Paragon Learning Style Inventory

A Window into Learning Style and Cognitive Preference

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A Self-Help Guide for Student Success Based on Learning Style

 

Extrovert – Intuitive (EN) Version

 

Success is no accident. Whether what we seek is a sense of inner satisfaction, wealth or academic success, the formula for success is fairly well accepted. There are reasons why some people find more of it than others, regardless of their backgrounds or abilities.

 

This guide will lead you through a process of self-development. Each stage will build upon the last. As you reflect on the information provided, make note of your insights and the areas that you feel are those most important for you personally. At the back of the packet is a place to write some of your notes as well as your goals for personal development.

 

This packet will lead you through the following 4 stages:

  1. Self-Understanding (as it relates to cognitive and learning style)
  2. Development of a “Success Psychology”
  3. Cultivating a personal sense of “Purpose.”
  4. Goal Setting

 

Note: Your success will be much more likely if you are working with your teachers or coaches.[1]

 

Extroverted Intuitive Types

ENFP

Warmly enthusiastic, high spirited, ingenious, imaginative. Able to do almost anything that interests them. Quick with a solution for any difficulty and ready to help anyone with a problem. Often rely on their ability to improvise instead of preparing in advance. Can usually find compelling reasons for whatever they want.

ENTP

Quick, ingenious, good at many things. Stimulating company alert and outspoken. May argue for fun on either side of question. Resourceful in solving new and challenging problems but may neglect some routine assignments. Apt to turn to one new interest after another. Skillful in finding logical reasons for what they want.

ENFJ

Responsive and responsible. Generally feel real concern for what others think or want, and try to handle things with due regard for the other person’s feelings. Can present a proposal or lead a group discussion with ease and tact. Sociable, popular, sympathetic. Responsive to praise and criticism.

ENTJ

Hearty, frank, decisive leaders in activities. Usually good in anything that requires reasoning and intelligent talk, such as public speaking. Are usually well informed and enjoy adding to their fun of knowledge. May sometimes appear more positive and confident than their experience in the area warrants.

 


 

Step 1: Self – Understanding

There are many aspects to a human personality. We are all very complex and unique. It is useful to reflect on what makes us who we are, so that we can have a better understanding of why we have certain tendencies, why we relate to some people better than others, and what contributes to our unique view of the world around us. The better we understand ourselves, the more our actions are a product of choice, and less a product of reaction to conditioning and unconsciousness tendencies. We could say that there are 3 general types of mental mechanisms that influence our choices:

  1. Our Cognitive Preferences
B.    Our Unconscious Conditioning
  1. Our Conscious thought process

 

This section will help you better understand the first of these – your cognitive preferences.


These preferences are also called your learning style, your cognitive style, your personality type, or your temperament type. There are several effective instruments that have been developed for understanding these preferences, including the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Paragon Learning Style Inventory. If you have not taken the Paragon Learning Style Inventory, contact your teacher or download it from the website: www.calstatela.edu/plsi before you continue. You will need your score to take advantage of this developmental process.

 

There are 4 packets in this series. This packet is designed specifically for those with an EN_ combination. If your PLSI score was one of the following ENTJ, ENFJ, ENFP, ENTP, then you are a person with an (E) Extroverted – (N) Intuitive preference. When compared to your peers with other preferences, you will have very different ways of processing information, thinking, and interacting. Knowing your tendencies can be one key to success in school.

 

Examine the following descriptions in bold. They should recognize your preferences in the lists.

 

EXTROVERT  (@60% of population)

learns best from doing

is more at ease and confident socially

likes to know how others are doing it

gets energized from socializing

readily volunteers and offers opinions

ideas start from the outside in

 

INTROVERT  (@40% of population)

likes to watch before doing

prefers working alone or with one other

sets own standards when possible

likes quiet space to work

seems "deep" and hard to understand

ideas start from inside out

 

SENSATE  (@65% of population)

is more realistic and practical

is more patient and steady

uses his/her experience and common sense

likes routines and order

looks more for what is actual and sensible

lives in the here and now

 

INTUITIVE  (@35% of population)

is more imaginative and abstract

likes new challenge, works in spurts

trusts what makes sense to her/him

dislikes routine and detail work

looks more for what is possible

lives toward her/his vision of the future

 

 

As you examine the preferences of both the Extrovert and the Intuitive sides of these 2 dimensions, you can see that your needs and comfort areas are different than many of the other students in your class.

