. sampling and data collection, and data analysis were described in this section.

Selection of Sample
The population of interest for this study was hospitality undergraduate students
enrolled in one hospitality program in a southwest 4-year university in the United States.
A total of 367 undergraduate students who took the required classes in a hospitality
program participated in this study. Among tiiese participants, 294 students were enrolled
in the hospitality major and 74 students were non-hospitality majors. The sample was
comprised of 294 (N = 294) hospitality undergraduate students who majored in a
hospitality program in a large university in tiie southwest United States. A copy of the
letter requesting participation in this study can be found in Appendix H.

92

hi tiie United States, where students tend to enroll in classes depending on their
academic classification, the assessment instmments were administrated to students in
required classes. The students ranged from freshman to senior level.

Research Instmments
The questionnaire was composed of eight demographic items, Kolb's Leaming
Style Inventory (LSI-B) (Kolb. 1993) and the Personal Style Inventory (PSl) (Hogan &
Champagne. 1979), which was revised and based on tiie Myers-Briggs Type Indictor
(MBTI). A copy of instilments can be found in Appendix A (Demographic Background),
Appendix C (Kolb LSI), and Appendix F (PSl). In addition, a copy of the request for
permission to use the LSI and the approval letter can be found in Appendix B.
Eight demographic questions, including gender, age, grade, academic
classification, work status, and work experience, were developed to describe the sample.
The questions also provided data to study the relationships between demographic
variables and leaming styles or personality types of hospitality students.
Kolb's LSI (1984) postulated the existence of four leaming modes that combine
to form two leaming dimensions - concrete/abstract and active/reflective. These two
main dimensions of the leaming process correspond to the two major ways that
individuals leam. The first dimension represents how people perceive new information or
experience, and the second indicates how individuals process what they perceive.
As described by Kolb (1993), the LSI consists of a 12-sentence stem form with a
choice of four endings for each stem. Participants are asked to rank the choice endings

93

(1= least like tiie way one likes to leam; 4= most like tiie way one likes to leam) based on
tiieir preference for leaming new ideas. Respondents are asked to rank the endings for 1
tiirough 4 in a manner which best describes the way they like to leam. Responses are also
added togetiier to give four scores ranging from 12-48. The total score should be 120 for
tiie four leaming stages. Concrete Experience (CE). Reflective Observation (RO),
Abstiact Conceptualization (AC), and Active Experimentation (AE).
These scores measure the emphasis a respondent places on each stage of Kolb's
leaming cycle. The four scores are then plotted on a grid to create an individual leaming
profile. The four scores produced from tiie LSI also are used to create two leaming
dimension mean scores. These scores range from -f48 to -48 (Kolb, 1993).
Each score is plotted on the intersecting grid of the Leaming Style Type Grid. The
two axes are labeled AC-CE and AE-RO. These two axes represent Kolb's belief that
leaming requires skills which are polar opposites. The first of these two scores is
obtained by subtracting the CE score from the AC score (the total plotted on the vertical
axis) which indicates one's leaming style preference in the concrete-abstract dimension.
The second score is obtained by subtracting the RO from the AE score (the total plotted
on the horizontal axis), which indicates one's leaming style preference in the activereflective dimension. In summary, the information from Kolb's LSI was used to
determine mean stage scores, leaming dimension scores, and a preferted leaming style
for each respondent.
The personality instmment, the Personal Style Inventory (PSl), was based on the
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Hogan and Champagne (1979) noted that the

94

Personal Style Inventory provides a means of characterizing one's preferred leaming style
witii respect to four dimensions. The Personal Style Inventory provides a means of
characterizing one's preferred leaming style with respect to four dimensions. Each
dimension is present to some degree in all leamers: extroversion-introversion, sensingintuition. tiiinking-feehng, and judging-perceiving (Hogan & Champagne, 1979).
Additionally, the inventory is designed to determine if individuals demonstrate a
balance among the four dimensions or if they have slight, definite, or considerable
strengths and weaknesses in the dimensions (Hogan &. Champagne, 1979).
A 20 two-stem version of PSl questionnaire was used in this study. There are two
endings per question item, with a total of 5 points allocated between the two. Participants
were asked to rank the choice endings (0= least like the way one likes to do; 5= most like
the way one likes to do) based on their personal preference. Information from PSl was
used to determine four different dimension scores and a preferred personal style for each
respondent; each dimension had five questions and ten endings. The combined score of
each dimension should equal 25. The range of scores for each component (column) of the
dimension should be between 0 and 25 (Jewler &. Gardner, 1993).
The questionnaire is followed by an evaluation of results. The total scores in each
column indicate relative strengths and balances in the four dimensions (for example, E
and 1 is one dimension).

Column scores of 12 or 13 suggest a balance in the two components of the


dimension.

95

Column scores of 14 or 15 suggest slight imbalance; the dimension


component witii tiie higher score is slightly sti-onger than the other
component.

Colunm scores between 16 and 19 suggest a definite imbalance; the


dimension component witii the higher score is definitely stronger than the
other component.

Column scores between 20 and 25 suggest a considerable imbalance; the


dimension component with the higher score is considerably stronger than
the other component.

An individual's personality style type is identified by combining the four columns


with scores of 14 or greater. Column scores of 12 or 13 reflect a balance between the two
characteristics (Jewler & Gardner, 1993, p. 54).

Reliability of Instmments
The Leaming Style Inventory (LSI-II) developed and revised by Kolb (1993) was
used for this study. The estimated reliabilities of the LSI for individual scales, such as
Concrete Experience (CE), Reflective Observation (RO), Abstract Conceptualization
(AC), and Active Experimentation (AE), ranged from 0.73 to 0.83 (Kolb, 1985).
The personality instmment, the Personal Style Inventory (PSl), was based on the
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) instmment developed by Katherine C. Briggs and
Isabel Briggs Myers in 1942. The purpose of adapting the personality theory of Cari G.

96

Jung conceming psychological types was to promote practical use in education and
counseling.
The reliability MBTI coefficient alpha is .91 for the E-I and T-F scales and .92 for
tiie S-N and J-P scales (Myers et al., 1998); however, the PSl is a variation of the MBTI
tiiat describes personality types. The reliability of PSl probably should differ from the
MBTI. The MBTI is based on the Jungian concepts of the two psychological attitudes
(Extixjversion and Introversion) and tiie psychological functions (Thinking, Feeling,
Sensing, and Intuition).
Validity studies correlated the LSI with a number of personality tests, which
included tiie Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) (Kolb, 1976, 1986). Kolb's studies
indicated the strongest and most consistent relationships were between concrete/abstract
on the LSI and feeling/thinking on the MBTI and between active/reflective on the LSI
and extrovert/introvert on the MBTI. Both the MBTI and the LSI were developed from
Jung's theory.

Data Collection
The study was conducted in a 4-year degree granting hospitality program in a
large university in the southwest area of the United States. The leaming style and
personality type profiles, which included demographic background information and GPA
of tiie selected students, were collected in required classes comprising hospitality students
at freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior levels.

97

Demographic information, leaming style information using LSI-II, and


personality type profiles using PSl instmment were administrated and collected in at least
one required course from freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior level. The data
collection was an on-site collection.

Data Analysis
Students' leaming styles were determined by using scoring procedures from the
LSI n (Kolb, 1993). Students' personality types were determined using scoring
procedures from PSl (Hogan & Champagne. 1979). The distribution of leaming styles
and personality types were identified using crosstabs analysis. A pre-determined alpha
level of 0.05 was selected for determined statistical difference (p < 0.05). The differences
of dynamic characteristics of the personality dimensions and types and CE, RO, AC, AE,
AC-CE. and AE-RO of the leaming styles between subjects were analyzed by descriptive
statistics, z test, and chi-square. The differences on each dominant leaming style
proportion (Divergent. Assimilative, Convergent, and Accommodative) and the
differences on the dynamic characteristic proportions of personality dimensions and types
among hospitality students were analyzed by chi-square analyses and z tests.

98

Findings and Results


In tills study, hospitality undergraduate students were studied conceming the
relationship between tiieir leaming styles and personality types. Because this was a
descriptive study, which collected nominal or categorical data, a chi-square analysis was
used to determine whetiier or not tiiere were any significant differences among
demographic information, leaming styles, and personality types. Specifically, hospitality
undergraduate students were compared at the .05 level of significance regarding (1)
leaming style and (2) personality type.
Also, additional chi-square analyses at the .05 level of significance were done on
all hospitality undergraduate students' responses to see if there were any significant
differences due to demographic information, leaming style, or/and personality type. The
presentation of the data based on the results of this study is organized in the following
sequence: (1) the reliability of the instmments, (2) demographic information, and (3)
results of data analysis.

The Reliability of the Instmments


A total of 367 participant undergraduate students were registered in hospitality
courses at a large university. As shown in Table 3.1, Cronbach's alpha of the LSI for
individual scales, such as Abstract Conceptualization (AC), Reflective Observation (RO),
Concrete Experience (CE), and Active Experimentation (AE), ranged from .71 to .76. As
shown in Table 3.2, the estimated reliability coefficients of the PSl for individual

99

dimension scales, Extroversion-Introversion (E-I), Sensing-iNtuition (S-N), ThinkingFeeling (T-F), and Judging-Perceiving (J-P), ranged from .56 to .63.

Table 3.1.

Leamino
Mode '^

Cronbach's
Alpha

Table 3.2.

The Reliability Coefficients of Leaming Mode for Kolb's Leaming Style


Inventory.

Concrete
Experience
(Feeling)

Reflective
Observation
(Watching)

Abstract
Conceptualization
(Thinking)

Active
Experimentation
(Doing)

_^,
0-^'

0-76

0.75

0.75

The Reliability Coefficients of Personality Dimension for Personality Style


Inventory.

p
..
P^.
. ^
Uimension

ExtroversionIntroversion
^^^^^

SensingiNtuition
^^^j^^

ThinkingFeeling
^.j,^P^

JudgingPerceiving
^p^^^

Cronbach's
Alpha

^^^^

Q_^3

Q^^^

0.56

100

E)emographic Information
Respondents in tiiis study were asked to provide demographic information related
to gender, age. school attendance (part-time or full-time), major, academic classification
(freshman, sophomore, junior or senior), work status (part-time, full-time or none), work
experience, and grade point averages (GPA). Table 3.3 indicated a summary of the
general demographic information.
The overall sample (N = 294) was comprised of 49.7% females (n = 146) and
50.3% males (n = 148). Almost ninety-one percent of the subjects (n = 266) were
between 18 and 23 years of age. The mean age of the sample was 20.66 years old (SD =
2.22), and tiie range of ages was between 18 and 32 years of age. Of tiie sample, 25.5%
(n = 75) were freshmen, 25.2% (n = 74) were sophomores, 25.9% (n = 76) were juniors,
and 23.4% (n = 69) were seniors.
Of the sample, 95.9% (n = 282) of tiie participants reported being full-time
students. These full-time students indicated that they have a part-time (n = 117) or fulltime (n = 76) job. There were twelve part-time students in the sample. The average length
of work experience of the sample was 34.56 months (SD = 29.02) with a range of work
experience between 0 and 125 months. Of the 248 students in the sample, 55 (18.7%) had
work experience less than 12 montiis and 15.6% (n = 46) participants had no work
experience. The sample (n = 197) reported tiieir grade point average (GPA). The mean of
GPA of tiie sample was 3.00 point (SD = 0.45) with GPAs ranging from 1.79 to 4.00.

101

Table 3.3.

Sample Description of Hospitality Undergraduate Students.

Classification
Characteristics
Gender
Female

Overall
n

7c

Freshman
%
n

Sophomore
n
%

Junior
n
%

i1

Senior
%

146 49.7
148 50.3
294 100

43
32
75

14.6
10.9
25.5

36 12.3
38 12.9
74 25.2

27
9.2
49 16.7
76 25.9

40
29
69

13.6
9.9
23.5

Age (Range 1 8 - 3 2! years old)


18
53 18.0
19
48 16.3
20
55 18.7
21
46 15.6
i~>
40 13.6
23
24
8.2
24
9
3.1
25
13 4.4
26+
6
2.0

49
19
3
2
0
0
0
1
1

16.7
6.5
1.0
0.7
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.3
0.3

2
29
26
9
0
4
2
2
0

0.7
9.9
8.8
3.1
0.0
1.4
0.7
0.7
0

1
0
21
21
19
7
4
1
2

0.3
0.0
7.1
7.1
6.5
2.4
1.4
0.3
0.7

1
0
5
14
21
13
3
9
3

0.3
0.0
1.7
4.8
7.1
4.4
1.0
3.1
1.0

School Attendance
Full-time
Part-time

282
12

95.9
4.1

74 25.2
1 0.3

69
5

23.5
1.7

73
3

24.8
1.0

66
3

22.4
1.0

Work Status
Full-time
Part-time
Do not Work

76
117
101

25.9
39.8
34.4

21
14
40

23
23
28

7.8
7.8
9.5

18
41
17

6.1
13.9
5.8

14
39
16

4.8
13.3
5.4

13
4
12
12
11
8
8
6

4.4
1.4
4.1
4.1
3.7
2.7
2.7
2.0

7
5
16
11
7
6
8
16

2.4
1.7
5.4
3.7
2.4
2.0
2.7
5.4

6
5
5
11
8
7
6
21

2.0
1.7
1.7
3.7
2.7
2.4
2.0
7.1

Male
Overall

7.1
4.8
13.6

Work Experience (Range 0 month - 125 months;)


None
46 15.6
20
6.8
Unknown
14 4.8
0
0
0-12 Months
22
7.5
55 18.7
41 13.9
7
2.4
13-24 Months
41 13.9
15 5.1
25-36 Months
2.0
27
9.2
6
37^8 Months
1.7
5
27
9.2
49-60 Months
0.0
0
61-f Months
43 14.6

102

Leaming Stvle
Completion of Kolb's Leaming Style Inventory (LSI) generates six scores: four
leaming stages scores and two leaming dimension scores. Each subject was classified as
one of four possible leaming styles (Converger, Diverger, Assimilator, or
Accommodator). according to tiie subject's scores on Kolb's Leaming Style Inventory
(LSI). Table 3.4 indicated the leaming stage and leaming dimension mean scores for the
overall sample as well as tiie students' gender. The leaming stages were Concrete
Experience (CE). Reflective Observation (RO), Abstract Conceptualization (AC), and
Active Experimentation (AE).
The leaming stage mean scores for the entire sample by academic classification
were provided in Table 3.5. The possible scoring range should be between 12 and 48 for
each leaming stage and between -36 and 36 for each leaming dimension. The mean score
pair of each leaming dimension has been plotted on the leaming style type grid to
determine the leaming style type preferences of respondents.
The leaming style preferences of all respondents were presented in Table 3.4 and
Table 3.5. The dimension, abstract conceptualization minus concrete experience (AC-CE),
represented tiie vertical axis and the dimension, active experimentation minus reflective
observation (AE-RO), represented the horizontal axis.

103

Table 3.4.

Leaming Stage and Leaming Dimension Mean Scores by Gender.

Gender

Male

148

Female

146

Overall

294

CE'
26.15"
5.65"
27.27
6.18
26.71
5.94

RO^

AC^

34.80
6.17
36.13
6.31
35.46
6.27

28.21
5.85
26.95
6.65
27.59
6.28

AE^

AC-CE^

AE-RO^

2.06
9.08
-0.32
10.31
0.88
9.77

3.95
10.07
6.49
10.71
5.21
10.45

30.84
6.11
29.64
6.84
30.25
6.50

a = mean
b = standard deviation
1 = Concrete Experience, Feeling (Range 13-44)
2 = Reflective Observation. Watching (Range 16-47)
3 = Abstract Conceptualization. Thinking (Range 14 - 46)
4 = Active Experimentation, Doing (Range 12 - 44)
5 = Abstract Conceptualization/Concrete Experience (Range -26 - 25)
6 = Active Experimentation/Reflective Observation (Range -21 - 31)
Table 3.5.

Leaming Stage and Leaming Dimension Mean Scores and Academic


Classification

Acadenuc
Classification

CE'

Freshman

75

Sophomore

74

Junior

76

Senior

69

Overall

294

27.17*
5.80"
25.16
5.80
26.95
5.75
27.59
6.24
26.71
5.94

AC^

RO^
35.05
6.03
35.32
5.23
36.07
6.92
35.38
6.84
35.46
6.27

26.29
6.22
27.77
5.79
28.53
6.18
27.75
6.83
27.59
6.28

AE^

AC-CE'

AE-RO^

-0.88
9.33
2.61
10.10
1.58
9.29
0.16
10.19
0.88
9.77

3.57
8.83
3.58
9.48
7.61
11.78
6.10
11.12
5.21
10.45

31.48
5.61
31.74
5.80
28.46
7.03
29.28
6.98
30.25
6.50

a = mean
b = standard deviation
1 = Concrete Experience, Feeling (Range 13-44)
2 = Reflective Observation, Watching (Range 16-47)
3 = Abstract Conceptualization, Thinking (Range 14 - 46)
4 = Active Experimentation. Doing (Range 12-44)
5 = Abstract Conceptualization/Concrete Experience (Range -26 - 25)
6 = Active Experimentation/Reflective Observation (Range -21-31)

104

Examinations of leaming styles, respectively in regard to gender, academic


classification, and work status, produced tiie findings. The total number and percentage
of gender of hospitality students who were classified into each of tiie 4 LSI categories
was presented in Table 3.6. Conceming the leaming style preferences, the majority of the
hospitality undergraduate students were Convergers (n = 101, 34.4%) and Assimilators (n
= 95. 32.3%). followed closely by Divergers (n = 53, 18.0%) and then Accommodators (n
= 45. 15.3%).
The distinbutions of both male students and female students' leaming styles were
similar to the distribution of the total sample. No significant differences were found in
leaming style distributions between male and female hospitality undergraduate students;
X2 (3. N = 294) = 7.447. p = 0.059 (Table 3.6).
Table 3.7 presented the leaming styles of hospitality students by academic
classification. Of the 294 hospitality undergraduate students, 75 freshman students
preferred the assimilating (n = 31. 10.5%,) style and the converging (n = 27, 9.2%) style
while 74 sophomore students preferred the assimilating (n = 22, 7.5%) style and the
converging (n = 21. 7.1%) style. Junior students (n = 76) showed preferences toward the
converging (n = 28. 9.5%) style and the assimilating (n = 20, 6.8%) style, while senior
students (n = 69) showed preferences toward tiie converging (n = 25, 8.5%) style and the
assimilating (n = 22, 7.5%) style. The most common leaming style of freshman and
sophomore students was the assimilating style; however, the most common leaming style
of junior and senior students was the converging style.

