Document Type

Conference Presentation

Publication Date



The study examined the relationship between Temperament Type and changes in Cultural Competency among a group of university undergraduate students. For this study, Temperament Type (Keirsey, 1998) was considered to be a set of observable personality traits, e.g., communication, habits, behavior patterns, values, attitudes, talents, etc. Cultural Competency, according to Hammer and Bennett (2010), was defined as “the capability to accurately understand and adapt behavior to cultural difference and commonality.” The study responded to this research question: To what extent does Temperament Type affect changes in the Cultural Competency of undergraduates? Data was collected using two computer-based, online inventories. First, students completed the 70-question Keirsey Temperament Sorter – II (KTS-II) to categorize their personality type. The KTS-II was selected because it has been shown to be useful for describing human behavior according to the Keirsey-Bates Temperament Type (1998). These types are based on four categories of personality: (a) introvert – extrovert; (b) intuitive – sensory; (c) feeling – thinking; and (d) judging – perceiving. Second, students completed the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), developed by Hammer and Bennett (1998, 2001.) The IDI had 50 Likert-type items that were answered in 20 to 30 minutes. The IDI was based on Bennett’s Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (1986), which identified five orientations toward cultural differences: denial, polarization, minimization, acceptance, and adaptation. The psychometric properties associated with the IDI have shown that it is useful for assessing training needs and for identifying impact of interventions aimed at increasing intercultural competence. Both surveys were administered to 50 undergraduate students enrolled in a Human Relations course. Data was collected at the beginning and at the conclusion of the 16-week course, in order to measure changes in Cultural Competency that occurred possibly as a result of the course experiences. The results of this study will help determine the efficacy of teaching methods used by the instructors to develop Cultural Competency.

Faculty Mentor

Elizabeth Sandell