 

When one puts an Extroverted preference together with a Intuitive preference the result is the unique combination, defined by the description – Action-Oriented Innovator. Here is a paragraph describing how a typical EN or Action-Oriented Innovator works best in schools. Again, it should sound familiar.

 

EN's  Action-Oriented Innovators  (@25% pf population)

 

Let me work in situations where I can use my communications skills in my learning.  If I am working in a group where there are chances to be creative, I can get really motivated. I am a much better student when I am “into the task” as opposed to when I am “not into the task.”  I like to be inspired and see the purpose behind the work. I have an expressive energy that comes out when I am comfortable, and it helps me draw out my creativity and make connections across content. Talking, discussing, role-playing, debating are natural ways for me to tap that energy source.  Peer tutoring a subject that I am good at is one of my favorite things to do. Projects where I can solve problems and draw energy from working with others and overcoming challenges are also areas where I feel very confident. When there are too many details, routines, lectures or the same old thing all the time, I may turn my creative energies into behavior that you may not like.

 

 

Now examine the chart below. If you are an ENFP or an ENFJ, the NF description on the left should give you some additional insight into your natural learning preferences. If you are an ENTJ or ENTP, the NT description on the right should be helpful.

 

Intuitive Types

Feeling Preference

Thinking Preference

NF's  Enthusiastic, Insightful types  (@22%)

 

When intuition is combined with feeling qualities the result is someone who is very good with people and language.  The NF is usually very enthusiastic and warm.  They are very oriented toward cooperative things, and away from competitive things.  They usually have very strong feelings about things and people, they really like them or really don't.  NF's are very personal types, and thrive in supportive, creative, and harmonious situations.

 

NT's  Logical, Ingenious types  (@15%)

 

When intuition is combined with a thinking style the result is someone who always needs to know "why?”  NT's are less interested in how things have been done, and more interested in how they can improve and change them.  They are very imaginative, and are very comfortable in the "world of ideas".  They like to be good at things, and always want to be learning.  They can appear unemotional, and can be accused of having an "attitude", which is usually not the case.

 

Below are the results of some of the research that has been done in schools, specifically selected for what has been found relating to extroverts and intuitives. It is often helpful to know the tendencies that have been demonstrated by others of your type. It can help us know what our natural strong and less strong areas and preferred modes of instruction might be. As we come to better understand our natural tendencies, we can learn to use our strength areas with more challenging tasks, and then over time begin to work on our less developed skills to be more successful at a broader range of tasks.

 

Extroversion Research

Intuitive Research

E =Score high on “Active Experiential” learner scale

E = Low “internal brain arousal”

ES = High involvement in sports

EP = Score high as “kinesthetic” learners

E = Like to share work when they are done

E = Tendency to externalize emotion

 

N = Tend toward “right hemisphere” brain use

NP = high creativity

IN = Highest SAT scores on average

NJ = High goal orientation

NT = Writing tends to try to “explain what happened” in a general way

NF = Writing tends to emphasize their “overall reactions” and the general sense of what happened.

NT = Can “over-complexify” a task

 

So what?

So I know about my learning style, so what? The answer is that knowing your learning style preference alone is not going to make you necessarily more successful. But it might help you feel like your tendencies, needs and values make a little more sense to you now. So, you should understand your strengths and weaknesses a bit better now. And your teacher has more resources related to your type that will be helpful if you are interested in learning more.

 

In a nutshell – your EN type is defined by enthusiasm and engagement.  EN types are very socially oriented, which is usually a plus, but can be seen as too “talkative” by some teachers.  Your innovative tendency is a real gift, but make sure that you keep in mind that others may not always appreciate it when you challenge the status quo (i.e., the way things have been done before). It is easy to rely on your social skills to get you through most situations, but be careful not to skip the other tasks that are necessary to do a good job. Many things come easily to you, but be sure to put a proportionate amount of emphasis on self-discipline.