105

No significant differences were found in the leaming style distributions based on


academic classification of all hospitality undergraduate students; x2 (10, N = 294) =
10.895, p = 0.283 (Table 3.7).
Table 3.8 showed tiie leaming style preferences of hospitality by work status. Of
tiie total sample (N = 294), 25.85% students (n = 76) were working full-time jobs. These
students preferred tiie converging (n = 28, 9.5%) style and tiie assimilating (n = 25, 8.5%)
style. The students who had part-time jobs (n = 117, 39.80%) preferred tiie converging (n
= 38, 12.9%) style and tiie assimilating (n = 32. 10.9%) style. The students who had no
jobs (n = 101, 34.35%) showed preferences toward the assimilating (n = 38, 12.9%) and
the converging (n = 35, 11.9%) leaming preferences.
No signification differences were detected between distributions of the four
leaming styles based on work status of all hospitality undergraduate students; x2 = (6, N
= 294) = 5.440, p = 0.489 (Table 3.8).

106

Table 3.6.

Frequency Distinbutions and Chi-square between Gender and Learning


Styles of Hospitality Undergraduate Students.
Accommodator
'7f

Assimilator
n

Converger

Diverger

Total
n

Male

25

8.5

55

18.7

40

13.6

28

9.5

148

50.3

Female

20

6.8

40

13.6

61

20.7

25

8.5

146

49.7

Overall

45

15.3

95

32.3

101

34.4

53

18.0

Outcome

Table 3.7.

x2 = 7.447

df=3

294 100.0
p=.059

Frequency Distributions between Students' Academic Classification and


Leaming Styles of Hospitality Undergraduate Students.
Accommodator
n

Freshman

Assimilator
n

Converger

Diverger

Total
n

2.4

31

10.5

27

9.2

10

3.4

75

25.5

Sophomore

14

4.8

22

7.5

21

7.1

17

5.8

74

25.2

Junior

16

5.4

20

6.8

28

9.5

12

4.1

76

25.9

Senior

2.7

22

7.5

25

8.5

14

4.8

69

23.5

45

15.3

95

32.3

101

34.4

53

18.0

Overall

Outcome

x2= 10.895

107

df=9

294 100.0

p = 0.283

Table 3.8.

Frequency Distributions and Chi-square between Students' Work Status and


Leaming Style of Hospitality Undergraduate Students.
Accommodator Assimilator
n

Full-Time
Job
Part-Time
Job

Converger

Diverger

Total
n

12

4.1

25

8.5

28

9.5

11

3.7

76

25.9

20

6.8

32

10.9

38

12.9

27

9.2

117

39.8

No Job

13

4.4

38

12.9

35

11.9

15

5.1

101

34.4

Overall

45

15.3

95

32.3

101

34.4

53

18.0

Outcome

x2 = 5.440

108

df = 6

294 100.0

p = 0.489

Personalitv Type
The Personal Style Inventory (PSl) provides a means of characterizing one's
preferred personality type witii respect to four dimensions (indices). After completion of
tiie Personal Style Inventory (PSl), each respondent was classified as either: an
Extixiversion (E) type or an Inti-oversion (I) type, depending upon the respondent's score
of tendency on tiie E-I dimension; a Sensing (S) type or an iNtuition (N) type, depending
upon the subject's score of tendency on the S-N dimension; a Thinking (T) type or a
Feeling (F) type, depending upon the subject's score of tendency on the T-F dimension;
and a Judging (J) type or a Perceiving (P) type, depending upon the subject's score of
tendency on the J-P dimension. The personality type is determined by combining tiie four
dominate tendencies.
Each subject was classified as being one of 16 possible personality types,
according to the respondent's tendency toward each personality trait on the Personal
Style Inventory (Hogan & Champagne, 1979). The total number and percentage of
hospitality undergraduate students who were classified into each of the 16 personality
categories was presented in Table 3.9.
Table 3.10 indicated the respective mean scores of the eight different personality
types and the standard deviations for the overall sample as well as in terms of the
students' gender. E-I dimension, S-N dimension, T-F dimension, and J-P dimension categories represented the four personality dimensions. The combined score of each
dimension should be 25. The expected scoring range of each component should be
between 0 and 25. The personality dimensions of all respondents were presented in Table

109

3.10 and Table 3.11. Some predominant types, which included Extroversion (E) type and
Sensing (S) type, can be identified among the respondents.

Table 3.9.

Hospitality Undergraduate Student Personality Type Distiibution (N=294).

INFJ
5
(1.70%)

INFP
14
(4.76%)

INTJ
5
(1.70%)

INTP
3
(1.02%)

ISFJ
11
(3.74%)

ISFP
10
(3.40%)

ISTJ
14
(4.76%)

ISTP
10
(3.40%)

ENFJ
35
(11.90%)

ENFP
35
(11.90%)

ENTJ
12
(4.08%)

ENTP
8
(2.72%)

ESFJ
52
(17.69%)

ESFP
26
(8.84%)

ESTJ
38
(12.93%)

ESTP
16
(5.44%)

E = Extroversion
1 = Introversion
S = Sensing
N = iNtuition
T = Thinking
F = Feeling
J = Judging
P = Perceiving

110

Table 3.10. Four Personal Dimensions Mean Scores of Personality Type by Gender.

Gender

E'

I'

Male

148

14.03'
, ,,b
3.66"

10.97
3.66

hemale

146

15.64
^^j

Overall

^^,
.94

14.83
3^^^

S'

N^

T'

F^

j'

13.44
3.59

11.56
3.59

12.56
3.29

12.44
3.29

12.61
3.67

12.39
3.67

9.36
^^j

13.51
3^^

11.49
3 ^^

10.54
3 ^^

14.46
3 j^

14.15
4Q7

10.85
407

10.17
3.52

13.48
3.54

11.52
3.54

11.56
3.38

13.44
3.38

13.37
3.94

11.63
3.94

a = mean
b = standard deviation
1 = Extroversion (Range 2 - 24)
2 = Intiroversion (Range 1 - 23)
3 = Sensing (Range 5 - 2 3 )
4 = iNtuition (Range 2 - 20)
5 = Thinking (Range 3 - 22)
6 = Feeling (Range 3 - 22)
7 = Judging (Range 2 - 2 5 )
8 = Perceiving (Range 0 - 23)

II

P^

Table 3.11. Four Personal Dimensions Mean Scores of Personality Type by Academic
Classification.
Academic
Classification

E'

I^

s'

N'

T'

F*

J^

Freshman

75

'^^'^''
2.9l"

^"^^
2.91

^^.96
3.36

12.04
3.36

11.04
3.18

13.96
3.18

13.47
4.26

11.53
4.26

Sophomore

74

^^"^^
3.64

^^"^
3.64

1^.32
3.75

11.68
3.75

11.84
3.38

13.16
3.38

13.26
3.87

11.74
3.87

Junior

76

^"^'^'^
3.80

^^'^^
3.80

^^"^^
3.61

^^'^^
3.61

^^-'^
3.27

'^-^^
3.27

'^-^^
3.63

'^-^^
3.63

Senior

69

14.71
3.99

10.29
3.99

13.88
3.42

11.12
3.42

11.20
3.63

13.80
3.63

13.46
4.08

11.54
4.08

Overall

294

14.83
3.62

10.17
3.62

13.48
3.54

11.52
3.54

11.56
3.38

13.44
3.38

13.37
3.94

11.63
3.94

a = mean
b = standard deviation
1 = Extroversion (Range 2 - 24)
2 = Introversion (Range 1-23)
3 = Sensing (Range 5 - 23)
4 = iNtuition (Range 2 - 20)
5 = Thinking (Range 3 - 22)
6 = Feeling (Range 3 - 22)
7 = Judging (Range 2 - 25)
8 = Perceiving (Range 0 - 23)

112

The distiibution of Extixiversion-Introversion between genders of students for the


two E-I Dimension categories was presented in Table 3.12. There were differences
regarding personality types on the E-I Index between male and female hospitality
undergraduate students; x2 = (1, N = 294) = 8.511, p = 0.004 (see Table 3.12).
Furtiiermore. each subject was classified as either a Sensing (S) type or an
iNtuition (N) type, depending upon the subject's score on the S-N hidex. The total
numbers and percentages of male and female hospitality undergraduate students for tiie
two S-N hidex categories were presented in Table 3.13. There were no significant
differences in regard to personality types on the S-N hidex between male and female
hospitality undergraduate students; x2 = (1. N = 294) = 0.046. p = 0.831 (see Table 3.13).
Each subject also was classified as either a Thinking (T) type or a Feeling (F) type,
depending upon tiie subject's score on tiie T-F Index. The total numbers and percentages
of male and female hospitality undergraduate students for the two T-F Index categories
were presented in Table 3.14. The chi-square analysis indicated that there were
statistically significant differences in regard to personality types on the T-F Index
between male and female hospitality undergraduate students (see Table 3.14).
Finally, each subject was classified as either a Judging (J) type or a Perceiving (P)
type, depending upon the subject's score on the J-P Index. The total numbers and
percentages of male and female hospitality undergraduate students for the two J-P Index
categories were presented in Table 3.15. The chi-square analysis indicated that there were
statistically significant differences in regard to personality types on the J-P Index between
male and female hospitality undergraduate students (see Table 3.15).

113

Table 3.12. Frequency Distiibutions and Chi-square between Extroversion (E) Intixiversion (I) Dimension and Hospitality Undergraduate Students'
Gender.
Extixiversion-Inti-oversion Dimension
Extroversion

Inti-oversion

Gender

Total
%

z-score

p<

Male

101

34.4

47

16.0

148

50.3

6.28

0.000

Female

121

41.2

25

8.5

146

49.7

11.24

0.000

Overall

222

75.5

72

24.5

294

100.0

12.37

0.000

Outcome

X2 = 8.511

/7 = 0.004

df= I

Table 3.13. Frequency Distributions and Chi-square between Sensing (S) - iNtuition (N)
Dimension and Hospitality Undergraduate Students' Gender.
Sensing- iNtuition Dimension
iNtuition

Sensing
Gender

Total
n

z-score

P<

.Male

90

30.6

58

19.7

148

50.3

3.72

0.000

Female

87

29.6

59

20.1

146

49.7

3.28

0.001

Overall

177

60.2

117

39.8

294

100.0

4.95

0.000

Outcome

df= 1

X2 = 0.046

14

p = 0.831

Table 3.14. Frequency Distiibutions and Chi-square between Thinking (T) - Feeling (F)
Dimension and Hospitality Undergraduate Students' Gender.
Thinking-Feeling Dimension
Thinking
Gender

Feeling

%'

Total
%

z-score

P<

Male

71

24.1

77

26.2

148

50.3

-0.70

0.485

Female

35

11.9

111

37.8

146

49.7

-8.90

0.000

Overall

106

36.1

188

63.9

294

100.0

-6.76

0.000

Outcome

Table 3.15.

X2= 18.363

p = 0.000

df=l

Frequency Distributions and Chi-square between Judging (J) - Perceiving


(P) Dimension and Hospitality Undergraduate Students' Gender.
Judging-Perceiving Dimension
Perceiving

Judging
%

Gender

Total

z-score

p<

Male

74

25.2

74

25.2

148

50.3

0.00

1.000

Female

98

33.3

48

16.3

146

49.7

5.85

0.000

Overall

172

58.5

122

41.5

294

100.0

4.12

0.000

Outcome

X2 = 8.877

115

df=I

p = 0.003

Examination of personality types witii regard to gender, academic classification,


and work status were presented based on data reported in the Personal Style Inventory
(PSl). As shown in Table 3.16, tiie personality types of 52 ESFJ (17.7%), 38 ESTJ
(12.9%). 35 ENFJ (11.9%), and 35 ENFP (11.9%) were the majority personality types of
tiie hospitality students (n = 160) in this study. These types were closely followed by the
personality types of 26 ESFP (8.8%) and then 16 ESTP (5.4%). The respective majority
distiibutions of male students and female students" personality types were close to the
distribution of the sample. The first four major personality types for female students were
36 ESFJ (12.2%), 28 ENFJ (9.5%), 19 ENFP (6.5%), and 19 ESTJ (6.5%). The first four
major personality types for male students were 19 ESTJ (6.5%), 16 ENFP (5.4%), 16
ESFJ (5.4%). and 13 ESFP (4.4%).
The chi-square analysis indicated that there were statistically significant
differences regarding personality types on PSl between male and female hospitality
undergraduate students; x2 = (15, N = 294) = 49.766, p = 0.000 (see Table 3.16).
Table 3.17 presented the personality types of hospitality students by academic
classification. Hospitality undergraduate students who were freshman belonged to ENFJ
(n = 14, 4.8%), ESFJ (n = 13, 4.4%), ENFP (n = 13,4.4%), and ESTJ (n = 10, 3.4%),
while sophomore students were ESFJ (n = 14, 4.8%), ESFP (n = 8, 2.7%), ESTJ (n = 8,
2.7%), ENFJ (n = 8, 2.7%), and ENFP (n = 8, 2.7%). Junior students showed personality
types toward the ESTJ (n = 15, 5.1%), ESFJ (n = 13,4.4%), ENFP (n = 9, 3.1%), and
INFP (n = 6, 2.0%), while senior students were ESFJ (n = 12,4.1%), ENFJ (n = 10,
3.4%), and ESFP (n = 7, 2.4%).

16

The chi-square analysis indicated that tiiere were no significant differences in the
16 personality types based on academic classification of all hospitality undergraduate
students; x2 = (45. N = 294) = 39.652. p = 0.697 (see Table 3.17).
Table 3.18 showed the personality types of hospitality undergraduate students by
work status. Of tiie total sample of 294 students, 76 students were working full-time jobs.
The personality types of these students were: ENFJ (n = 12, 4.1%), ESTJ (n = 11, 3.7%),
ESFJ (n = 10, 3.4%), and ENFP (n = 8, 2.7%). Hospitality undergraduate students who
had part-time jobs had the following personality types: ESFJ (n = 25, 8.5%), ENFP (n =
13. 4.4%), ESTJ (n = 13.4.4%), and ENFJ (n = 11, 3.7%). Hospitality undergraduate
students who had no jobs showed personality types: ESFJ (n = 17, 5.8%), ENFP (n = 14,
4.8%). ESTJ (n = 14. 4.8%), ENFJ (n = 12, 4.1%). and ESFP (n = 12,4.1%).
The chi-square analysis indicated that there were no significant differences in 16
personality types based on work status of all hospitality undergraduate students; x2 = (30,
N = 294) = 30.013, p = 0.465 (see Table 3.18).

117

Table 3.16. Frequency Distiibutions and Chi-square between Students' Gender and
Personality Types of Hospitality Undergraduate Students.
Male
Personality
Type

Female
n

Overall
n

z-score

P<

ENFJ

2.4

28

9.5

35

11.9

-5.02

0.000

ENFP

16

5.4

19

6.5

35

11.9

-0.72

0.473

ENTJ

10

3.4

0.7

12

4.1

3.27

0.001

ENTP

2.7

0.0

2.7

4.00

0.000

ESFJ

16

5.4

36

12.2

52

17.7

-3.92

0.000

ESFP

13

4.4

13

4.4

26

8.8

0.00

1.000

ESTJ

19

6.5

19

6.5

38

12.9

0.00

1.000

ESTP

12

4.1

1.4

16

5.4

2.83

0.005

INFJ

0.3

1.4

1.7

-1.90

0.058

INFP

10

3.4

1.4

14

4.8

2.27

0.023

INTJ

1.4

0.3

1.7

1.90

0.058

INTP

0.7

0.3

1.0

0.82

0.414

ISFJ

2.4

1.4

11

3.7

1.28

0.201

ISFP

2.4

1.0

10

3.4

1.79

0.074

ISTJ

10

3.4

1.4

14

4.8

2.27

0.023

ISTP

2.0

1.4

10

3.4

0.89

0.371

148

50.3

146

49.7

294

100.0

0.16

0.869

Overall
Outcome
E = Extroversion
1 = Introversion
S = Sensing
N = iNtuition
T = Thinking
F = Feeling
J = Judging
P = Perceiving

df=15

X2 = 49.766

118

p = 0.000

Table 3.17. Frequency Distributions and Chi-square between Students' Academic


Classification and Personality Types of Hospitality Undergraduate Students.
:Freshman

Personality
Type

Overall

Senior

Junior

Sophomore

ENFJ

14

4.8

2.7

1.0

10

3.4

35

11.9

ENFP

13

4.4

2.7

3.1

1.7

35

11.9

ENTJ

1.0

1.4

1.0

0.7

12

4.1

ENTP

0.3

1.4

0.3

0.7

2.7

ESFJ

13

4.4

14

4.8

13

4.4

12

4.1

52

17.7

ESFP

2.0

2.7

1.7

2.4

26

8.8

ESTJ

10

3.4

2.7

15

5.1

1.7

38

12.9

ESTP

1.4

1.0

1.4

1.7

16

5.4

INFJ

0.0

0.7

0.3

0.7

1.7

INFP

1.0

1.0

2.0

0.7

14

4.8

INTJ

0.0

1.0

0.0

0.7

1.7

INTP

0.0

0.3

0.3

0.3

1.0

ISFJ

->

0.7

0.7

0.7

1.7

11

3.7

ISFP

0.7

0.7

1.4

0.7

10

3.4

ISTJ

0.7

0.7

1.7

1.7

14

4.8

ISTP

0.7

0.7

1.4

0.7

10

3.4

75

25.5

74

25.2

76

25.9

69

23.5

294

100.0

Overall

Outcome
E = Extroversion
I = Introversion
S = Sensing
N = iNtuition
T = Thinking
F = Feeling
J = Judging
P = Perceiving

df = 45

X2 = 39.652

119

p = 0.697

Table 3.18. Frequency Distributions and Chi-square between Students' Work Status and
Personality Types of Hospitality Undergraduate Students.
Full-Time Job
Personality
_
-^
Type

Overall

No Job

Part-Time Job

ENFJ

12

4.1

11

3.7

12

4.1

35

11.9

ENFP

2.7

13

4.4

14

4.8

35

11.9

ENTJ

1.7

1.4

1.0

12

4.1

ENTP

1.0

0.0

1.7

2.7

ESFJ

10

3.4

25

8.5

17

5.8

52

17.7

ESFP

1.4

10

3.4

12

4.1

26

8.8

ESTJ

11

3.7

13

4.4

14

4.8

38

12.9

ESTP

1.0

2.4

2.0

16

5.4

INFJ

0.7

0.3

0.7

1.7

fNFP

0.0

3.1

1.7

14

4.8

INTJ

1.0

0.3

0.3

1.7

INTP

0.3

0.7

0.0

ISFJ

1.4

1.4

1.0

11

3.7

ISFP

1.0

2.0

0.3

10

3.4

ISTJ

1.4

2.0

1.4

14

4.8

ISTP

1.0

1.7

0.7

10

3.4

76

25.9

117

39.8

101

34.4

294

100

Overall

Outcome
E = Extroversion
1 = Introversion
S = Sensing
N = iNtuition
T = Thinking
F = Feeling
J = Judging
P = Perceiving

df=30

X2 = 30.013

120

p = .465

Leaming Style and Personalitv Type


In this study, there were significant differences in four leaming styles of all
hospitality undergraduate students based on 16 personality types (see Table 3.19).
However, for tiie purpose of further analysis, each subject was re-classified according to
the subject's scores on each tiie four dimensions of the PSL
As shown in Tables 3.20, 3.21, 3.22, and 3.23, hospitality undergraduate students'
responses in tiiis research showed statistically significant relationships between students'
four leaming styles and Exti-oversion-hitroversion dimension; x2 (3, N = 294) = 18.540,
p < 0.000, and Thinking-Feeling dimension; x2 (3, N = 294) = 11.991, /? < 0.007, of
personality types, however, there were no significant differences in regard to four
leaming styles of Kolb's LSI on Sensing-iNtuition dimension; x2 (3, N = 294) = 1.190, p
< 0.617. and Judging-Perceiving dimension; x2 (3. N = 294) = 4.363. p < 0.225, of
personality types of hospitality undergraduate students (see Table 3.21 and Table 3.23).
However, using proportion analysis for further analysis in Table 3.20 to Table 3.23. the
results found that there were several significant differences in the leaming styles between
the subjects' pair dimensions.

