Paragon Learning Style Inventory

A Window into Learning Style and Cognitive Preference









Understanding My Score on the PLSi Q & A - Adult Version

Q. What does my score mean?

A. The score you just obtained from taking the Paragon Learning Style Inventory (i.e., ESFJ, INFP or INTP, etc.) is a measure of some of your cognitive and perceptual preferences. There are 16 learning type combinations. All of the 16 types are well represented in society. All are valuable and capable.  They are just different in a few fundamental ways.

Q. What if I scored a 6-6  tie?

A. It is possible to have one dimension or more in which you have no clear preference. For example you may be right in the middle of being an extrovert or an introvert. But for most people there will be at least a slight preference for one side over the other. If your score was 6-6 on a particular dimension, then it may help to look at the descriptions on the “4 factors” page. After examining each pair of characteristics, see if one is a little “more you” than the other. And as you examine the 2 and 4 letter combinations, your preference may become clearer. However, if you cannot break the tie, then you can use an X for that dimension. For example for the first dimension someone with a tie might be an XNFP or XSTJ.

Q. Is my type “stable” and will I always be this type?

A. Experts disagree, but your learning type should be pretty stable. Most people do not change very much in their lifetime. Between the ages of 8 and 18 this kind of test is a bit less reliable, however, after 25 there should be little change. But remember a test like the PLSI is only getting at what is inside you and if you are not honest or if your "head is in a funny place" it will make your score less of a reliable indicator of your inner type.

Q. What do I do now that I have a four-letter type?

A. It is hoped that just knowing your type is helpful in understanding yourself. And it may help you see how you are different from others. You may find that some people you meet are harder to understand than others. This usually has something to do with your learning style (also called “type” in the MBTI). Exploring the PLSI materials on paper or on the website might help you understand how your learning type most prefers to learn and interact with others.

Q. What are the four dimensions? and what do they mean?

A. The four dimensions seem to be areas where human beings differ in very fundamental ways. These differences seem to represent what could be called “traits.” These traits are something like left-handedness and right-handedness. We did not really learn to be one or the other, and most of us did not choose one over the other, but most people are just dominant with one hand or the other and not usually both. And while we use both hands everyday, when we need to feel secure, we tend to use our preferred hand. This is the same with each of the four dimensions. We use them both, but we usually choose our dominant preference when we need to feel comfortable.

Introversion and extroversion are ways of orienting ourselves to ideas and people. Extroverts merge easily with the outer world and/or people and external reality and introverts are more inner-centered. Extroverts work more outside in and introverts work more inside out.

The dimension of Sensation and/or Intuition (also called Practicals and Abstracts by Kolb) is a way of making sense of ideas. Sensates see ideas more as part of physical reality and connected to what is. Intuitives see ideas as a world in and of themselves and see ideas as just as real as things. This area has much to do with preferences in communication, where Sensates often prefer to talk about what is, and Intuitives more often talk about what is perceived and interpreted.

The dimension of Thinking and Feeling deals with one's orientation to making decisions. Thinkers tend to make decisions based on logic and ideas whereas Feelers tend to make decisions based more on relation to people and how their actions affect others, especially their feelings.

The dimension of judgment and perception (also called Sequentials or Randoms by Gregorc) deals with how one is oriented to the outer world. They use their other preferences to approach their thoughts and actions. Perceivers are very attuned to incoming information and Judgers are very comfortable making judgments and decisions about things. This dimension is very influential in one's orientation to time and physical order.

Q. What is not measured by the PLSI (or MBTI of Keirsey-Bates)?

The four dimensions measured by the PLSI represent four fundamental areas of self. But there are other dimensions that are not addressed such as field-dependence and independence, dominance and passiveness, left-brain and right brain, and many others that are treated by other systems. That is not to say that all dimensions are valid. The strength of the PLSI and MBTI are the soundness or the four “constructs’ backed up by years of research.

Also not addressed in this system are all the learned behaviors, cultural influences, gender influences, and the basic work ethic and degree of positivity in one’s attitude toward life.  Type is predictive or many things, but it is no guarantee of success or capability. It goes without saying that there are no substitutes for hard work, a good attitude and making good choices.

Q. Should this affect who my friends are?

A. It probably already has. Most of us are attracted to people who are like us because they think like us, and what they say makes sense to us. Those people give us a sense of comfort and validation. But almost as often we are attracted to people who are in many areas our opposites. This is because opposite types are interesting to us and exciting to be around because we can feel the contrast. Often this contrast is useful because opposite types can compliment one another and often get a job done more effectively than a group of similar types.

Q. Are there better types to be?

A. Absolutely not! All the learning types are absolutely critical to make the world function. But certain types are better at certain things. Our preferences and styles affect how we work and what we like to do. Learning type is often used to help people find jobs that are best suited to their abilities. For example most artists are Intuitives (N), and are more often feelers (F) and introverts(I). Most engineers are sensates (S) and thinkers (T). Most teachers are feelers (F) and judgers (J) and often SJ's (sensate judgers). Most scientists are NT's (intuitive-thinkers). Most sales people are SF’s (sensate feelers). Take a look at the career choices of the 16 types in your packet for more ideas. But remember, never feel limited by your preferences. Use your type to gain insight, but never to limit your choices or future goals.