 

Step 2 – Developing a Success Psychology

Your learning style is going to be pretty stable over your lifetime. That is, if you are an EN today, you will probably still be an EN in 30 years. But what is important is, will you be a happy, fulfilled, successful, and contented EN? Understanding our style will help, but what determines ones’ success will their values, attitudes and choices.

 

Earlier we talked about 3 things that influence our choices – 1) our cognitive or learning style, 2) our unconscious thoughts and 3) our conscious thoughts. You can’t do much to change the first one, but you can do a lot to change the second. And only you can make choices for yourself. So why would you want to change what is going on in your unconscious mind (also called your mental conditioning)? The answer is that it will make all the difference in whether you are happy or unhappy, achieving or not, and bringing positive circumstances into your life or not. In other words, we could say that at any time our unconscious mind is operating from either a success or a failure psychology.

 

Defining the Success Psychology

What makes someone oriented to success, achievement and high self-esteem is not a an accident or a mystery. Research tells us that people with the following 3 traits are more successful in schools and in life.

 

In this section we will use our knowledge of our cognitive type to help us best develop these 3 areas of thinking.


A Three Factor Operational Definition of SUCCESS PSYCHOLOGY

 

Our self-concept (and so tangentially our psychology of achievement) is very dependent on factors within our environment.   It is formed as a result of our years of experiences (especially the early ones).  It could be said that one’s eyes and ears record the messages they receive from others, especially those most important to them.  Because one’s unconscious accepts all words and emotions as facts, no matter how legitimate or based in reality, one’s psychological orientation to trying and achieving is being continuously constructed and reconstructed by what is encountered in the mirror of others verbal and non-verbal messages

 

Research into academic achievement produces three factors that strongly correlate with achievement, a success-orientation and self-esteem.  Each of the factors/components outlined below is separate but interrelated.  In the attempt to better understand and/or promote success in oneself and others, addressing these three components can help clarify our efforts.

 

INTERNAL LOCUS OF CONTROL: This factor is defined by one’s sense of internal causality and orientation toward personal responsibility.  The more internal LOC the more we feel like our destiny is in our own hands. It could be contrasted to seeing life as a series of accidents or “things that happen to us.”

It comes from: recognizing that our actions result in consequences, seeing cause and effect relationships related to success and failure, being given freedom, power and control with an expectation of using them responsibly.

 

SENSE OF BELONGING AND ACCEPTANCE: This factor reflects how much one feels wanted and a part of the group, and how much one likes and accepts them self as they are.  The more one feels accepted and acceptable, the more they are able to express themselves, act authentically and be fully present to others.  Self- acceptance could be contrasted to self-aggrandizement or a compulsion to please.

It comes from: accepting messages from VIPs (including self-talk), practicing a positive approach and attitude, experiencing emotional safety, and feeling a part of a community.

 

LEARNING-GOAL (or process-mastery) ORIENTATION vs. Performance-Goal (or entity-trait) Orientation: This factor relates to one’s thinking related to the root of their competence.  Everyone needs to feel competent and confident, but if it is perceived as coming from “how good we are” at a task (related to innate ability), then we tend to give up quickly and protect our egos in the face of failure.  If our confidence is rooted in our experience in persist to find solutions, enjoying the learning process, and approaching a task with the desire to overcome challenges, we will tend to grow and achieve more.  In this orientation intelligence is something that can be improved not innate.  This dynamic is at the root of a person being basically either success-seeking or failure-avoiding.

It comes from: having learning goals vs. performance goals, getting recognition or criticism for our efforts and not for our abilities, taking learning risks that pay off, and VIPs communicating an incremental vs. fixed view of intelligence and ability.


Developing a Success Psychology

To develop a success psychology you will need to work hand in hand with your teachers. They have been given ideas to help promote these skills in your class. But in this section let’s explore what we can do on our own to promote these mental patterns within our thinking.