121

Table 3.19. Chi-square Comparison of Leaming Styles by Personality Types of


Hospitality Undergraduate Students.
Personality
Type

Leaming Style
1

\ccommodator

Converger

Assimilator

Diverger

ENFJ

35

12

16

ENFP

35

18

ENTJ

12

ENTP

ESFJ

52

14

24

ESFP

26

10

11

ESTJ

38

10

14

ESTP

16

LNFJ

LNFP

14

LNTJ

INTP

ISFJ

11

ISFP

10

ISTJ

14

ISTP

10

294

45

95

101

53

15.3
% 100.0
Nore:x2 = 73.941 ,df = 45,p-- = 0.004
E = Extroversion
I = Introversion
S = Sensing
N = iNtuition
T = Thinking
F = Feeling
J = Judging
P = Perceiving

32.3

34.4

18.0

n
Overall

122

Table 3.20. Exti-oversion-lnti-oversion Dimension Personality Types and Leaming Styles


Frequency Distiibution of Hospitality Undergraduate Students.
Extroversion-Introversion Dimension

Leaming Style

Extroversion

Introversion

Overall

z-score

P<

Accommodator

34

11.6

11

3.7

45

4.85

0.000

Assimilator

66

22.4

29

9.9

95

5.37

0.000

Converger

90

30.6

11

3.7

101

11.12

0.000

Diverger

32

10.9

21

7.1

53

2.14

0.033

Overall

222

75.5

72

24.5

294

12.37

0.000

Note: x2= 18.54, df= 3, p = 0.000


Table 3.21. Sensing-iNtuition Dimension Personality Types and Leaming Styles
Frequency Distribution of Hospitality Undergraduate Students.
Sensing--iNtuition Dimension
iNtuitior 1

Sensing
Leaming Style

Overall

z-score

Accommodator

30

10.2

15

5.1

45

3.16

0.002

Assimilator

56

19.0

39

13.3

95

2.47

0.014

Converger

57

19.4

44

15.0

101

1.83

0.067

Diverger

34

11.6

19

6.5

53

2.91

0.004

177

60.2

117

39.8

294

4.95

0.000

Overall

Note: x2= 1.790, df= 3, p = 0.617

123

Table 3.22. Thinking-Feeling Dimension Personality Types and Leaming Styles


Frequency Distiibution of Hospitality Undergraduate Students.
Thinking-Feeling Dimension
Thinking
Leaming Style

Feeling

Overall
%

z-score

.\ccommodator

22

7.5

23

7.8

45

-0.21

0.833

Assimilator

32

10.9

63

21.4

95

-4.50

0.000

Converger

26

8.8

75

25.5

101

-6.90

0.000

Diverger

26

8.8

27

9.2

53

-0.19

0.846

106

36.1

188

63.9

294

-6.76

0.000

Overall

Note: x 2 = 11.991. df= 3, p = 0.007


Table 3.23. Judging-Perceiving Dimension Personality Types and Leaming Styles
Frequency Distribution of Hospitality Undergraduate Students.
Judging-Perceiving Dimension
Percei ving

Judging
Leaming Style

Overall

z-score

Accommodator

26

8.8

19

6.5

45

1.48

0.140

Assimilator

48

16.3

47

16.0

95

0.15

0.885

Converger

63

21.4

38

12.9

101

3.52

0.000

Diverger

35

11.9

18

6.1

53

3.30

0.001

172

58.5

122

41.5

294

4.12

0.000

Overall

Note: x2 = 4.363, df = 3, p = 0.225

124

Conclusion
The first hypotiiesis, related to leaming styles, stated that there were no significant
differences in leaming styles of hospitality undergraduate students based on gender,
academic classification, and work status. This hypotiiesis was supported by the data (see
Table 3.24).
The second hypotiiesis related to personality types stated that there were
significant differences in personality types based on male and female hospitality
undergraduate students; this statement was supported by the data. The second hypothesis
also stated that tiiere were no significant differences in personality types of hospitality
undergraduate students based on academic classification and work status; this statement
was supported by tiie data (see Table 3.25).
Also, there appeared to be support in the data for the third hypothesis, which
stated that there were statistically significant differences between four leaming styles and
16 personality types. However, there were significant differences in four leaming styles
of hospitality undergraduate students based on Extroversion and Introversion (E-I)
dimension. Thinking and Feeling (T-F) dimension, and the 16 categories of the
personality types; these differences appeared to be due to differences within groups rather
than differences between groups. Otherwise, there were no significant differences in the
four leaming styles of hospitality undergraduate students based on Sensing and iNtuition
(S-N) dimension and Judging and Perceiving (J-P) dimension of personality types (see
Table 3.26).

125

Table 3.24. Summar> of Hypothesis 1.


Hypothesis 1.

There were no significant differences in learning styles of hospitality


undergraduate students ba.sed on the following background variables:

Gender

Failed to Reject

.Academic Classification

Failed to Reject

Work Status

Failed to Reject

Table 3 2."^. Summar\ of Hypothesis II.


Hypothesis II.

There were no significant differences in personality types of hospitality


undergraduate students ba.sed on the following background variables:

Gender

Rejected

Academic Classification

Failed to Reject

Work Status

Failed to Reject

126

Table 3.26. Summary of Hypothesis III.


Hypothesis III. There were no significant differences in leaming styles of hospitality
undergraduate students based on four personality dimensions and 16
personality types:

Extroversion-Introversion Dimension

Rejected

Sensing-iNtuition Dimension

Failed to Reject

Thinking-Feeling Dimension

Rejected

Judging-Perceiving Dimension

Failed to Reject

16 Personality Types

Rejected

127

Discussion and Implication


Several researchers found that individuals in the U.S. tend to enter academic and
vocational fields tiiat were consistent with tiieir own leaming styles (Canfield, 1988;
Kolb, 1976; Moody, 1989; Myers & McCaulley. 1985a). The United States hospitality
programs have successfully educated hospitality managers since tiie 1920's. Hospitality
managers have different personality traits from those of managers in general (Stone,
1988).
Stuart (1992) highlighted several factors that have an impact on how effectively
individuals can leam. These factors include age or generation, education, culture,
language fluency, level and types of intelligence, leaming environment, beliefs and
attitudes, leamed strategies, and source of motivation, as well as leaming style and
personality.
Kolb (1976) stated that validity studies correlated the Kolb's Leaming Style
Inventory (LSI) and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI assesses
psychological types based on extroversion/introversion, sensing/intuition,
tiunking/feeling, and judging/perceiving. Botii the MBTI and tiie LSI were developed
from Jung's theory, which is a psychological personality type tiieory used to explain
some of the apparently random differences in people's behavior. Kolb's studies indicated
the strongest and most consistent relationships were between concrete/abstract on the LSI
and feeling/thinking on the MBTI and between active/reflective on the LSI and
extrovert/introvert on the MBTI.

128

However, the reliability coefficients of Personal Style Inventory (Cronbach's


alpha ranged from .56 to .63) in tiiis study were lower than MBTI. There are probably
se\ eral reasons for tiiis difference in results. One major reason may be that the PSl is a
short instiniment. compared to tiie total items of tiie MBTI. The reliability coefficients for
Kolb's Leaming Style Inventory (LSI) ranged from .71 to .76.
To date there have been few research studies that address the basic question of
what kind of personality types and leaming styles hospitality undergraduate students have.
This study attempted to answer the question of what distinguishes hospitality
undergraduate students by examining: (1) leaming style and (2) personality type.
Furthermore, the study looked at how gender, academic classification, and work status
differences might play a role in the differences among hospitality undergraduate students.
In short, the identification of leaming style preferences and personality types is
one approach toward helping students leam proficiently and understand themselves more
completely. When this information about the leaming styles and personality types is
available to educators, educators will be able to adjust their course activities and
materials to be more suitable to their students. Educators will be able to provide more
productive and more effective leaming processes. Educators and students will have better
communication within tiieir teaching and leaming reciprocal relationships; these
relationships may be enhanced through comprehensible communication.

129

Leaming Stvle
h has been implied by certain hospitality professionals that hospitality students in
tiie United States have unique leaming styles (Hsu, 1999). Although there have been a
limited number of studies done on tiie leaming styles of hospitality students in the United
States, tiiere have been no studies completed conceming whether hospitality
undergraduate students leam any differently in terms of gender, academic classification,
and work status. This study also attempted to identify the leaming style preferences of
hospitality undergraduate students using Kolb's Leaming Style Inventory (LSI).
Knowing the leaming style of a particular hospitality student or group can be
useful to educators when they are selecting a compatible method of leaming, since
hospitality education is essentially a leaming experience in which an individual is taught
to handle complex situations in the real world. For an educator and a hospitality
administrator, knowing the leaming style of a particular hospitality student, employee or
group can be beneficial in enhancing teaching, selecting and designing hospitality
cuiricula.
The results of this study indicated that gender, academic classification and the
work status of the hospitality undergraduate students do not have significant impacts on
the leaming style preferences of the hospitality undergraduate students. However, it
would be interesting to compare or to track the same hospitality undergraduate student's
leaming style throughout different levels of academic classifications to see whether the
student's leaming style changes along with the student's growth during the enrollment in
a hospitality program.

130

Personalitv Type
This study attempted to identify and compare hospitality students' personality
types witii regard to tiieir demographic information using the Personal Style Inventory
(PSl), which is developed based on tiie Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). This study
identified tiie personality types of tiie hospitality undergraduate students in this particular
program.
Results of tills study showed that academic classification and work status of
hospitality undergraduate students did not influence their personality types. However, tiie
data did support that gender of hospitality undergraduate students was a factor related to
personality types.

Conclusion
The use of knowledge of leaming style and personality type to help create an
effective education environment is one strategy from which educators and administrators
can benefit. In contrast, educators who do not know how their students leam and
recognize the students' personality traits will find it difficult to teach effectively. College
professors normally engage in teaching-and-talking, questioning, and student
presentations; they also typically use small-group strategies such as case study,
cooperative leaming and simulations. These educators may appreciate guidelines for
using a leaming styles approach in implementing their curricula.
These findings linking leaming styles and personality types should be useful for
hospitality students, educators, and administrators. Hospitality programs should try to

131

establish a unique and professional educational environment to better help students


achieve tiieir educational goals. Educators and administrators should increase their
awareness of personality types and leaming style preferences, which have been suggested
by researchers to be possible factors in improving students' academic achievement.
Knowledge about leaming styles and personality types is a new fundamental tool
available for educators; this tool can provide more thoughtful and deeper understanding
of students than has been previously explored.

Future Research
This study has provided an exploration of leaming styles and personality types of
hospitality undergraduate students. There is clearly a need for further research for
hospitality students, educators, and administrators. The following areas are suggested:
1.

Conduct research to identify and compare leaming style and personality


type between hospitality educators and hospitality students.

2.

Consider research to identify students' leaming style and personality type


using the idea of leaming environment and their academic achievement.

3.

Further explore the aspect of students' background differences related to


leaming styles and personality types.

4.

Further investigate parents' and industry's expectations compared to


students' personality and leaming style preferences.

5.

hiclude other personality variables (e.g., critical thinking, motivation, and


attitude) to identify relationships with leaming styles.

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CHAPTER IV
A COMPARISON OF LEARNING STYLE AND PERSONALITY TYPE
PROFILES OF HOSPITALITY UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
IN TAIWAN AND THE UNITED STATES

Abstract
The purpose of this study was to compare leaming style and personality type
profiles of hospitality undergraduate students in Taiwan and the United States (U.S.).
This was the first investigation of Taiwanese hospitality students conceming their
leaming styles and personality type profiles. Four hundred and ninety-seven (497)
Taiwanese hospitality students from two major universities in May 2002 and 294
American hospitality students from a hospitality program in fall semester of 2002
completed a questionnaire, which included demographic information, Kolb's Leaming
Style Inventory (LSI), and Personal Style Inventory (PSl).
Frequencies were tabulated to report the distribution of personality types and
leaming styles of hospitality students in Taiwan and the U.S. in relation to the
demographic information.
Results showed that the Taiwanese and the U.S. respondents reported stronger
tendencies on exu-oversion (E), sensing (S), feeling (F), and judging (J) scores with
respect to tiieir cortesponding ti-aits. However, the leaming styles of hospitality students
from these two countries showed slight differences with the Taiwanese hospitality
students having more Assimilators (42.7% vs. 32.3%; z = 9.44. p < .000) and fewer

133

Accommodators (5.6% vs. 15.3%; : = -2.81, p < .005) than their U.S. counterparts. The
research suggested tiiat more students in Taiwan who prefer to be Assimilators might be
tiie result of Taiwan's test-oriented education system.
This study illustiated a cross-cultural comparison. Understanding hospitality
students' leaming styles and personality types can help administrators and educators
design effective curricula and lesson plans to better prepare their students for the highly
competitive hospitality career market. Compared to most countries, the United States'
hospitality programs are more mature and progressive. When other countries' hospitality
programs try to engage in or to transfer program development and curricula from the
United States into their own uses, they need to aware of the differences in culture,
educational system, and students. Results found in this study may be used as a benchmark
for Taiwanese educators who want to design, transfer, and revise their programs and
curricula according to the U.S. experiences.
Keywords: Leaming style; Personality type; Leaming Style Inventory; Personal Style
Inventory; Hospitality education

134

Introduction
Stuart (1992) highlighted several factors that have an impact on how effectively
individuals can leam. These factors include age or generation, education, culture,
language fluency, level and types of intelligence, leaming environment, beliefs and
altitudes, leamed sti-ategies. and source of motivation, as well as leaming style and
personality. Some researchers suggested that understanding students leaming style
preferences in accordance with personality types can help educators plan for activities
tiiat take advantage of tiieir natural skills and inclinations (Geary & Sims, 1995; Sims &
Sims. 1995). However. leaming preferences and personality types of students may differ
significantiy across cultures and for different historical periods.
The first American four-year hospitality management program, the Hotel School
at Comell University, was established in 1922 (Barrows. 1999). Hospitality programs in
the U.S. have educated hospitality professionals and managers since then. Hospitality
students and managers were identified as having unique leaming styles and different
personality traits (Berger. 1983; Bagdan & Boger. 2000; Hsu. 1999; Hsu, Smith, &
Finley. 1991; Stone. 1988). Graves (1996, p. 109) found tiiat tiie personalityti-aitsof
successful managers were "energetic, sociable, trustworthy, friendly, stable, disciplined,
confident, and objective"; he further stated tiiat energy and tinistworthiness were most
important among all the personality traits.
Unfortunately, no research was found leaming style preferences and personality
types of hospitality undergraduate students in Taiwan. The most common leaming styles

135

and personality types of students in tiie U.S. hospitality programs may not be the same as
tiiose of students in different cultures and educational systems.

The Foundations of Experiential Leaming


Leaming is a lifelong process. Students leam from different sources, such as
leaming, working, and experiencing (Kolb, 1984). Theories have been developed,
explored, and commented upon regarding how individuals leam since the days of ancient
Greek philosophers. Educational researchers and philosophers alike have posed numerous
explanations on how new information is assimilated (Dewey, 1916).
John Dewey implicated the value of hand-on leaming experiences and identified
experiences as an important element of leaming (Dewey. 1916) and Jean Piaget
introduced leaming in terms of leaps through developmental stages (Piaget, 1966). Kurt
Lewin advanced experiential leaming via his pioneer work in the psychology field
(Marrow. 1969). Regarding personality theory. Carl G. Jung emphasized variations in
personal behavior through psychological types (Jung. 1971).
The philosophies of John Dewey. Kurt Lewin, and Jean Piaget inspired that
David Kolb began to explore the implications of his experiential leaming theory and to
experiment with techniques of leaming from experience since the early 1960s (Kolb,
1984). Experiential leaming theory is also primary attributed to the psychology work of
Carl G. Jung (Kolb, 1984).
Kolb's experiential leaming theory is based on his understanding of how
individuals extrapolate from their experiences in an attempt to generate concepts, rules.

136

and principles tiiat guide tiieir behaviors in new situations, and then how they modify
tiiese concepts, mies, and principles to improve their effectiveness (Geary & Sims, 1995).
Kolb's Leaming Style Inventory (LSI), which was first published in 1976, has been used
extensively in both academic and professional settings to identify the leaming style
preferences of different groups (Kolb, 2000).

