Robin Fenske & John G. Bell


Spring '03 – Hill

Myers Briggs and Safari Journey Experiment


We developed a set of surveys to test the links between Myers Briggs, the Journey, Personal Satisfaction, and Conflict Management.


  1. Myers Briggs to cats cradle

While talking about our own personal Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), we ended up speculating on if and how the system of MBTI would look if represented by a Cat's Cradle graph 1.

When we tried to put the MBTI on the Cat's Cradle graph, we had some initial problems. It appeared that the Cat's Cradle graph could not accurately illustrate the variety of type indicators. We were able to place F/P and T/J in the outer quadrants but struggled over how to represent the E/I and S/N pairs until we realized that these could be represented as parts of each quadrant. Each section, the quadrants and center, is capable of representing four elements where previously each represented only three.

This allowed us to develop a model that represents all the type indicators and provides a possible amplification of the types in the center of the Cat's Cradle. The expansion of the sections of the graph to represent four elements led us to an amplification of the journey2.

  1. Journey to Myers Briggs cradle

In making the journey conform to our new mode of thinking, we were able to represent the journey in a new way on a Cat's Cradle graph. The journey could now be related directly to the Myers Briggs personality pairs. Each personality type could then correspond to a set of relevant stages in the journey.

  1. MBTI to cradle

For each personality type, we mapped a location on the new journey Cat's Cradle graph. This allowed us to develop a model of personal satisfaction and conflict management linking each personality type to stages of the journey.

  1. The survey

We created the survey to test these links between the Journey and MBTI. The questions were created in two sections related to the two brains model. This model was discussed in earlier papers. The idea of the two brains offers that there are individually based and community based ways of viewing the world. We used this idea in our experiment by designing the survey with one section of questions related to the individual and another related to community interaction. We created a set of uniform questions for each section into which specific keywords from the matching stages of the journey could be inserted. Using this technique, a survey was produced which was specific to each personality type.

We expected that there would be a linkage in participant’s perceptions of their personal satisfaction and conflict management with our developed theory based on the Journey about MBTI-specific conflict and satisfaction models.

Materials and Methods

We collected our data on May 12th and 13th from 11 AM until 2 PM at a table near the CAB building at the Evergreen State College.

The survey was conducted anonymously and no names were captured on the survey. Participants signed a release form. The release forms was not associated directly to the survey itself, and was not used within any published paper or results.

The survey did not capture any individually identifying information. The original surveys were not shared with anyone. Participants did not share their responses with any other individuals during the survey, as they filled them out separately. The data collected was only published as an aggregate of the responses. We had a space for the participants to comment on the survey and the experience. The consent form provided an opportunity for participants to explicitly volunteer these comments separately from the rest of the data, since the comments were not used in aggregate. Comments from participants that were not explicitly released were not shared or published.

On an individual level, the participants received candy for completing the survey. Individuals were allowed candy even if they do not wish to take the survey, which slightly removed the possible bias toward our desired response. On an institutional level, participants gained a feeling that they had participated in a community activity at the institution. Helping other students with their projects helped strengthen the campus solidarity. For our society, we worked on a model of personal growth that involves an ecology of conflict management and personal satisfaction techniques.

The survey included fifteen questions. The variables for each MBTI based survey were based on variables from the Journey. Some variables used may have negative connotations, while others may have positive connotations. Please see attached example survey. In questions one through thirteen, the participants were asked to using a scale of one to five to rank their disagreement to agreement. “Neither agree nor disagree” was signified by the number three. The first question focused on the participants perceived accuracy of their MBTI. Questions 2 through 7 focused on personal life, while questions 8 through 13 focused on interactions with others. Questions 2 and 8 focused respectively on the aspects of individual and community that the participant predominantly enjoys. Questions 3 and 9 focused respectively on the aspects of individual and community that the participant predominantly did not enjoy. Questions 4 and 10 focused respectively on the aspects of individual and community that the participant predominantly finds helpful in increasing their satisfaction and balance. Questions 5 and 11 focused respectively on the aspects of individual and community that the participant predominantly finds helpful in balancing the two variables (Introduced in Q. 2 & 8 and 3 & 9). Questions 6 and 12 focused respectively on the links of individual and community between the participant motivation to move away from the variable (Q. 3 & 9) and move toward the balancing variable (Q. 4 & 10) and enjoyable variable (Q. 2 & 8). Questions 7 and 13 focused respectively on the links of individual and community between the participants motivation for moving towards the variable (Q. 2 & 8) and the motivation to overcome the not enjoyable variable (Q. 3 & 9) and feel a greater sense of the balancing variable (Q. 4 & 10). Question 14 recorded the gender of the participant. Question 15 recorded the age of the participant.


Our sample group included 13 different MBTI out of 16 possible MBTI. We collected 28 surveys. Our participants were equal based on gender, with an average age of 26. The age ranged with a deviation of 6.67 years.











































Total Average Answer


Total Average Deviation


Total Participants


Total Female


Total Male


Average Age


Age Average Deviation



Overall, we found that when the average answers were higher, when participants agreed, the deviation was lower. When the average answers were lower, when participants disagreed, the deviation was higher. The total average answer is slightly above “neither disagree nor agree”, at 3.299.

The variance of the averages for each question may be due to the language choice of the survey. Several participants commented that the wording on the survey questions felt difficult because of social norms regarding the positive and negative connotations of several of the variables. Despite this, the total average answer indicates that the participants moderately agree with our hypothesis regarding the links between the Journey, Satisfaction, and Conflict Management based on MBTI.

1 In the Safari Paper, (Winter 2003) we introduced the “Cat's Cradle” graph as a tool for systems thinking.

2 In the Safari Paper, (Winter 2003) we introduced the Journey.