 

Locus of Control:

The most predictive trait that successful people have is an understanding of the cause and effect relationship between their thinking and the quality of their life. In essence, successful people take responsibility to “make it happen.” Here are some self-statements that will help you develop this trait:

I alone am responsible for my success.

I understand that my thoughts will lead to actions, which will lead to how my life turns out, so I take my thoughts seriously, and try to think positively.

There are few accidents in life, I recognize that events have causes and everything is connected.

 

The EN combination is by nature very connected to their world especially the world of people. This is a real asset in social terms, but it can also lead to a tendency to lose sight of their own needs and inner voice for guidance. Self-reflection can be a useful tool for the EN. The ENJ combination tends to be comfortable with control of the external situation. This gives them a natural ability to lead, but they need to be careful not to be too dominating. The ENP combination tends to have many interests and goals in motion at the same time. This keeps their minds and situations very dynamic. Taking responsibility for doing what it takes to follow their ideas through to completion will give them a great sense of accomplishment and power.

 

Acceptance and Belonging:

If one does not feel a sense of self-acceptance and a feeling of belonging to a group (family, team, club, friends, class) then it leads to depression, low-self esteem, low motivation, and/or seeking love in unhealthy places.  If you do not learn to love yourself, no one else will. Here are some self-statements that will help you develop this trait:

I accept and love myself for who I am.

I accept and show care for others first, before I look for others acceptance of me.

I allow myself to be loved and accepted as part of “healthy” groups

 

Given the EN’s natural social skills, they typically have little trouble making friends and being accepted as a part of groups. So they have few of the problems of their introvert classmates in those areas. The ENF’s love of harmony and social easy make them naturally popular. The ENF can run into trouble when their need to please and dislike for conflict lead to what they see as problems. This can lead to guilt, worry, and inner conflict. Learning to be assertive can be helpful. The ENT’s natural problem solving skills can be useful to the group, but can also lead to being overly critical and rebellious. They should keep in mind that winning the argument can end up losing them a lot of friends and the trust of others. So being empathetic and accepting of others are good skills to work on.

 

Mastery Orientation:

What keeps most people from success in life, is a “fear of failure” mentality. Examine the 2 orientations outlined on the previous page, and on the last page of this packet, describing the research of Carol Dweck. It is easy to take on a fixed view of our abilities and overtime fall into a helpless (fear of failure) pattern. But those who use that mentality will be both less happy and less successful. Learn to enjoy the challenge of the new or difficult situation, and focus your energy into the process and products will work out. Avoid comparing yourself to others. Learn to enjoy the feeling of overcoming your doubts, insecurities and fears. Success will come from your attitude much more than your current ability level.

 

I trust that if I do a good job with the process good results will happen.

I will persist in the face of difficulty, I enjoy the challenge and do not fear failure. I never quit.

I am not my past grades, scores, or outcomes, I am getting better and growing every day.

I will not put limits on myself or let others do so.

 

The EN type is very process-oriented by nature, so when they are feeling comfortable, they are usually able to see the value in investing in the process and letting outcomes take care of themselves. But under pressure, they can become competitive and become excessively goal oriented. This is especially true of the ENT combination. The EN has a natural affinity for learning. Yet, they are also very idealistic. So they need to be careful not to become too frustrated when they do not live up their ideals or catastrophize challenges, giving up in the face of difficulties that threaten their self-image. Self-acceptance and relaxed persistence are useful mindsets for the EN.

 

Step 3 – Tapping into a Sense of Purpose

When one has a sense of purpose, his or her work is more focused, inspired, and meaningful. Developing a success psychology will lead to a more effective, enjoyable, and productive life, but adding a clearer sense of purpose will help you ground your success in things that you really care about.

 

Ask yourself what you really love to do. Where do your gifts lie? Learning to translate your gifts into benefit for others is the key to being happy, and will lead to prosperity if it is sincere.