Kolb's Experiential Leaming Model


Based on Kolb's Exjieriential Leaming Theory (Kolb, 1984), individuals leam
from their immediate experiences, as well as from concepts and books. Leaming also
happens everywhere and in all human settings. Leaming is the method people use to
adapt to and cope with their worid; it keeps them busy through life in every stage of age
(Kolb, 2000).
The Experiential Leaming Model is a description of the leaming cycle-how
experiences are translated into concepts, which, in tum, can be used as guides in the
choice of new experiences. This cycle consists of the following four stages:

People leam through immediate or concrete experience.

This concrete experience is the basis for observations and reflections.

These observations and reflections are assimilated and distilled into a


theory or concept, however informal, from which new implications for
action can be drawn.

These implications can be tested and serve as guides in creating new


experiences. (Kolb, 2000, p. 1)

137

Kolb (2000) postulated that while individuals learn all the time, all people do not
leam in the same way because leaming is base on a unique set of personal experiences.
People probably develop a preferred style of leaming, which is simply the way that they
prefer to understand and incorporate new information (Kolb, 2000). Leaming style not
only can affect tiie way individuals solve problems, make decisions, and develop and
change tiieir attitudes and behavior, but also can determine the career in which an
individual will find tiie most comfortable fit (Kolb, 2000).
Kolb's (1984) experiential leaming theory postulates the existence of four
leaming modes that combine to form two leaming dimensions-concrete/abstract and
active/reflective. These two main dimensions correspond to two different ways tiiat
individuals leam: how people perceive new information or experience, and how
individuals process what they perceive. It is theorized tiiat almost every individual
utilizes each leaming mode to some extent, but has a preferred leaming style resulting
from the tendency to either leam tiirough Concrete Experience (CE) or through the
constmction of theoretical frameworks (Abstract Conceptualization-AC) combined with
the tendency to either leam through Active Experimentation (AE) or through reflection
(Reflective Observation-RO).
These four leaming preferences are described by Kolb (1984, 1993) as Divergent
(CE/RO), Assimilative (RO/AC), Convergent (AC/AE), and Accommodative (AE/CE).
He further proposed that tiie dominate leaming styles are recorded to personality
characteristics, and are relatively stable over time; however, Kolb (1985) also stated that
individual's leaming styles are influenced by long- or short-term situational factors and

138

by levels of maturity. The characteristics of tiiese four leaming styles are described as
follows:

The Divergent Leaming Style. Leamers who perceive or take in


information concretely and process or transform it reflectively are known
as Divergers. The leamer of tiiis type combines the leaming stages of
concrete experience and reflective observation. Divergers are so named
because of their imagination, and their ability to perform best in situations
calling for the generation of many altemative (divergent) ideas and
implications. The person oriented toward Divergence is often known as a
"people person" because she or he is interested in people, and tends to be
feeling-oriented.

The Assimilative Leaming Style. Leamers who perceive or take in new


information abstractly and process or transform it reflectively are known
as Assimilators for their ability to assimilate disparate observations into an
integrated, rational explanation. Assimilators emphasize the leaming
stages of abstract conceptualization and reflective observation. Leamers of
this style excel at inductive reasoning and the creation of models and
theories, and are goal setters and systematic planners.

The Convergent Leaming Style. Leamers who perceive or take in new


information abstractiy and process or transform it actively are known as
Convergers for their ability to use hypothetical-deductive reasoning to
arrive at a single best solution to a question or problem. Leamers of this

139

style emphasize absti-act experience and active experimentation.


Convergent leamers' great sti-engtii lies in their ability in decision making,
problem solving and in finding practical uses for theories.

The Accommodative Leaming Style. Leamers who perceive or take in


new information concretely and who process or transform it actively are
known as Accommodators for their ability to adapt to changing immediate
circumstances. Accommodators combine the leaming stages of concrete
experience and active experimentation. Leamers of this type enjoy doing,
carrying out plans and tasks, and getting involved in new experiences.
(Kolb, 2000, p. 6)

Kolb's (1981, 1984) acknowledgment and demonsti-ation of the influence of longterm environment and/or short-term situational factors upon leaming mode not only
implies that professional or academic demands may temporarily affect, or permanently
alter, leaming style preferences, but also that any individuals will respond to the demands
of different leaming contexts by utilizing, to differing degrees as perceived to be
appropriate, concrete, abstract, active or reflective leaming strategies.
In light of this, it is important to note that although the Leaming Style Inventory
(Kolb, 1985) assesses both leaming style preference and tiie relative strength of
preference for each leaming mode, by requiring the ranking or 48 short sentences about
leaming (comprising twelve sets of four response altematives-LSI II), the inventory does
not specify a particular leaming context. Thus, the responses of a given individual when
focusing upon leaming preferences related to acquiring driving skills might be quite

140

different firom the responses recorded when focusing upon the study of English Literature
m an academic context. Similarly, a computer scientist with a general preference for a
divergent leaming style (CE/RO) might record a preference for a convergent leaming
style (AC/AE) if. at tiie time of taking tiie test, tiie respondent is asked to focus upon
leaming in tiie context of a computer science course.

Kolb's Leaming Stvle Inventory


Kolb (1984) developed his tiieory of leaming by drawing on works of Dewey,
Lewin, and Piaget. Kolb studied the relationship between leaming and experience and
determined that each individual's leaming style is a result of a combination of heredity,
past life experiences, and demands of the present environment. He described leaming as a
four-step process or a cycle of leaming. Leamers must first involve themselves in the
experience and then reflect on the experience from different perspectives. These
reflections result in the creation of generalizations about the experiences and the
integration of them into theories and models, which are then used to test new situations
(Kolb, 1984).
Kolb developed the Leaming Style Inventory (LSI) as a self-administered, forcechoice instmment for determining which of the four combinations best reflects an
individual's preference for assimilating and process new information. According to Kolb,
each individual relies primarily on one of four basic leaming styles as defined by the
chart: diverging, assimilating, converging, or accommodating.

141

Kolb (1976) admitted to problems in test-retest reliability with the original


instiiiment. Generally accepted reliability measures such as test-retest and split-half are
appropriate techniques in measurement of psychological traits that are relatively
permanent. These procedures presented difficulties witii tiie LSI. The leaming modes
assessed by the LSI are theoretically interdependent, i.e., any response to an item on the
instmment will affect, in varying degrees, scores in all four leaming modes. The leaming
modes are also variable, i.e., tiie individual's interpretation of the situation will influence
to some degree the response given to any item (Kolb, 1976).
The LSI was revised in 1985; six items of the original version were combined
with six new items. Kolb (1986) reported that four basic scales and two combination
scores all showed very good intemal reliability as measured by Cronbach's alpha (n =
268); the combination scores indicated almost perfect additivity (1.0) as measured by
Tukeys test.
Validity studies correlated the LSI with a number of personality tests (e.g. the
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Thematic Apperception Test) and performance
tests (e.g. Law School Aptitude Test (LSAT), tiie Wunderlic Aptitude Test, and the
Remote Associates Test) (Kolb, 1986). The MBTI assesses psychological types based on
exti-oversion/introversion, sensation/intuition, thinking/feeling, and judging/perceiving.
Kolb's studies indicated tiie sti-ongest and most consistent relationships were between
concrete/abstract on the LSI and feeling/thinking on the MBTI and between
active/reflective on the LSI and extrovert/introvert on the MBTI. Con-elations between

142

tiie LSI and tiie LSAT showed a positive relationship between abstract/active and high
performance on tiie LSAT (Kolb, 1976).
Kolb's LSI was used as the instiniment to investigate similarities in individuals
based on college major. In tiie earlier college major studies, Kolb's LSI was administered
to several groups of college students. Results showed business majors tended to be
Accommodators; engineers usually were Convergers; history, English, political science
and psychology majors were Divergers; and mathematics, economics, sociology, and
chemistiy majors were Assimilators. Physics majors were usually between tiie
Assimilator and Converger quadrants (Kolb, 1976, 1984).

Leaming Style Studies


A large number of leaming style studies have been conducted since the 1960s.
There are over one thousand research articles about leaming styles. Although years have
passed since some of the studies were completed, the results and discussions of those
studies are still accurate and relevant. Kolb (1984) and Smith and Kolb (1986) found that
women tended to prefer concrete experience leaming styles, whereas men were more
likely to opt for abstract conceptualization modes of leaming. Vemon-Gerstenfeld (1989)
found that women were slightiy more reflective in their leaming styles than men. In a
study conducted by Prosser-Gelwick (1985), more women appeared to be concrete
leamers; men appeared to be abstract leamers. A meta-analysis of 26 previous studies
revealed slightly lower scores for women on the abstract conceptualization scale. Men

143

were more likely than women to start the learning process with abstract concepts
(Severiens & Ten Dam, 1994).
Several studies have explored tiie use of a variety of instmctional strategies, based
on college students' leaming style preferences, to increase retention. Nelson, Dunn,
Griggs, Primavera, Fitzpatiic, and Miller (1993) reported significantiy higher overall
grade point averages when tiie instinictional strategies were congment, rather than
incongment. Clark-Thayer (1987) found that higher achievement related to students'
leaming styles across subject matter.
Additional studies also found tiiat students studying in leaming situations that
matched their leaming styles and preferences had higher achievement (Kolb, 1984; Dunn,
Beaudey, & Klavas, 1989), gained greater satisfaction from the course (Kolb, 1984),
performed better on problem-solving measures and needed less time to leam outside of
classes (Katz. 1990). Armstrong (1981). Lockhard and Schmeck (1983), and Murray
(1984) found that students tended to positively evaluate teachers who taught them
according to the student's leaming styles. Although these results are far from conclusive,
they clearly indicate that individual leaming styles and preferences are important factors
that should be taken into account in designing effective instinictional sti-ategies for
students (Fung et al., 1993).
Several studies suggested that individuals tended to enter academic and vocational
fields that were consistent witii their own leaming styles (Canfield, 1988; Kolb, 1976;
Moody, 1989; Myers & McCaulley, 1985a). According to Kolb (1981, 1984), leaming
style develops as a consequence of hereditary factors, previous life experiences, and

144

demands of tiie present environment. Although a leaming style is relatively stable,


qualitative changes result from maturation and environmental stimuli (Comett, 1983).
Berger (1983) showed tiiat most hospitality students in the U.S. were Divergers
(33%) and Accommodators (29%) and most hospitality professors were Convergers
(42%). Hsu et al. (1991) reported that 78% of unit-level and 76% of district-level
restaurant managers in tiie U.S. were Convergers.

Jung's Personality Theory


One of most important personality theories is Psychological Types developed by
Carl Jung (1875-1961) that is intended to explain some apparently random differences in
individual's behavior (Jung, 1971). Jung (1923) found predictable and differing pattems
of normal behavior from his observations of clients and others. His theory of
Psychological Type recognizes the existence of these pattems or types and provides an
explanation of how types develop.
According to Jung's theory (1923), predictable differences in individuals are
caused by differences in the way people prefer to use their minds. The core idea is that
when your mind is active you are involved in one of two mental activities: (I) Taking in
information. Perceiving; (2) Organizing that information and coming to conclusions,
Judging.
Jung observed that there are two opposite ways to perceive, which he called
Sensing and Intuition, and two opposite ways to judge. Thinking and Feeling. Everyone
uses these four essential processes daily in both the extemal worid and intemal worid.

145

Jung called tiie extemal worid of people, things, and experience. Extroversion; and the
intemal worid of inner processes and reflections. Introversion. These four basic processes
used in the extemal and intemal worids give an individual eight ways of using one's mind
(Jung. 1923).
Jung (1923) believed everyone has a natural preference for using one kind of
perceiving and one kind of judging. He also observed that a person is drawn toward eitiier
the extemal world or the intemal worid. As an individuals exercise their preferences, they
develop distinct perspectives and approaches to life and human interaction.

Personalitv Type
In 1942, Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, studied
and elaborated on Carl G. Jung's work and developed tiie Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
(MBTI) (Myers. 1993). The MBTI is a self-reporting questionnaire designed to identify
and make psychological types understandable.
Although the MBTI is widely used, the developers are cautious about how the
MBTI is used. They suggested that the results must to be interpreted by an institutional
certified psychological professional and are useful in identifying individual strengths and
unique talents. These cautions recognize the possibility of misinterpreting results and
tiierefore making assumptions about individuals and labeling them (Myers, 1993)
Individuals are categorized into one of sixteen personality profiles, which
characterize an individual's preferences in two major categories of Perceiving (taking in
information) or Judging (organizing information) characteristics. The variations in what

146

you prefer, use. and develop lead to fundamental differences between people. The
resulting predictable pattems of behavior form psychological types (Myers, 1993).
Based on tiie tiieory of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator instrument, Hogan and
Champagne developed tiie Personal Style Inventory (PSl) in 1979. hi essence, this is a
simplified variation of tiie MBTI instmment. The purpose of tiie PSl is to provide a
simple instiniment for knowing the shape of one's preferences, but that shape, while
different from tiie shapes of other persons' personalities, has notiiing to do with mental
healtii or mental problems (Hogan & Champagne, 1979).

Hospitality Programs in Taiwanese Higher Education


The first hospitality program in Taiwan at the university level was established in
1968 and only two four-year degree granting hospitality programs operated until 1990.
However, the number of programs mushroomed from 1990 and became a distinct
educational activity for higher education (R.O.C. Tourism Bureau, 2002). Because of
economy, social and educational system changes, and the demand of the hospitality
industry, four-year degree granting hospitality programs increased from two to 35
programs since 1990 (R.O.C. Ministry of Education, 2002a).
Before the year 2002, undergraduate students were admitted to institutions mainly
through the outcomes of a highly competitive national standardized examination, the
University Joint Entrance Examination Program (UJEEP). The exam tests three core
disciplines: Chinese Literature, English, Mathematics, and Dr. Sun Yi-Sen philosophy
(Social study), and two elective fields: Natural Sciences (Physics Chemistry, and/or

147

Biology), or tiie Liberal Arts (Geography and History). Over 100,000 high school
graduates have taken the UJEE every year since 1985 (R.O.C. Ministry of Education,
2002b).
The registi-ation process of the UJEE required each test attendee to fill out an
Intention of Study Field (ISF) form to match the student's aptitude, interest, and career
goal witii academic program. The lengtiiy ISF form lists all the academic programs
offered by the universities and colleges. Each program admits students who have met
their academic standards (UJEE scores) and who have selected the academic program as
one of tiie study intentions (R.O.C. Ministry of Education, 2002b).
Theoreticdly. each student can apply for the program suitable for the individual's
career goals; nevertheless, the admission rate has been low and the program admission
standards place more emphasis on students' UJEE outcomes than their career goals. In
order to increase the odds of having the opportunity to pursue postsecondary education,
students tended to fill out all the programs listed on the ISF form (R.O.C. Ministry of
Education. 2002b).
This practice disregarded the consideration of students' personality preferences
and career goals in tiie selection process. At tiie same time, to effectively prepare for the
UJEE exam, students in Taiwan tended to develop a specific leaming style early in their
high school years tiiat could align them with the rigorous UJEE exam thereby increasing
tiie opportunity of being admitted to tiie top ranked universities and programs (R.O.C.
Ministry of Education, 2002b).

148

As a consequence of tiie UJEE oriented high school education, hospitality


students have limited exposure to the nature of the hospitality industry before they are
admitted to tiie higher education program. After being admitted to the program, students
who begin tiieir studies tiie same year usually enroll in the same classes until graduation
(R.O.C. Ministry of Education, 2002a).

Hospitality Programs in the U.S. Higher Education


The higher education system in the United States has two types of institutions for
hospitality management programs: (1) eight hundred community colleges that offer
hospitality management programs with associate degrees, certificates, or diplomas; and (2)
170 universities and colleges that offer a four-year undergraduate degree and 40
programs that offer graduate degrees in hospitality management (Riegel & Dallas, 1999).
According to Barrows (1999), the first four-year hospitality management program
was established by Comell University in 1922, and the first two-year hospitality
management program was established at the City College of San Francisco in 1935. In
tiie 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, a sudden increase in the number of hospitality programs
was influenced by the terrific growtii of tiie hospitality industry, which increased the need
for hospitality professionals and managers. As tiie industi7 grew and matured, and
became more specialized, tiie need for an educated workforce has intensified. The
increasing complexity of mnning a business requires staff with greater academic
preparation than had been necessary in the past (Bartows, 1999).

149

Generally, admission to hospitality programs in the U.S. involves the same


selection criteria as for undergraduate programs in otiier majors, with the exact standards
and documents required. However, tiiis varies widely from university to university.
Secondary-level grades, work experience and exti-acurricular activities, an admissions
essay, and standardized test scores, which includes eitiier American College Testing
Program (ACT) or Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and Test of English as a Foreign
Language (TOEFL) for students from non-English-speaking countries, are among the
factors most likely to be considered (Hutton, 1997).
According to Hutton (1997), a four-year U.S. hospitality college education
combines career education with a basis in the business disciplines and liberal arts.
Undergraduate students should complete two years of foundation courses, with liberal
arts and business management studies combined with introductory courses in hospitality
areas. Other areas and skills outside the major that may be required and are of particular
use to hospitality professionals include people skills, communication skills, computer
knowledge, foreign languages, mathematics, speech, statistics, and practical ethics (Hsu.
2002; Hutton. 1997).
Hutton (1997) stated that some hospitality programs include direct study in the
hospitality undergraduate student's major. Some undergraduate programs allow time for
career-oriented specialization in which lectures are combined with hands-on hospitality
work on-campus. analysis of case studies, and experiential off-campus training. In some
hospitality programs, students may be able to eam specific concentrations in hospitality
areas, such as hotel and motel management, restaurant and institutional

150

operation/management, ti-avel and tourism, sales and marketing, group and convention
sales, facility design, and human resources management (Hutton, 1997; Walker, 2002).
Since tiie 1920s, tiie hospitality programs in tiie U.S. have successfully educated
hospitality professionals and managers. According to several researchers, hospitality
students and managers have unique leaming styles and different personality traits (Berger,
1983; Bagdan & Boger, 2000; Hsu, 1999; Hsu, Smitii, & Finley, 1991; Stone, 1988).

Objectives of the Study


Compared with hospitality programs in Taiwan, the United States' hospitality
programs are mature and progressive based on the well-established hospitality program
tradition and history. In addition, U.S. students have more freedom in selecting their
majors. American students tend to select their majors based on their understandings of the
study fields and knowing whether it fits their personality types and leaming styles. On the
contrary, hospitality students in Taiwan tend to have their majors selected for them based
on the match of their University Joint Entrance Examination (UJEE) outcomes and
program admission standards and usually do not know tiie nature of tiie hospitality
careers.
It is hypothesized that the personality types and leaming styles distributions of the
hospitality students in Taiwan might differ from their U.S. counterparts. Therefore, the
objectives of this study were to identify the leaming style preferences and personality
type distributions of Taiwanese hospitality students and their American counterparts and
compare the two cohorts.

151

The hypotiieses of tiiis study were:


Hypothesis I.

There were no significant differences between Taiwan and the


United States' hospitality undergraduate students when
compared using the following demographic variables:

Hypothesis II.

A.

Gender,

B.

Age,

C.

Academic Classification,

D.

School Attendance,

E.

Work Status,

F.

Work Experience.

There were no significant differences between Taiwan and the


United States' hospitality undergraduate students when
compared using the following leaming stage, dimension, and
leaming style variables:
A.

Four Leaming Stages and Two Leaming Dimensions,

B.

Leaming Styles.

Hypothesis III. There were no significant differences between Taiwan and the
United States' hospitality undergraduate students when
compared using the following personality types' variables:
A.

Mean of Four Personality Dimensions,

152

B.

Exti-oversion/Inti-oversion (E-I) dimension,


Sensing/iNtuition (S-N) dimension, Thinking/Feeling (T-F)
dimension, and Judging/Perceiving (J-P) dimension,

C.

Personality Types.

Methodology
Samples and Sampling Procedures
The subjects of this study was comprised of 294 hospitality undergraduate
students enrolled in a hospitality program at a large, well-established Southwestern
university in the United States and 497 hospitality undergraduate students enrolled in two
hospitality programs in the compatible size universities in Taiwan in May 2002.
The samples were selected by non-probability sampling. In Taiwan, the
questionnaires were distributed to all the students who attending classes in both
universities since students admitted at the same time usually enrolled in the same class. In
the United States, students were selected from the required courses from freshman to
senior levels. A copy of the letter requesting participation in this study can be found in
Appendix H.

Research Instmment
The three-section questionnaire included demographic items (Appendix A),
Kolb's Leaming Style Inventory (LSI-II) (Appendix C), and the Personal Style Inventory

153

(PSl) (Appendix F). A copy of request for permission to use the LSI and approval letter is
located in Appiendix B.
The demographic section includes questions asking respondents' gender, age,
academic information, and work experiences. These questions were developed in order to
describe tiie respondents and to study tiie relationships between demographic variables
and students' leaming styles and/or personality types.
Kolb's LSI (1984) postulates the existence of four leaming modes that combine to
form two leaming dimensions - concrete/abstract and active/reflective. These two main
dimensions of the leaming process correspond to the two major ways that individuals
leam. The first dimension is how people perceive new information or experience, and the
second is how individuals process what they perceive.
According to Kolb (1993). the LSI consists of a twelve-sentence stem form with a
choice of four endings for each stem. Each ending describes a preference of leaming a
new idea. Concrete Experience (CE). Reflective Observation (RO), Abstract
Conceptualization (AC), and Active Experimentation (AE). Participants are asked to rank
the choice endings for 1 through 4 in a manner best describes the way they like to leam (1
= least likely, and 4 = most likely to be the way one likes to leam). Responses are added
together to constmct four scores to show the respondent's extent of each leaming
preference. Each leaming preference ranges from 12-48 and the total scores should be
120 points for the four leaming stages. These scores measure the emphasis a respondent
places on each stage of Kolb's leaming cycle. The four scores are then plotted onto a grid
to constmct the individual's leaming profile.

154

The four scores produced from tiie LSI are further used to create two leaming
dimension mean scores ranging from -(48 to -48 (Kolb, 1993). Each score is then plotted
onto tiie intersecting Leaming Style Type Grid (LTG). The two polar opposite axes of the
LTG are labeled AC-CE and AE-RO. These two axes represent the skills that Kolb's
belief to be tiie required skills for leaming. The first product of these two scores is
obtained by subti-acting the CE score from tiie AC (AC-CE) score. The product of ACCE is tiien plotted onto tiie vertical axis, which indicates the leaming style preference of
tiie individual in the concrete-abstract dimension. The second score is obtained by
subtracting tiie RO score from tiie AE score (AE-RO). The product is tiien plotted onto
the horizontal axis, which indicates one's leaming style preference in the active-reflective
dimension (See Appendix D for Kolb's Leaming Style Inventory scoring sheets).
Information from Kolb's LSI was used to determine mean stage scores, leaming
dimension scores, and a preferred leaming style for each respondent.
Hogan and Champagne (1979) noted that the Personal Style Inventory provides a
means of characterizing one's preferred leaming style with respect to four dimensions,
extroversion-introversion, sensing-intuition, thinking-feeling, and judging-perceiving.
Each dimension is present to some degree in all leamers. Additionally, the inventory is
designed to determine if individuals demonstrate a balance among the four dimensions or
if they have slight, definite, or considerable strengths and weaknesses in the dimensions
(Hogan & Champagne, 1979).
The Personal Style Inventory is a 20-item questionnaire (Jewler & Gardner, 1993).
Each question has two stems. The respondents were asked to allocate a total of 5 points

155

between tiie two stems based on their personal preferences from 0, (least likely to be the
way one likes to do) to 5 (most likely to be the way one likes to do). However, the total
scores of the two stems could not exceed 5.
The responding scores obtained from the PSl are added to constmct four 5question dimension scores. The combined score of each dimension should be 25. The
scores of each component (column) of the dimension ranged between 0 and 25 (see
Appendix G for scoring sheets for the Personal Style Inventory). The total scores in each
column indicate relative strengths and balances in the four dimensions (for example, E
and I is one dimension).
The meaning of the outcome of each dimension score is explained as:

Column scores of 12 or 13 suggest a balance in the two components of the


dimension.

Column scores of 14 or 15 suggest slight imbalance; the dimension


component with the higher score is slightly stronger than the other
component.

Column scores between 16 and 19 suggest a definite imbalance; tiie


dimension component witii the higher score is definitely stronger than the
other component.
Column scores between 20 and 25 suggest a considerable imbalance; tiie
dimension component with the higher score is considerably stronger than
the other component.

156

An individual's personality style type is identified by combining the four columns


witii scores of 14 or greater. Column scores of 12 or 13 reflect a balance between the two
characteristics (Jewler & Gardner, 1993, p. 54).

Pilot Test
According to Fink (1995), a pilot test of a survey should have ten or more
participants. In tiiis study, 12 hitemational students and scholars from Taiwan were asked
to test the demographic information, leaming style inventory, and personal style
inventory in both the English and Chinese versions. After completing the questions, they
were asked to comment on the accuracy of translation and clarity in language. The
feedback was used to revise the instmment.

Data Collection
The study was conducted in 4-year degree granting hospitality program in a
southwestern university in the United States in fall semester of 2002 and two compatible
size universities in Taiwan in May 2002.
The hospitality programs of the selected institutions were asked to include
identifying students' leaming styles and personality types using LSI-II and PSl
instmments in the teaching plans for at least one required course at the freshman,
sophomore, junior, and senior levels. In Taiwan, all students admitted at the same time
are enrolled in the same class; so, the entire class was surveyed at the same time with the
investigator on-site. In the United States, students tend to enroll in classes individually.

157

Therefore, tiie investigator surveyed the required classes of freshman, sophomore, junior,
and senior levels.

Data Analysis
Demographic Differences. Students' demographic proportion differences between
Taiwan and tiie U.S. were analyzed by chi-square analyses (Levine, Berenson, & Stephan,
1999. p. 692).
Reliability Coefficient Alpha. The reliability coefficient alphas of each dominate
leaming style constinict. which include Divergers (CE/RO). Assimilators (RO/AC),
Convergers (AC/AE). and Accommodators (AE/CE), and tiie dynamic personality
dimensions, which include, E-I, S-N, T-F, and J-P scales, were measured through the
Reliability Analysis procedure (George & Mallery, 2001).
Kolb Leaming Styles and Personality Types. Students' leaming styles were
determined by using scoring procedures described by the LSI-U (Kolb, 1993). In addition,
the f)ersonality tyf)es were determined using scoring procedures described by PSl (Hogan
& Champagne, 1979). Although the respondents responded to the question stems in
numerical rankings, the leaming style and personality type outcomes were categorical
variables.
Leaming Stages and Personal Dimensions. The differences of students' leaming
stages (CE, RO, AC, and AE), and leaming dimensions (AC-CE and AE-RO) between
Taiwan and the U.S. were determined by Analysis of Variances. Means were further
separated by the Tukey-Kramer procedures (Levine, Berenson, & Stephan, 1999, p. 616).

158

The personal dimension (E-I, S-N, T-F, and J-P dimensions) differences of
hospitality students between two countiies were analyzed by Analysis of Variances and
tiie means were separated by tiie Tukey-Kramer procedure (Levine, Berenson, & Stephan,
1999. p. 616).
Chi-squares Analyses. After students' leaming styles and personality types were
identified, contingency tables were constinicted to analyze the frequency and proportion
distiibutions of leaming styles and personality types between countries, demographic
variables, and tiie combinations both (Levine, Berenson, & Stephan, 1999, p. 692). If the
degrees of freedom of the contingency table analyses were greater tiian one, z-tests for
the difference between two proportions were conducted to locate the exact differences
(Levine, Berenson. & Stephan, 1999, p. 670).

Results
The Reliability Results of the Instmments
The reliability coefficients (alpha) of the LSI for each leaming constmct
[Concrete Experience (CE), Reflective Observation (RO), Abstract Conceptualization
(AC), and Active Experimentation (AE)] ranged from 0.68 to 0.75 (Table 4.1) and
reliability coefficients of the PSl for individual dimension scales [ExtroversionIntroversion (E+l), Sensing-iNtuition (S-i-N), Thinking-Feeling (T-i-F), and JudgingPerceiving (J+P)] ranged from .50 to .57 (Table 4.2).

159

Table 4.1.

The Reliability Coefficients of Leaming Mode for Kolb's Learning Style


Inventory.

Leaming
Mode

Concrete
'-""-tic
Experience
(Feeling)

Reflective
ivcuccuve
Observation
(Watching)

Abstract
Conceptualization
(Thinking)

Active
Experimentation
(Doing)

Cronbach's
Alpha

0.68

0.73

0.75

0.73

Table 4.2.

The Reliability Coefficients of Personality Dimension for Personality Style


InventorN.

Personality
Dimension
Cronbach's
Alpha

ExtroversionIntroversion
(E-Hl)

SensingiNtuition
(S-^N)

ThinkingFeeling
(T-hF)

JudgingPerceiving
(P-^J)

0.57

0.52

0.50

0.50

160

E>emographic Information
Respondents in this study were asked to provide demographic information related
to their gender, age. school attendance (part-time or full-time), major, academic
classification (freshman, sophomore, junior or senior), work status (part-time, full-time or
none), work experience, and grade point averages (GPA). The summary of the general
demographic information of the samples in the study is presented in Table 4.3.
.\s shown in tiie Table 4.3, among the 497 Taiwanese and 294 American
hospitality students surveyed. Taiwanese students had higher proportions of females than
tiie American students (80.7%^ vs. 49.7%; x2 = 83.35, p < 0.001). All (100%) of the
students in Taiwan and 95.9% of the American students reported to enroll in school fulltime. However, much less Taiwanese students (49 9% vs. 65.7%; x2 = 128.42, p < 0.001)
reported to be working eitiier part-time (49.1 % vs. 39.8%) or full-time (0.8% vs. 25.9%)
tiian tiieir American counterparts. The average length of work experience for Taiwanese
snidents was one-tiiirds (10.09 months. SD = 13.94), of that the average lengtii of the
American students (34.56 months, SD = 29.02; x2 = 216.04,;? < 0.001).

161

Table 4.3.

Comparison of Demographic Characteristics between Taiwan and the


United States.
United States

Taiwan
Characteristics

Chi-Square

p<

Gender
Female
Male

.000
401

80.7

146

49.7

96

19.3

148

50.3
.000

Age (Range 18 - 32 years old)


18

21

4.2

53

18.0

19

118

23.7

48

16.3

20

154

31.0

55

18.7

21

96

19.3

46

15.6

22

58

11.7

40

13.6

23

30

6.0

24

8.2

24

1.8

3.1

25

1.0

13

4.4

26+

1.2

2.0
.000

Academic Classification
Freshman

180

36.2

75

25.5

Sophomore

175

35.2

74

25.2

Junior

142

28.6

76

25.9

Senior

0.0

69

23.5

162

Table 4.3.

Continued.
Taiwan

Characteristics

Chi-Square

United States
n

P<
.000

School Attendance
Full-time student
without a job
Full-time student
with a job
Part-time students

249

50.1

101

34.4

248

49.9

181

61.5

12

4.1
.000

Work Status
Full-time

0.8

76

25.9

Part-time

244

49.1

117

39.8

Do not Work

249

50.1

101

34.4
.000

Woric Experiences (Range 0-125 montiis)


0

14

4.8

None

103

20.7

46

15.6

0-12 Montiis

265

55.3

55

18.7

13-24 Montiis

75

15.1

41

13.9

25-36 Months

25

5.0

41

13.9

36 + Montiis

19

3.8

97

33.0

497

100.0

294

100.0

Unknown

Overall

163

Leaming Stvle
Kolb's Leaming Style Inventory (LSI) generates six scores: four leaming stage
scores and two leaming dimension scores. Each respondent was identified to be one of
the four leaming styles (Converger, Diverger, Assimilator, or Accommodator) according
to the respondent's scores on Kolb's Leaming Style Inventory (LSI). Table 4.4 presented
the leaming stage and leaming dimension mean scores for Taiwanese and American
respondents. The leaming stages are Concrete Experience (CE), Reflective Observation
(RO), Abstract Conceptualization (AC), and Active Experimentation (AE). The
dimension abstract conceptualization minus concrete experience (AC-CE) represents the
vertical axis and the dimension active experimentation minus reflective observation (AERO) represents the horizontal axis.
The possible scoring range was between 12 and 48 for each leaming stage and
between -36 and 36 for each leaming dimension. The leaming-dimension mean scores
pairs were plotted on the leaming style typing grid to determine the leaming style type
preferences of respondents. The leaming style preference of all respondents was
presented in Table 4.5.
Of tiie four leaming stages, no differences between Taiwan and U.S. were found
for the RO and AC leaming stage distributions. However, leaming stages CE (29.94 vs.
26.71), AE (31.71 vs. 30.25) and the leaming dimensions, AC-CE and AE-RO, were
differed.
Regarding leaming style distributions (Table 4.6), more than 40% of the
Taiwanese students were Assimilators (42.66%), followed by Convergers (33.60%),

164

Divergers (18.11%). and Accommodators (4.63%). On the otiier hand, about one-third of
tiie American students were Convergers (34.4%, n = 101) and Assimilators (32.3%),
followed by Divergers (18.0%) and finally Accommodators (15.3%).

Personality Type
The Personal Style Inventory (PSl) generates 4 pairs (8 individual scores) of
dimension indices that characterizing an individual's personality traits. Extroversion (E)Introversion (I), Sensing (S)- iNtuition (N), Thinking (T)- Feeling (F), and Judging (J)Perceiving (P) (Hogan & Champagne, 1979). Each subject was further classified as one
of 16 possible personality types according to the subject's tendency toward each
personality trait on the Personal Style Inventory (PSl). The combined score of each
dimension should be 25. The possible scoring range of each component of the dimension
should be between 0 and 25.

165

Table 4.4.

Leaming Stage and Learning Dimension Mean Scores by Country.


Taiwan
Mean

United States
SD

SD

Mean

F-value

P<

CE'

29.94

5.75

26.71

5.94

56.84

.000

RO-

30.15

6.12

35.46

6.27

0.05

.829

AC'

28.19

6.56

27.59

6.28

1.63

.203

AE^

31.71

6.44

30.25

6.50

63.65

.000

AC-CE'

-1.74

10.19

0.88

9.77

12.61

.000

AE-RO^

1.57

10.46

5.21

10.45

22.44

.000

1 = Concrete Experience, Feeling (Expected range 12 - 48)


2 = Reflective Observation, Watching (Expected range 12 - 48)
3 = Abstract Conceptualization, Thinking (Expected range 12 - 48)
4 = Active Experimentation, Doing (Expected range 12 - 48)
5 = Abstract Conceptualization/Concrete Experience (Expected range -36 - 36)
6 = Active Experimentation/Reflective Observation (Expected range -36 - 36)

Table 4.5.

Frequency Distributions on the Leaming Styles of Hospitality


Undergraduate Students between Taiwan and the United States.
United States

Taiwan
n

z-score^

P<

28

5.6

45

15.3

-2.81

0.005

Assimilator

212

42.7

95

32.3

9.44

0.000

Converger

167

33.6

101

34.4

5.70

0.000

90

18.1

53

18.0

4.38

0.000

497

100

294

100.0

10.21

0.000

Accommodator

Diverger
Total

'X2 = 23.849, df= 3, p = 0.000


^ Two-tail z-test for equal proportions of the same row.

166

Table 4.6 and Table 4.7 presented mean scores and their standard deviation of
eight personality traits classified by the respondents and the personality trait distributions
of hospitality students in botii countries respectively. As suggested by the data in Table
4.7. both Taiwanese and tiie U.S. students showed stronger tendencies toward
Extioversion (E), Sensing (S), Feeling (F). and Judging (J) characteristics related to their
corresponding traits. In addition. Table 4.7 showed that the proportions distributions of
personal dimensions S-N and T-F differ between Taiwanese and American hospitality
undergraduate students.
Table 4.8 presented the differences in distribution of personality types of the
hospitality students in the two countries. Among the 16 personality types, higher
proportions of Taiwanese students had ESFJ (25.2% vs. 17.77f, z = 7.76, p < .000), ESFP
(13.9% vs. 8.8%, z = 6.24, p < .000), ESTJ (10.9% vs. 12.9%, z = 2.36, p < .018), ISFJ
(10.5% vs. 3.7%, z = 7.3l,p < .000), and ISFP (6.8% vs. 3.4%, z = 5.12,p < .000)
personality types than their U.S. counterparts. However, students in both countries had
highest proportions of ESFJ personality type.