 

To help clarify your purpose, it is a useful to perform the following exercise. First just write down some things that you like to do, things that you are good at, and ways you like to help others. Second, try to reduce all those things to a paragraph. And then see if you can reduce it to just a sentence or two. Use that sentence or two as a guide. It is likely that understanding your learning preferences will help you better recognize your gifts, but don’t feel limited by them.

 

Here is a chart depicting the career choices that have been made by some others with your learning style preferences. It should not limit, your thinking related to what you want to devote your life to, but it may be of interest.

 

ENFP

Counseling

Teaching

Religion

Arts

Public Relations

 

Or any other occupations where they can use their energy and people skills to motivate and help groups and individuals grow, and/or work together better.

ENTP

Science

Management

Technology

Arts

Design

 

Or any other occupations where they can use their analytical skills and multiple talents to help groups function more effectively, and solve new challenges.

ENFJ

Education

Religion

Social Work

Arts

 

Or any other occupations where they can use their people skills and enthusiasm to help others grow, make meaning and understand the big picture.

ENTJ

Management

Law

Leadership

Technology

 

Or any other occupations where they can use their natural leadership skills and analytical ability to help organize and marshal the energy needed to get collective tasks done.

 

 

 


NOTES TO MYSELF:

 

Things that struck me about my LEARNING STYLE preferences that I want to remember.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things I want to do to improve my INTERNAL LOCUS OF CONTROL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things I want to do to improve my sense of ACCEPTANCE AND BELONGING

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things I want to do to use less of a helpless pattern and more of a MASTERY PATTERN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes to myself – ideas that I want to remember when I sit down to develop my PERSONAL PURPOSE STATEMENT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix – In-depth Explanation of variable 3 – the Mastery-Orientation

Carol Dweck in her research over the course of 20 years has developed a very useful paradigm with which to examine academic self-concept, achievement, and motivation.  She shows very clearly that future success is not so much the result of talent or current level of achievement, but as a result of the orientation/tools one uses to approach learning tasks.

 

Two types of Students (and views of ability/intelligence):

Fixed ability/intelligence theory: These students seek to look smart and avoid looking dumb.  Their highest desire is to accomplish tasks successfully and prove their ability to others.  So they seek tasks that will make them look good to others and maintain their conception of themselves as high ability.

 

Incremental progress theory: These students see satisfaction coming from immersion in the process of learning.  Every opportunity to learn or try is an opportunity to get better.  They do not focus on what the outcome will say about them, but what they can attain from taking part in the venture.

 

Two corresponding reactions to failure:

Helpless Pattern: When confronted by failure, students with a fixed ability orientation dealt with it by assuming there was nothing they could do further.  Their ability was not enough to overcome the difficulty of the tasks and so they felt helpless.  After failure, they quickly began to put down their ability/intelligence and perceived the whole of their effort as disproportionately unsuccessful.

 

Mastery-Oriented Pattern: Students with an incremental/process orientation, when faced with a failure condition, immediately began to consider the various ways that they could approach the task differently.  They used self-instruction to motivate and guide themselves through the challenging task.

 

How each type of pattern is conditioned

Helpless Pattern

Mastery-Oriented Pattern

Being given performance goals (i.e., goals related to measuring the ability of the participant.

Being given learning goals (i.e., goals related to how much one is going to learn)

Focus on ends/products

Focus on means/processes

Being given praise and feedback related to how good at the task or intelligent one is.

Being given operational feedback related to process aspects of the task.

Focus on ability/intelligence

Focus on effort and application

Promote stereotypical beliefs about various groups typical ability/intelligence.

Challenge stereotypical beliefs about various groups typical ability/intelligence.

Develop a failure psychology

·         External locus of control

·         Individuality and competition

·         Worth is related to ability level

Develop a success psychology

·         Internal locus of control

·         Belonging and Acceptance

·         Use personal standards to judge success

 

Over time those with a mastery pattern showed a higher level of success in school, and a lower incidence of falling into a fear of failure.



[1] All teachers have been provided  “Developing a Success Psychology” and “How to Succeed with Students of Differing Learning Styles.”