167

Table 4.6.

Four Personal Dimensions Mean Scores of Personality Type by Country.


Taiwan
Mean

United States
SD

Mean

SD

F-value

p<

E'

14.56

3.97

14.83

3.62

0.925

.336

I-

10.44

3.97

10.17

3.62

0.925

.336

S'

14.78

3.04

13.48

3.54

30.164

.000

N''

10.22

3.04

11.52

3.54

30.164

.000

T-

10.69

2.72

11.56

3.38

15.737

.000

F*

14.31

2.72

13.44

3.38

15.737

.000

j'

13.32

3.59

13.37

3.94

0.036

.849

11.68

3.59

11.63

3.94

0.036

.849

1 = Extroversion (Expected range 0 - 25)


2 = Introversion (Expected range 0 - 25)
3 = Sensing (Expected range 0 - 25)
4 = iNtuition (Expected range 0 - 25)
5 = Thinking (Expected range 0 - 2 5 )
6 = Feeling (Expected range 0 - 25)
7 = Judging (Expected range 0 - 25)
8 = Perceiving (Expected range 0 - 2 5 )

168

Table 4.7.

Frequency Distiibutions on tiie Hospitality Undergraduate Students'


Personal Dimensions between Taiwan and the United States.
Taiwan
(n = 497)
n

United States
(n = 294)
%'

z-score^

p<

Exti-oversion-Introversion Dimension (x2 = 3.17, p < .075)


E

346

69.6

222

75.5

151

30.4

72

24.5

Sensing-iNtuition Dimension (x2 = 28.89, p < .000)


S

388

78.1

177

60.2

12.55

.000

109

21.9

117

39.8

-0.75

.452

Thinking-Feeling Dimension (x2 = 10.62, p < 001)


T

125

25.2

106

36.1

1.77

.077

372

74.8

188

63.9

11.00

.000

Judging-Perceiving Dimension (x2 = .03, p < .857)


J

294

59.2

172

58.5

203

40.8

122

41.5

Overall

497

100.0

294

100.0

'X2= 10.2 l,df= 7,/?< 0.000.


^ Two-tail z-test for equal proportions of the row.

169

Table 4.8.

Frequency Distributions on Personality Types between Taiwanese and the


United States Hospitality Students.'
Taiwan

P^rcr\im1if v

1 ddv/iiiiiiiy

Type

United States

z-score^

P<

ENFJ

24

4.8

35

11.9

-2.03

0.043

ENFP

42

8.5

35

11.9

1.13

0.259

ENTJ

1.2

12

4.1

-2.00

0.046

ENTP

0.6

2.7

2.13

0.033

ESFJ

125

25.2

52

17.7

7.76

0.000

ESFP

69

13.9

26

8.8

6.24

0.000

ESTJ

54

10.9

38

12.9

2.36

0.018

ESTP

23

4.6

16

54

1.59

0.113

INFJ

1.4

1.7

0.82

0.414

INTP

19

3.8

14

4.8

1.23

0.218

INTJ

0.8

1.7

-0.47

0.637

INTP

0.8

1.0

0.53

0.593

ISFJ

52

10.5

11

3.7

7.31

0.000

ISFP

34

6.8

10

3.4

5.12

0.000

ISTJ

22

4.4

14

4.8

1.89

0.059

ISTP

1.8

10

3.4

-0.32

0.746

497

100

294

100.0

10.21

0.000

Overall

'x2 = 55.046, df =15, p<.000.


^ Two-tail z-test for equal proportions of tiie row.
E = Extroversion
1 = Introversion
S = Sensing
N = iNtuition
T = Thinking
F = Feeling
J = Judging
P = Perceiving

170

Discussion
There have been few studies conducted that investigated hospitality students'
leaming styles and personality types enrolled in university programs from the two
different countiies. In addition, tiiere have been no cross-cultural studies to see if
hospitality undergraduate students leam any differently in Taiwan and the soutiiwest area
of tiie United States. Therefore, tiie findings of this study may be able to serve as
benchmarks related to gender, academic classification, and work status for future studies.
Canfield (1988), Kolb (1976), Moody (1989), and Myers and McCaulley (1985a)
found tiiat individuals tend to enter academic and vocational fields tiiat were consistent
witii tiieir own leaming styles and personality types. The United States hospitality
programs have successfully educated hospitality managers since the 1920s. Hospitality
managers have different personality traits from those of managers in general (Stone,
1988). Stuart (1992) highlighted several factors that have an impact on how effectively
people can leam. These factors include age or generation, education, culture, language
fluency, level and types of intelligence, leaming environment, beliefs and attitudes,
leamed strategies, and source of motivation, as well as leaming style and personality.
Yet to date there has been minimal research that addresses the basic question of
what kind of leaming style and personality type hospitality undergraduate students have.
Therefore, this study attempted to answer the question of what distinguishes the
hospitality undergraduate students by examining their: (I) leaming style and (2)
personality type. Furthermore, the study looked at how gender, academic classification.

171

and work status differences might play a role in the differences among hospitality
undergraduate students.

Leaming Stvle
Hsu (1999) implied tiiat hospitality students in the United States have unique
leaming styles. Kolb (1976) and Moody (1989) have suggested tiiat the skills required to
excel in tiie vocational fields are consistent with hospitality students' leaming styles and
personality types which implies that tiie American hospitality students might find tiiat tiie
characteristics appreciated in or required for success in the hospitality industi7 are
suitable for them.
Knowing the leaming style of a particular hospitality student or group of students
can be useful in the student selecting a compatible method of leaming, since it is
essentially a leaming experience where an individual is taught to handle dysfunctional
situation. For hospitality educators and hospitality program administrators, knowing the
leaming styles of their students can be useful for designing more effective teaching plans
based upon students' leaming style distributions to enhance students' strengths and
compensate for their weakness. It also would benefit program administrators to know if
they can more effectively recruit transfer students by understanding which leaming styles
would have better opportunities to be successful in the hospitality careers. This could lead
to better advisement from faculty to tiieir students in developing leaming strategies and
career plans.

172

Personalitv Type
This study attempted to identify and compare hospitality students' personality
types witii their demographic information based on the Personal Style Inventory (PSl). In
tiie United States, several studies have shown that personality type may influence more
tiian just choice of major. Such findings have indicated support for tiie use of personality
to predict and improve college performance and retention (Tross, Harper, Osher, &
Kneidinger. 2000). Huriey (2002) found personality type similarities among college
students that have selected equivalent majors.
In tills study, 70% of Taiwanese and 75.5 % of American hospitality students
were tiie Extixiversion type. According to Jewler and Gardner (1993). Extroversion
individual's characteristics are attuned to the culture, people, and things around them.
They are outgoing, socially free, and interested in variety and in working with people.
They could probably leam through their ability and attention outward and receive
knowledge from extemal events, experiences, and interactions more than traditional
lecture teaching method. Based on the Extroversion individuals' characteristics, it should
be considered that hospitality undergraduate students should not sit and leam in a
traditional passive manner.
Personality traits could make a difference in how individuals leam and what they
leam according to Myers and McCaulley (1985b). Based on the PSL results showed that
the Taiwanese and the U.S. respondents showed stronger tendencies toward Extroversion
fE), Sensing (S), Feeling (F), and Judging (J) scores which explained to their
corresponding personality traits. However, the hypothesis that there would be significant

173

differences of hospitality undergraduate students in tiie two countries conceming


personality types was supported by the data of this study.
The largest group in this study is the ESFJ personality type. This included 25.5%
of Taiwanese students and 17.7 % of the American students. A description of an ESFJ is:
'Warm-hearted, talkative, popular, conscientious, bom cooperators, active
committee members, need harmony and may be good at creating it. Always doing
sometiiing nice for someone. Work best with encouragement and praise. Littie
interest in abstract tiiinking or technical subjects. Main interest is in things that
directly and visibly affect people's lives." (Hogan & Champagne, 1979, p. 11)
Based on tiie above description, the hospitality undergraduate students from botii
countiies will have a good fit in the hospitality profession. Graves (1996, p. 109) found
that the personality traits of successful managers were "energetic, sociable, trustworthy,
friendly, stable, disciplined, confident, and objective." He further stated that energy and
tmstworthiness were most important among all tiie personality traits for participation in
the industry.
Based on an understanding of tiie hospitality undergraduate students' personality
types in the study, the collaborative leaming strategy, which can use team effort,
classroom discussion and activities, would be helpful to undergraduate hospitality
students. The Collaborative leaming strategy is used to: (1) increase achievement through
group collaboration that enables students to leam from each other; (2) provide an
altemative to competitive stmcture of most classrooms and an altemative to lecture
method; (3) improve human relations in the classroom by promoting interdependent
activities that teach collaborative skills (Kindsvater, Wilen, & Ishler, 1996).

174

Finally, it should be noted that tiie results of tiiis study were based on the PSl, a
test which does not have as high a degree of reliability as the MBTI. Thus, it may be
useful to replicate tiie study using MBTI to see if those results would agree with the
results obtained by the PSl.

Conclusion
The first hypotheses for hospitality undergraduate students' demographic
information, tiiat tiiere were significant differences in all demographic backgrounds of
hospitality undergraduate students between Taiwan and tiie United States (U.S.), were
supported by tiie data (see Table 4.9).
The second hypothesis, that only two leaming stages, which included Reflective
Observation (RO; Watching) and Abstract Conceptualization (AC; Thinking), stated that
there were no differences in RO and AC leaming stages of hospitality undergraduate
students between Taiwan and the U.S. were supported by the data; however, the other
leaming variables stated that there are differences between two countries of hospitality
undergraduate students regarding leaming stages, leaming dimensions, and leaming
styles were supported by the data (see Table 4.10).
In regard to the results of testing the third hypothesis, only two personality
dimensions, Extroversion-Introversion and Judging-Perceiving Dimensions, it was found
that there were no differences of hospitality undergraduate students in Taiwan and the
U.S.; in addition, differences on personality dimensions and 16 personality types of
hospitality undergraduate students in Taiwan and the U.S were detected, (see Table 4.11).

175

Nevertheless, tiie conclusion on tiie differences of definite personality types was drawn
witii cautions due to the low reliability on PSl instmment. In summary, the hospitality
student body compositions and tiie distributions of tiieir leaming styles and personality
types between Taiwan and tiie U.S. differed.

Implication
Based on the results of tiie study, there are two implications that can be drawn
from this study. First, the important items in the large four-year degree granting
university with a hospitality program selection were common to both Taiwan and the U.S.
Hospitality undergraduate students in Taiwan and the U.S. have differences on their
leaming stages, CE and AE, two leaming dimensions, four leaming styles, two personal
dimension, S-N and T-F, and 16 personality types. The second implication is that there
were differences between Taiwanese and U.S. samples' demographic characteristics.
Derived from Kolb's findings (1984), ideally, individuals who have leaming
styles as Accommodators or Convergers are likely have personality types of extroversion
and mostiy leam from sensing and tiiinking. People who have leaming styles as
Assimilators or Divergers are likely have personality types of introversion and mostiy
leam from intuition and feeling.

176

Table 4.9.

Summary of Hypothesis 1.

Hypotiiesis I.

There are no significant differences between Taiwan and the United


States' hospitality undergraduate students when compared by the
following demographic variables:
Gender

Rejected

Age

Rejected

Academic Classification

Rejected

School Attendance

Rejected

Work Status

Rejected

Work Experience

Rejected

Table 4.10. Summary of Hypothesis II.


Hypothesis II.

There are no significant differences between Taiwan and the United


States' hospitality undergraduate students when compared by the
following leaming stage, dimension, and leaming style variables:
Leaming Stages

Partially Rejected

Leaming Dimensions

Rejected

Leaming Styles

Rejected

177

Table 4.11. Summary of Hypotiiesis III.


Hypotiiesis III. There are no significant differences between Taiwan and tiie United
States* hospitality undergraduate students when compared by the
following personality types' variables:
Means of Four Personal Dimensions

Partially Rejected

Extixtversion-Introversion dimension

Failed to Reject

Sensing-iNtuition dimension

Rejected

Thinking-Feeling dimension

Rejected

Judging-Perceiving dimension

Failed to Reject

16 Personality Types

Rejected

178

Kolb made two otiier statements regarding leaming styles and personality types:
(1) leaming style preferences may be temporarily affected or permanently altered in
response to tiie demands of different leaming contexts, and (2) that personality types of
introversion and extixiversion are the most stable characteristics of personality from
childhood to old age. These statements, taken together with the previous statements, are
able to offer valuable explanations for tiie findings of this study (Kolb, 1981, 1984).
The results of tiiis study for tiie U.S. hospitality undergraduate students showed
tiiat tiiree-fourths of tiie U.S. subjects are the personality type of exti-oversion and only
one-fourth of tiiem are tiie personality type of introversion. Ideally, since personality
types of introversion and extroversion are stable characteristics of personality, there
should be tiuee-fourtiis of tiie U.S. subjects leamed toward the leaming mode of active
experimentation (doing) and one-fourth leamed toward the leaming mode of reflective
observation (watching).
Instead of the ideally expected results, this study showed that there is a balance
between active experimentation (doing) and reflective observation (watching) in the U.S.
hospitaUty undergraduate students' leaming modes. This balance may occur due to the
nature of the U.S. higher education system conceming admission to hospitality programs.
The admissions process is balanced, with various selection factors. Exclusive from
standardized test scores, admission to hospitality programs, as for other majors, requires
work experience, extracurricular activities and an admission essay, h may be said that,
due to the demands of the leaming context of the hospitality field in the U.S., some of the
students with the personality type of extroversion had leaming styles that were

179

temporarily affected or permanentiy altered in response to the demands required to be


successful in tiie hospitality leaming environment.
Similar to the results of the U.S. study, tiie results for the Taiwanese hospitality
students shoxNed tiiat seven-tenths of the Taiwanese subjects are the personality type of
extioversion and only tiiree-tentiis of tiiem are the personality type of introversion.
Ideally, tiiere should be seven-tentiis of tiie Taiwanese subjects tending toward the
leaming mode of active experimentation (doing) and there should be three-tenths of them
lending toward the leaming mode of reflective observation (watching). However, the
results showed tiiat only four-tenths of the Taiwanese subjects have tiie leaming mode of
active experimentation (doing) and six-tenths of them have tiie leaming mode of
reflective observation (watching).
There is a three-tenths difference between the ideal and reality findings. In
addition, unlike the results for the U.S. subjects, there was no balance between active
experimentation (doing) and reflective observation (watching) of the Taiwanese
hospitality undergraduate students' leaming modes. This phenomenon may occur due to
consequences from the Taiwanese higher education system regarding admission to
hospitality programs. The admission is test-oriented. Admission is not balanced with
various selection factors as it is in the U.S. Taiwanese students have limited exposure to
the nature of the hospitality industry before they are admitted to the program.
It may be said, in order to succeed on the University Joint Entrance Examination
Program (UJEEP) of Taiwan, Taiwanese students may develop one or two specific
leaming styles to accommodate themselves in the highly competitive educational

180

environment. It may be implied tiiat. due to the demands of the leaming context of the
educational environment in Taiwan, some of the Taiwanese hospitality students with the
personality type of extixjversion show altered leaming styles. This alteration may have
been because tiieir leaming styles were temporarily affected or permanently altered in
respond to tiie demands to be successful in tiie highly competitive UJEEP of Taiwan,
which is tiie prerequisite to college enrollment.
This study shows a cross-cultural comparison. There are differences between
Taiwanese and American hospitality students' leaming styles and personality types. An
understanding of hospitality students' leaming styles and personality types can be used to
help educators, administrators, and trainers make sure the students they have are
compatible with what the needs of the Taiwanese hospitality industry.
In addition, knowing that tiiere are differences between Taiwan and the U.S.
hospitality students leads to conjecture that there are differences among other
nationalities. Compared with most countries, the United States' hospitality programs are
more progressive. When other countries' hospitality programs wish to engage in or
transfer program development and curricula from the United States, they must be aware
of cultural and educational differences. When designing and revising hospitality program
and curricula offering, educators can use these implications to find the best way to match
students needs.
The use of leaming style and personality type knowledge to help in creating an
effective education environment is one strategy from which educators and administrators
can benefit. However, if educators do not know how their students leam and recognize

181

tiie students' personality traits, tiiey can not them effectively. In fact, college professors,
who normally engage in teaching-and-talking, questioning, student presentations, and use
of small-group strategies such as case study, cooperative learning, and simulations, may
appreciate instmction for using the leaming styles approach in their curricula.
These findings linking leaming styles and personality types should be useful for
hospitality students, educators, and administrators. Hospitality programs should try to
establish a unique and professional educational environment to better help students
achieve their educational goals. Educators and administrators should increase awareness
of personality types and leaming style preferences, which have been suggested by
researchers to be possible factors in improving students' academic achievement.
Knowledge about leaming styles and personality types is a new fundamental tool for the
benefit of educators; it can provide deeper understanding of students than has previously
been considered.

Future Study
This study provided benchmark information on leaming styles and personality
types of hospitality undergraduate students in Taiwan and the U.S. There is clearly a need
for further research for hospitality students and educators. The following areas are
suggested:
1

Conduct research to identify and compare leaming style and personality


type of hospitality educators and hospitality students.

182

2.

Consider doing a four-year longitudinal tracking study on the leaming


style and personality type of hospitality students from freshman to senior
vear.

3.

Consider research to identify students' leaming style and personality type


using the idea of leaming environment and their academic achievement.

4.

Further, explore the aspect of students' background differences as related


to leaming styles and personality types.

5.

Further, investigate parents' and industry's expectations compared to


students' personality and leaming style preferences. Include other
personality variables (e.g. critical thinking, motivation, and attitude) to
identify relationship to leaming style.

183

CHAPTER V
GENERAL SUMMARY

Conclusion
The use of leaming style and personality type knowledge to help in creating an
effective education environment is one strategy from which educators and administrators
can benefit. Understanding personalities and leaming styles of students provides teachers
witii some essential advantages in conducting classroom activities; it also enables tiiem to
capitalize more fully on the leaming potential of students. For students, understanding
tiieir own personality and preferred leaming style helps tiiem assess their strengths and
leam through classroom activities that maximize those strengtiis.
However, if educators do not know how their students leam and recognize the
students' personality traits, they can not teach them effectively. In fact, college professors,
who normally engage in teaching-and-talking, questioning, student presentations, and use
of small-group strategies such as case study, cooperative leaming, and simulations, may
appreciate guidelines for using the leaming styles approach in their curricula.
Results of the survey outline tests conducted with 497 hospitality undergraduate
students in Taiwan and 297 hospitality undergraduate students in the United States.
Findings linking leaming styles and personality types should be useful for hospitality
students, educators, and administrators in Taiwan. Hospitality programs may try to
establish a unique and professional educational environment to better serve and help
students in achieving their educational goals. Educators and administrators should

184

increase tiieir awareness of personality types and leaming style preferences if they wish
to facilitate students' academic achievement. Knowledge about leaming styles and
personality types is a new fundamental tool at the service of educators. Educators may
utilize tills tool to pro\ ide tiioughtful and deeper insights into students tiian have been
previously utilized.

Implication
Derived from Kolb's findings (1984). ideally, individuals who have leaming
styles as Accommodators or Convergers are likely have personality types of extroversion
and mostiy leam from sensing and thinking. People who have leaming styles as
Assimilators or Divergers are likely have personality types of introversion and mostiy
leam from intuition and feeling.
Kolb made two other statements regarding leaming styles and personality types:
(1) leaming style preferences may be temporarily affected or permanently altered in
response to the demands of different leaming contexts, and (2) that personality types of
introversion and extroversion are the most stable characteristics of personality from
childhood to old age. These statements, taken together with the previous statements, are
able to offer valuable explanations for the findings of tiiis study (Kolb, 1984).
The results of tiiis study for the U.S. hospitality undergraduate students showed
tiiat tiiree-fourths of the U.S. subjects are the personality type of extroversion and only
one-fourth of tiiem are the personality type of introversion. Ideally, since personality
types of introversion and extroversion are stable characteristics of personality, there

185

should be tiiree-fourths of tiie U.S. subjects leamed toward tiie leaming mode of active
experimentation (doing) and one-fourth leamed toward tiie leaming mode of reflective
observation (watching).
Instead of tiie ideally expected results, this study showed that there is a balance
between active experimentation (doing) and reflective observation (watching) in the U.S.
hospitality undergraduate students' leaming modes. This balance may occur due to the
nature of tiie U.S. higher education system conceming admission to hospitality programs.
The admissions process is balanced, with various selection factors. Exclusive from
standardized test scores, admission to hospitality programs, as for otiier majors, requires
work experience, extracurricular activities and an admission essay. It may be said tiiat,
due to tiie demands of tiie leaming context of the hospitality field in tiie U.S., some of the
students with tiie personality type of exti-oversion had leaming styles that were
temporarily affected or permanentiy altered in response to the demands required to be
successful in the hospitality leaming environment.
Similar to the results of the U.S. study, the results for the Taiwanese hospitality
students showed that seven-tenths of the Taiwanese subjects are the personality type of
extroversion and only three-tenths of them are the personality type of introversion.
Ideally, there should be seven-tenths of the Taiwanese subjects tending toward the
leaming mode of active experimentation (doing) and there should be three-tenths of them
tending toward the leaming mode of reflective observation (watching). However, the
results showed that only four-tenths of the Taiwanese subjects have the leaming mode of

186

active experimentation (doing) and six-tentiis of tiiem have the leaming mode of
reflective observ ation (watching).
There is a three-tenths difference between the ideal and reality findings. In
addition, unlike tiie results for tiie U.S. subjects, tiiere was no balance between active
experimentation (doing) and reflective observation (watching) of the Taiwanese
hospitality undergraduate students' leaming modes. This phenomenon may occur due to
consequences firom tiie Taiwanese higher education system regarding admission to
hospitality programs. The admission is test-oriented. Admission is not balanced witii
various selection factors as it is in the U.S. Taiwanese students have limited exposure to
the nature of the hospitality industry before they are admitted to the program.
It may be said, in order to succeed on the University Joint Entrance Examination
Program (UJEEP) of Taiwan. Taiwanese students may develop one or two specific
leaming styles to accommodate themselves in the highly competitive educational
environment. It may be implied that, due to the demands of the leaming context of the
educational environment in Taiwan, some of the Taiwanese hospitality students with the
personahty type of extroversion show altered leaming styles. This alteration may have
been because their leaming styles were temporarily affected or permanently altered in
respond to the demands to be successful in the highly competitive UJEEP of Taiwan,
which is the prerequisite to college enrollment.

187

Future Research
This study provided benchmark information on leaming styles and personality
types of hospitality undergraduate students in Taiwan and the U.S. There is clearly a need
for further research for hospitality students and educators. The following areas are
suggested:
1.

Conduct research to identify and compare leaming style and personality


type of hospitality educators and hospitality students.

2.

Consider doing a four-year longitudinal tracking study on the leaming


style and personality type of hospitality students from freshman to senior
ye<u-.

3.

Consider research to identify students' leaming style and personality type


using the idea of leaming environment and their academic achievement.

4.

Further, explore the aspect of students' background differences as related


to leaming styles and personality types.

5.

Further, investigate parents' and industry's expectations compared to


students' personality and leaming style preferences, hiclude otiier
personality variables (e.g. critical thinking, motivation, and attitude) to
identify relationships to leaming styles.

188

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implications for leaming, course design, and education. Westport. CT:
Greenwood Press.
Smedley, L.C. (1987). Chemists as leamers. Joumal of Chemical Education, 64(4), 321323.
Smitii, D. M. & Kolb, D. A. (1985). User's guide for the leaming-style inventory: A
manual for teachers and trainers. Boston, MA: Hay/McBer Training Resource
Group.
Sternberg, R. J. (1997). Thinking styles. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge
University Press.
Stuart, P. (1992). Learning-style theories. Personnel Joumal, 77(9), 91.
194

Sundberg^ N. D^(1965). Review of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. In O. K. Buros (Ed.)


I ne sixtii mental measurements yearbook, (pp. 322-325). Highland Park, NJ:
Gryphon Press.
Taylor, L. (2001). Leaming style preferences of athletic training students and athletic
framing educators: similarities, differences and impact on academic performance.
Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Texas Tech University.
Tross. S. A.. Harper. J. P., Osher, L. W., & Kneidinger, L. M. (2000). Not just the usual
cast of characteristics: Using personality to predict college performance and
retention. Joumal of College Student Development, 41, 323-334.
Vemon-Gerstenfeld. S. (1989). Serendipity? Are there gender different in the adoption of
computers. Sex Roles: A Joumal of Research, 27(3-4), 161-173.
Walker, J. R. (2002). Introduction to hospitality (3"* ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ:
Prentice-Hall.
Wicklein, R. C , & Rojewski, J. W. (1995). The relationship between psychological type
and professional orientation among technology education teachers. Joumal of
Technology Education, 7( 1), 57-74.
Wilcoxson, L., & Prosser, M. T. (1996). Kolb's Leaming Style Inventory (1985): Review
and further study of validity and reliability. The British Joumal of Education
Psychology, 66, 247-257.
Wong. K. K. F., Pine, R. J., & Tsang, N. (2000). Leaming Style Preferences and
Implications for Training Programs in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry.
Joumal of Hospitality and Tourism Education, 72(2), 32-40.
Ziegert. A. L. (2000). The role of personality temperament and student leaming in
principles of economics: Further evidence. Joumal of Economic Education, 31,
307-322.

195

APPENDDC A
COVER LETTER AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION QUESTIONNAIRE,
ENGLISH AND CHINESE VERSIONS

196

DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION QUESTIONNAIRE


This Questionnaire is designed to gatiier background information about you and your
working and educational experience. Please answer each of the questions as it relates to
you. All the information you provided will be kept confidential and use strictiy for
statistical analysis purpose and only seen by the researcher.
Please mark the most suitable description
1. Gender:
G Male
Q Female
2. Age:
3. School Attendance:
Q Full time
G Part-time
4. Major:
5. Status:
Q
Q
Q
Q
G

Freshman
Sophomore
Junior
Senior
Graduate

6. Work Status:
G Full-time
G Part-time
G Do not work
7. Woric Experience
G Yes

Ungth of Time

Month(s)

G No
8. Grade Point Average (GPA):
197

i6^^^^^

#I^:A Kolb ^ I ' M M r ^ ^ (Kolb Learning Style Inventory)


m (Personal Style Inventory) ^^^fi&:^m^mmmmm^.^m

m^^^^Ml
' ^

m' E#i^itw^i^mi^/^#%o ^:^!iif/s^s6^i^'L^mi^' mm \


mm.

MmtLUM

JB^I^^:

Kenny Wu & Ginny Felstehausen ff


fsH : hulai@ttacs.ttu.edu

i^^#,M.B.A.,
Hung-Sheng "Herman" Lai.
M.B.A..
Ph.D. Candidate. ENRHM
College of Human Sciences
Texas Tech University
Phone: (806) 742-3068
hulai@ttacs.ttu.edu

C. Kenny Wu. Ph.D.


Committee Chair
Assistant Professor,
ENRHM
College of Human Sciences
Texas Tech University
Phone: (806) 742-3068
kwu@hs.ttu.edu

198

Ginny Felstehausen, Ph.D.


Advisor/Committee Chair
Professor, ENRHM
College of Human Sciences
Texas Tech University
Phone: (806) 742-3068
gfelste@hs.ttu.edu

1.

urn
^m:

3.

4.

-^m:

5.

D A-

6.

C ^^xf^
i^WXf^
7

^t^TtsuzEf^^ffr :

8.
M

199

APPENDDC B
LEARNING STYLE INVENTORY PERMISSION FROM HAY/MCBER

200

Please fill out our application form with your biographical data, description of proposed research and attach
a copy of your resume or C V. Please mail this sheet and the original signed Conditional Use Agreement to:
Instrument Research Contracts

Hay/McBer
116 Huntington Avenue, 4th noor
Boston, MA 02116
USA
Name

Hunq-Shenq (Herman) t al

Title/Position

Graduate Student

Organization

Texas Tech University

Address

3417 47'" St

City, State/Province

Lubbock. TX

Zip Code/Postal Code


Country

79413-4005

United States

Phone

(806i 799-1102

Fax

(806W99-1102

E-mail

hulaiettacs.ttu.edu

Professional credentials or licenses

None

{Please attach your resume or CV)


Research Type:
pTI Doctorate

Masters
Corporate

University Affiliated/ Professor


Other

Please complete the following if you are a graduate student:

Thesis advisor

Dr. C. Kenny Wu

University your advisor is affiliated with


Address

ENRHM. Box 41162

City, State/Province

Lubbock. TX

Zip Code/Postal Code


Country
Phone
Fax
E-mail

Texas Tech University

79409-1102

United States
(806^ 742-3068
(806) 742-3042
kwu ehs.ttu.edu

Insfrumenf t}eing used:

leaming Stvle Inventory 11

201

A. Description of research question and proposal hypotheses:


The m.un purpose ol this studs xs.is to investigate the learninp style preferences and personality
types ot the hospu.iluN students hs cxammuv.; dilTcrcnces and/or similarities between students, pcnder.
.i;ji.'. and \sork st.iius
The objc.iives ot ihi^. study were lo: ^I) JdentiiN hospitality management students' learning
MS les and ivrson.iluN sisles and (2) compare students' learning .style and personality types.

B. Description of sample to be studied:


The s.impie \MM be unJciLi.Kluate hospitality students enrolled in hospitality programs at the
well-established uniNcrsiiies.
Because students tend to enroll in classes individually, the learning style unentory of the
selected students will be administrated in required classes, freshman \o senior.

C. Description of other measures and data to be collected:


In addition to the Ki'lb LSI2 each indisidual p.irticipating in the study will be asked lo complete
a Ijackground information and a simple personalitN qiasiionrKiiris These two questionnaires will
include questions related to ethnicity, gender, age. major, status, work GPA, \: some personality types
questions

The ab<ne inform.ition will assist me in answering the identified rcsc.irch questions

D. Please list your independent and dependent variable(s):


Indtr." i " 'sariableis): Hospiialny Students.
Dependent variable (s): Score pr ulu.cJ hs ihe Kolb LSI2 - Concrete Experience, Refiective
Observation. Abstract Conceptu.ilization, and Acine Hxperimentation.
the AC-Cf.. AE-RO scores and The differences of dynamic characteristics
,t the personality types will be representing.
E. Size of sample

4fX)

persons

202

F. Expected dates you will begin/complete project:


1 w -^i^i like to Ivan data collection in Mas 2002. 1 hope to have the protect complete by
S,\.M
'
1
1
1
/
December.r 2W2

References:
--^'^^en L K (hKiM Ecrsoii.ijitv assessment methods and practices (2'"'edition). Kirkland. WA:
Hoi:-efe A; Huber.
Berger F I ^'s; Disparate leai nin^ si\ ics ot hospitality students, professors, and mangers.
.i joiimal of Hospitalitv NbiuiL-cincni 2 ^W. \^ 2}
Fung. ^^. H.. Ho. A. S. P.. Kwan K V i U'^''i R,|iahilii\ .md validii) of the learning style
:on'i.iire. Hilil"_lliiHLriKil of 1-Alucaiional Technology. 24 (1). 1221.
Hsu C H (. (I999i I carnini; si\ ics of h>'spii,ilii\ students Nature or nurture!'Hospitality
ijvincm. I s. 17-30

Jung. C. G. (1^2.'^). PsNchological types >; psschology of individuation. (H. Godwin Baynes,
Treans. I Now ^ ork Pamtheon.
Kolb. D. A. (1976). Leaming stvle inventory; Technical manual. Bosion: McBer c't Cc
Kolb D. \ (1^81). Learning styles and disciplinary differences In Chickering A.W . A:
Ass^xiates iFds i. The Mcxiern American Collei2e (pp. 232 2.''.^). San IT.HKISCO. CA: Jossev-Bass.
Kolb. D. A 1 1^'^-^). Experiential learning: Fxperiencc .is a source ol learning and development.
Englewood Clifts. N.l Prentice-Hall.
Kolb. D. .A. (\^^>). Leaming style inventory (Rev ed). Bosion McBcr \: Co.
Kolb. D. .\ (1 '^'S'l I Learning style inventory: Technical manual (Rev ed.). Bosion: McBer & Co.
Mvers. I. B . Kirbv. L. K.. \ Myers. K. D. (1998). lniri-)duction i>'ivpe. t6thed.). Palo Alto. CA:
Consulting Psychologists Press
Piaget. J. (1966). The psv^hologv of intelligence Toiowa. NJ: Little & Adams

203

CONDITIONAL USE AGREEMENT


For good and valuable consideration, the receipt and
legal sufficiency of which are hereby aclcnowledged, I hereby
agree that the permission granted to me by McBer and Company.
Inc. and Hay Group,Inc. (collectively, "Hay/McBer") to
receive and utilize, without charge, the
Learning Style
Inventory (LSI2) is subject to the following conditions, all
of which I hereby accept and acknowledge:
1. I will utilize the
LSI2
only and not for commercial gain.

for research purposes

2The LSI2
, and all derivatives thereof, is and
shall remain the exclusive property of Hay/McBer; Hay/McBer
shall own all right, title and interest, including, without
limitation, the copyright, in and to the LSI2 .
the

3.
I will not modify or create works derivative of
LSI2 or permit others to do so.

4. I will provide Hay/McBer with a copy of any


research findings arising out of my use of the LSI2 and
will cite Hay/McBer in any of my publications relating
thereto.
5. Hay/McBer will have no obligation to provide me
with any scoring services for my use of the
LSI2
other
than the Algorithm used to score results.
6.
Hay/Mcber will not be deemed to have made any
representation or warranty, express or implied, in
connection with the
LSI2 , including, but not limited to,
the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a
particular purpose.
7. My rights under this Agreement are non-transferable
and non-exclusive and will be limited to a period of two (2)
years from the date of this Agreement.
8.
Hay/McBer may immediately terminate this Agreement
by giving written notice to me in the event I breach any of
this Agreement's terms or conditions.

204

9.
This Agreement will be construed in accordance
with the laws of Massachusetts without recourse to its
conflict of laws principles.
10. This Agreement may not be assigned by me without
the prior written consent of Hay/McBer.
11. Failure by Hay/McBer to enforce any provisions of
this Agreement will not be deemed a waiver of such provision,
or any subsequent violation of the Agreement by me.
12. This is the entire agreement with Hay/McBer
pertaining to my receipt and use of the
LSI2 , and only a
written amendment signed by an authorized representative of
Hay/McBer can modify this Agreement.

Agreed and understood:

Signature

Hung-Sheng (Herman) Lai


Print Name

205

05-06-02
Date

Hung-Sheng "Herman" Lai


From: <El@havgroup.com>
To: <hulai@TTAC.STTlI FHlK
Sent: Monday. May 06, 2(X)2 2:32 PM
Subject: < 1 > LSI Rform & CUagreement

Thanks so much for your interest in using the Leaming Style Inventory (LSI) for your research.
While the LSI is available for research purposes, our organization, Hay/McBer, does screen or
qualify research requests.
Attached below is our research form and conditional use agreement. Please fill out and sign these
documents and mail them to:
Instrument Research Contracts
HayGroup
116 Huntington .Avenue, 4th Floor
Boston, MA 02116
USA
We also sell a research version of the LSI, called the Test and Profile sheets, to
educators/researchers who do not wish to go through the formal review/approval process. The
price is $30 per package of 25.
You may order these by retum email, fax (617-927-5008), or phone
(800-729-8074).
You will also need one of the complete self-scoring booklets to score the inventories which cost
$7.75. .A Facilitator's Guide to Leaming is also available which contains technical specifications,
an overv iew of Experiential Leaming Theory, information on the growth and development of the
LSI. and a research bibliography. The Facilitator's Guide is available for $50.00. There is an 8%
shipping & handling charge.

Best Regards,
Keith Cornelia
Permissions Editor
Hay Resources Direct
(See attached file: GenResearch.doc)
(See attached file: genCNDITNL USE AGRMNT.doc)

206

APPENDIX C
KOLB'S LEARNING STYLE INVENTORY

207

LEARNING-STYLE INVENTORY
!>< l^aming-Stvle Invontv^rv de!.cribes thf w.iv vou liMrn and hmx vou deal u ith ideas .ind dav-to-dav situntions in your
litt^ ftelow .ire \2 s*iitencvs with a choice ot endinj;s Kank the endings tor eacti sentence according to how well ou thinly
each one tU> w ith how v ou \> ould go about le.iniing something Irv to ri'call some recent Htuntion;. where vou had to
leam .^imething new (x^rhaps ui vour |ob or al school 1 heji. using the spaces provided, rank a "4" for the sentejice
Mtdins that describes how vou leam (y.^t. dow n to a I tor the sentence ending that seems least like the wav you learn
B-suiv to rank all the endings lt>re.ichsitence unit Please do not make ties.
Example of completed sentence set:
1

Whrnlleani:

_^

Remember

I ain happy.

4 - PHIS: like vou

_\_

I am last

3 - yfccnd most like vou

Ti

_J_ 1 am logical.
2 - third mosrt like vou

H" 1 am carelul.
1 = least like vou

D
1

1. >%'henUeur.

I like to deal with


1 my teelmgs.

2. i leam best
whca

: listen and watch


1 caivtully

1 rely or logical
thinkmi;.

1 trust my hunches
and feelings.

1 work tvard to get


things done.

3. When! am
keamin^

1 1 lend to n%son
things out

| I am rrsponsible
ab>oul things.

1 am quiet and
reserved

I have strong
fecUngs and
react! nns.

watching

1 thinking.

I like to analnr
things, break them
down into their parts.

j 1 like to try things

1 am an intuibix
perton

1 am a logical
' person.

1 like lo think about


ideas

1 tike to be doing
things.

1 I like to watch and


1 listen.

1
1 tcding.

4. Ileunby:

douig.

!
1

5. Whenlkeam.

1 look at all sides of


issues.

6. Viivn I am
tetmn^

' 1 am open to new


eipenerwrs
j
1
I am an obtcrring
prrson.

7. I leam best (rmv

; observation.

! am an active
person.
personal
relationships.

rational thrones.

I take my tunc bcton:'

1 out.

a chance to Irv out


and practice
1 tcel pcrsor.ally
involved in things.

I like !o see xsults


from my woik-

I like ideas and


theories.

1 retv on mv
observations.

1 rely on mj
feelings.

1 can try tfungs out


for myself.

1 rely on my ideas.

l a WiMn i am
leaning:

lamarrscrvcd

person.

I am an accepting
person.

1 am a responsible
pwsoiv

1 am a rational
person.

11. Wlmilleam;

1 get invol\-ed

I like to observe.

, i evaluate livings.

1 like to be active.

, 1 analyzr ideas.

1 am frtcptivc and
open-minded.

1 am careful.

I am practical.

8. W)ienllem.

J
9

Ilewnbe*
whm:

U. 1 kram best
where

MCB200C

i acting

C i y ' i j IJJVKI A Kolb All ligliK rcwTvfH Publishc^l l)v M( Her ^ Company.

208

itiliiiiniii

^^.r^f

_L_ffm

_J_MI^0

2 S^E^

[i^^fifeji^Rt^f^---fiA]4. -(la3. -mi. -m 1 ]


A

V^Tien I leam:
I like lodeaJ with
my t'eelin^s.

2.a

I like lo think

I like to be doing

about ideas.

things.

mm

I leam best
when:

flc,(u1Xi.<.ti'jll"

I listen and watch


carefully.

I rely on logical
thinking.

I trust my
hunches and
feelings.

Tj^wiwanwgBiiP

\Mien I am
leaming:

I like to watch
and listen.

1 tend to reason
things out.

I :iw responsible
about things.

I work hard to get


things done.
T.^'M^g^ifapRW"

I am quiet and
rcscn'cd.

1 have strong
feelings and
reactions

:Sit
^J6:
Ilcamby:

When I leam:

feeling.

doing.

watching.

thinking.

I aw open to nev,
experiences.

Hook at all sides


of issues.

I like to analyze
things, break
ihcm down into
their parts.

I like lo try things


out.

im

jWhenlam
'learning:

I aw an otvic'iring
person

I am aj} actjve
person

iciii^tSJ
WA

I am iui intuitive
person.

I am a logical
person.
D

I.'

iMm

.n

I leam best
from:

fi-ffle#?

ob.'k.'ryjuon

Ki'^m^
personal
relationships

!8.#$c*g^:
^Tien I leam:

9.# ^m
IS. n^^m
I leam best
when:

i^swfiife

mm\m^sm>^

I'iilional lliconci

a chance to uy out
andpiactice.

I take my time
before acting.

I feel personally

I like lo see results


from my work

Hike ideas and


theories.

mamn.ti'm^'

.{m^vmrn.*^

f rely on my
observations

1 rely on my
feelings

A
When I am
leamins:

involved in
things.

,:!cZnm4t?T

1 am try things out


for myself

n.mmnnm.m

I rely on my ideas

law a Kser\'ed
person

I am itn accepting
. person.

lam a responsible
person.

I am a rational
person.

I get involved.

Hike to observe

1 evaluate things

Hike to be active.

m.
When I leam:

n^m-bm

I leam best
when:

I analyze ideas

I am receptive and
open-minded.

210

lam careful

mm
I am practical

APPENDDC D
SCORING SHEETS FOR KOLB'S LEARNING STYLE INVENTORY

THE CYCLE OF LEARNING

ContreU- t x p r n e n c v I C D
l-FwIinR-l

.Active
ExfvmnwnUlion ( A t )
I'Dotng"!

Rrfteclivf
Oljservation (RO)
CWllctling')

AlMtrjctConceptiulixjIinn l A O
("Thinking*)

1A

ID

3D

2A

4A

3C

5A

4C

6C

5B

7B

6A

9B

813

+
7A

+
&C

10B

I1A

9A

lOA

=r

+
12B

CE Total

I2C

RO Total

12A

AC Total

+
I IB

>B

2B

MCB200L)

2D

4D

IC

3A

3B

4B

5D

6D

5C

6B

7C

7D

91)

8B

fA

lOD

9C

=c

iix;

.11

4.

lie

IID

12D

AE Total

V 1 vy.-i DJVUJ A . Kxjlb All righci rcAtrvcil. I'lihlished by M c l k r &, Company.

212

APPENDK E
LEARNING STYLE TYPE GRID

213

LFARNING

STYLE TYPE GRID

Accommodating ^

W C " f f U ^W

3W

**

' * ' t - - ' 1 t l

I t i t

Diverging

w-f
Converging

Assimiiating

I:

too
100

AC-CE

MCB2(0IJ

"" 1 t l " ! D n i d A Kolb All n g l i n ri>vr\i>(l Pijblishpd by M r f k r Ri Company

214

APPENDDC F
THE PERSONAL STYLE INVENTORY

215

PERSONAL STYLE INVENTORY


The following iteins are arranged in pairs (a and b), and each member of the pair
represents a preference. You may or may not hold. Rate your preference for each item by
giving it a score of 0 to 5 (0 meaning you really feel negative about it or strongly about
the other member of the pair, 5 meaning you strongly prefer it or do not prefer the other
member of the pair). The scores for a and b MUST ADD UP TO 5 (0 and 5, 1 and 4, 2
and 3. etc.V Do not use fractions such as 2 1/2.

I prefer:
la.
lb.

making decisions after finding out what others think.


making decisions without consulting others.

2a.
2b.

being czdled imaginative or intuitive.


being called factual and accurate.

3a.

making decisions about people in organizations based on available data and


systematic analysis of situations.
making decisions about people in organizations based on empathy, feelings,
and understanding of their needs and values.

3b.

4a.
4b.

allowing commitments to occur if others want to make them.


pushing for definite commitments to ensure that they are made.

5a.
5b.

quiet, thoughtful time alone.


active, energetic time with people.

6a.
6b.

using methods I know well that are effective to get the job done.
trying to think of new methods of doing tasks when confronted with them.

7a.
7b.

drawing conclusions based on unemotional logic and careful step-by-step


analysis.
drawing conclusions based on what I feel about life and people from past
experiences.

8a.
8b.

avoiding making deadlines.


setting a schedule and sticking to it.

9a.
9b.

inner thoughts and feeling others cannot see.


activities and occurrences in which others join.

10a.
10b.

the abstract or theoretical.


the concrete or real.

216

^ la.
1 lb.

helping others explore their feelings.


helping others make logical decisions.

1-^l^b.

communicating little of my inner thinking and feelings.


communicating freely my inner thinking and feelings.

13a.
13b.

planning ahead based on projections.


planning as necessities arise, just before carrying out the plans.

14a.
14b.

meeting new people.


being alone or with one person I know well.

15a.
15b.

ideas.
facts.

16a.

convictions.

16b.

verifiable conclusions.

17a.

keeping appointments and notes about commitments in notebooks


or in appointment books as much as f)ossible.
using appointment books and notebooks as minimally as possible
(although I may use them).

17b.

18a.
18b.

carrying out carefully laid, detailed plans with precision.


designing plans and structures without necessarily carrying them out.

19a.
19b.

being free to do things on the spur of the moment.


knowing well in advance what I am expected to do.

20a.
20b.

experiencing emotional situations, discussions, movies.


using my ability to analyze situations.

Copyright 1979 by D.W. Champagne and R.C. Hogan. Reprinted with permission of the authorsfromthe
privately published book Supervisory and Management SIcills: A Competency Based Training Program for
Middle Managers of Educational Systems by D.W. Champagne and R.C. Hogan. This material may be
freely reproduced for educational / training / research activities. There is no requirement to obtain special
permission for such uses.

217

K4^: 0- t5t'Rr^W.l-{K'i-\:-TfT.>?SH.4-f^5l]itt..s-fflenitt.
* 2 ; 7 I t ^ i t g C 5 ^fit, a -^ h r ^ a i f & ^ f i B i ^ ^ 5 ^ Sti&^m

0 ^

'

I Preter making decisions after finding out what others think

^-

I FVeter mAini; de^iMons uithoui con.suhing others


1 Prefer being called imaginative or intuitive
1 I ^ e r being called factual and accurate
1 Prefer making decisions about people in organizations based on available data and systematic
analysis of situations
I Prefer making decisions atxiut people in organizations ba.sed on empathy, feelings, and
unUersianding ol their needs and values

attsiwiH*flfeAsitai*.
I Prefer allowing commitments to occur if others want to make them.
1 Prefer pushing for definite commitments to ensure that they arc made.

s.

I t t t f ; ; f i r f j t f i . iSli'i'.'^n';0!rllil.
a.
b.

I Prefer quiei. thoughtful time alone


ttttt<SlffiB^WffeAfTf-M-.
I Prefer active. cner>!eiic time v. ith people

a.

I Prefer using methods I know well that arc cffecuve to get the job done

b.

1 Prefer trymg to think of new methods of doing tasks when confronied with them

a.

I Prefer drawing conclusions based on unemouonal logic and careful step-by-siep analysis
I Prefer drawing conclusions based on what 1 feel and believe about life and people from past

I Prefer avoiding making deadlines


I Prefer setting a schedule and sticking to it

i>;tt-; firm < i i i&r-nmufmo^'S-^-mm^..


a.

I Prefer inner thoughts and feelings others cannot see

b.

1 PrefCT aaiviues and occurrences in which others join

218

1 Prefer the ab.siract or theoanical


fttt$ff[U)BWtffS.
1 Prefer the concrete or real
l^ltf^^RtttUjVJiJ '^f^4%1t!ifl"int::df}<j!@S,

U.
a.

I Prefer helping others explore their feelings

b-

1 l>efer helping others make logical decisions

a-

1 Prefer communicating linle of my inner thinking and feelings


ftlt5SgttJtb-^@Stl^S&^ffiffiS.SSo
I Prefer communicating freely my inner thinking and feelings

^-

li.

mtc fi-r 'H 't.'ffflB'jiijij.


s^

14.
a.
b.
15.
a.
b

Id

1 Prefer planning ahead based on projeaions


i t t t t$ SRegB^i^^ S [fi] fpitfij.
1 Prefer planning as necessities arise. )ust before camming out the plans
ltttSi)C^^flg^.
1 Prefer meeting new people
fttfcgS(fi0lcHlftlva#5ftt.
1 Prefer being alone or with one person 1 know well
____
Iicttil5fr*iqffi^.
I Prefer ideas
1 Prefer facts

S!tSffi(igEe^.tf.?*.
a.

'

I Prefer convictions

u\t9!iuwimmmBm6^i^m.
b.
17

1 Prefer verifiable conclusions


I t t t f i UtXi& "Jflfei'llnd 'li:t^ V *1fl.
1 Prefer keeping appoinimenb. and notes about commitmenb in notebooks or in appointment
books as much is possible
I Prefer using appointment hooks and notebooks as minimally as possible (although I may use

'18.
e

a._

I Prefer carrying out carefully laid, detailed plans with precision

b..

1fteferdesigning plans and structures without necessarily carrying them out.

a. _

1 Prefer being free to do things on the spur of the moment

19.

b..

: 20.

nttiMtf.mmm9c!'myi>ikm^nmm.
I Prefer knowing well m advance what 1 am expected to do

a._
I Prefer experiencing emotional situations, discussions, movies

k using mv abihlv to analyze situations

APPENfDDC G
SCORING SHEETS FOR THE PERSONAL STYLE INVENTORY

220

PERSONAL STYLE INVENTORY SCORING


Instructions: transfer your scores for each item of each pair to the appropriate blanks. Be careful
to check the a and b letters to be sure you are recording scores in the right blank spaces. Then
total the scores for each dimension.

TOTALS:

Dimension
Extroversion
Introversion
(E)
(I)
la.
lb.
5b.
5a.
9b.
9a.
12a.
12b.
14b.
14a.
I
E

INultlon
(N)
2a.
6b.
10a.
15a.
18b.
N

TOTALS:

Dimension
Thinking
Feeling
(T)
(F)
3b.
3a.
7b.
7a.
11a.
lib.
16a.
16b.
20a.
20b.
F
T

Dimension
Judging
Perceiving
(J)
(P)
4b.
4a.
8a.
8b.
13a.
13b.
17a.
17b.
19b.
19a.
P
.1

Dimension
Sensing
(S)
2b.
6a.
10b.
15b.
18a.
S

YOUR PERSONALITY SIGNATURE IS:

Note:

If you score is:


12-13
14-15
16-19
20-25

I + E Scores should = 25
N + S Scores should = 25
T + F Scores should = 25
P + J Scores should = 25

The likely interpretation is:


balance in the strengths of the dimensions
some strength In the dimension; some weakness in the other
member of the pair
definite strength In the dimension; definite weakness In the other
member of the pair
considerable strength In the dimension; considerable
weakness in the other member of the pair

Your typology is those four dimensions for which you had scores of 14 or more, although the
relative strengths of all the dimensions actually constitute your typology. Scores of 12 or 13 show
relative balance in a pair so that either member could be part of the typology.

221

m^mm (PSDit^^rs
1. mnf^m^m-mm^mmmu^i^mm' /VH^KO

20-25 53^
16-19 53^
14-15 53^
12-13 53^

(I)
l.b
5.a
9.a

fE)
l.a
5.b
9.b

12.a
14.b

12.b
14.a

DT.

OPT

(N)
2.a
6.b

(S)
2.b
6.a

lO.a
15.a
18.b

lO.b
15.b
18.a

OPT.

^^4-.

ai4

^14

(T)

(F)

(J)
4.b
8.b

3.a
7.a

3.b
7.b

ll.b
16.b
20.b
.^=4-.
a PT.

ll.a
16.a
20.a

13.b
17.b
19.a

13.a
17.a
19.b

npT-

C3PT-

13 P T -

wmxmm^

222

(P)
4.a
8.a

APPENDD( H
LETTER REQUESTING PARTICIPATION IN THIS STUDY

223

April 17,2002

First Name Last Name


Department N a m e
Instiiution
J o b Title
Address
C i t y , S t a i e Postal C o d e
Dear F i r s t Nanre L a s t Naine.

My Name is Hung-Sheng Lai. I am a doctoral student at Texas Tech University. For my


dissertation I am examining the Personality Type and Leaming Style preferences of hospitality
students in Taiwan and the United States.
The major concentration of this smdy will be to identify the hospitality students' personality types
and leaming style preferences and to examine the similarities and differences between students in
Taiwan and the United States. Information from this study will allow hospitality educators and
trainers to better understand and sever their students.
I am writing this letter to in\'ite. your students, and other faculty in your program to participant in
this stud>. The survey is comprised of a background information questionnaire, Kolb's Leaming
Style Inventory (LSI), and Personal Style Inventory (PSl). This survey should take less than 30
minutes to complete.
I ask you to let me have the students in your program to complete the survey via the on-site
collection. I can be your school between May 20* and May 30*. Plea.se let me know the time
schedule that you can participant. If you need addition surveys, please let me know and I will
bring them to you upon request. At the conclusion of this study an Executive summary will be
sent to you for participating.
I know your time is valuable, however, I feel benefits of this research to the hospitality profession
exceed the few minutes it will to complete the survey. If you have questions regarding this study
or your participant, my professors and I are happy to \ isit with you.
Thank you in advance for you participation and help in this study
Sincerely.
Hung-Sheng "Herman" Lai
Ph.D. Candidaie
3417 47* ST.
Lubbock, TX 79413
(806) 799-1102 home
(806) 742-3068 work
E-mail: hulai@ttacs.ttu.edu

C. Kenny Wu Ph.D.
Committee Chair
Assistant Professor, ENRHM
(806) 742-3068 work
E-mail: kwu(>hs.nu.edu

224

Ginny Felstehausen Ph.D.


Advisor/Committee Chair
Professor, ENRHM
(806) 742-3068 work
E-mail: gfelste@hs.ttu.edu

APPENDK I
TEXAS TECH UNIVERSFTY INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD APPROVAL
LETTER FOR THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN SUBJECTS

225

TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY


OCRcc of Research Services
Box 4 1 0 3 5
Lubbock. TX 79409-1035
( 8 0 6 ) 742-3884
FAX <806) 742-.3892

November 08. 2001

Dr. OyH^Kang Wu
Ed N<itrition & Rest-Hotel Mgmt
MS 1162
RE: Project 01224

Identifying and Comparing Leaming Styles Between Hospitality


Students in Taiwan and the United States

Dear Dr. Wu;


The Texas Tech University Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects has approved
your proposal referenced above. The approval is effective fix>m November 1, 2001 through
October 31, 2002. You will be reminded of the pending expiration one month prior to October
31. 2002 so that you may request an extension if you wish.
The best of luck on your project.
Sincerely.

Dr. Richard P. McGlynn. Chair


Human Subjects Use Committee

An EEC / Affirmative Actton InttUuHon

226