Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Rationalists: Intuitive-Thinking

The Rationalist core needs include knowledge, competence, mastery and understanding. Rationalists seek out knowledge, with an ongoing drive to comprehend things. It is very important to Rationalists to feel competent and to be seen by others as competent. They have an ongoing desire to acquire information and to demonstrate their intellect and knowledge. They want things to be "workable" and right. They have a natural ability to abstractly analyze a situation and factor in all possibilities and contingencies, identifying the ways and means to achieve a well-defined goal.

They see connections between things that are not evident to others. They can retain a large number of facts in their minds and manipulate them to find relationships. They are usually excellent long-term planners and can accurately predict the effects of specific actions.

Rationalists want a rationale for everything. They tend to be skeptical, thinking in terms of differences. They spend much of their time formulating theories. They are not interested in learning facts as much as they are in learning systems and frameworks. They enjoy making logical and analytical judgments.

Rationalists can easily move from the big picture of a situation to the details. With such a versatile focus they often excel at design, schematizing, reasoning, strategizing, analysis, forecasting, logic and problem solving. They are proficient at seeing the basic principles and possibilities, making them very capable of visioning and inventing.

In recreational pursuits, Rationalists look at activities as a chance to learn and to increase their skill and knowledge. They seldom view an activity as an athletic endeavor. They are self-critical and driven to perfection. They may not participate in an activity if they do not believe they can excel in it.

Rationalists tend to be independent and competitive and have the least interest in forming common bonds. Their friendships are often formed amongst a shared interest or project. Sometimes their absorption in the abstract can make them appear distant or aloof.

Rationalists in the Classroom

Rationalists enjoy logically presented lectures about abstract and intellectual subjects, and they will usually follow up through reading. They will especially learn from a lecture if followed by opportunities to complete long-term independent projects. They want stimulation and new ideas.

Rationalists are seeking an overview of how things operate, exploring the "whys."They look for whatever will enable them to understand, explain, predict, and control. They are naturally skilled at logical thinking and problem solving. They often excel in science, math, and philosophy, although they can master nearly any subject they choose.

The Rationalist is ordinarily filled with intellectual curiosity and will focus on technology. Experimentation, invention, complex problem solving and discovery through intellectual exploration are the best learning devices for the Rationalist.

When they are interested in a particular topic, Rationalists may spend hours reading about it and researching it believing they should be able to know everything about it. They like questions that stimulate thinking, independent study, and complex projects. They enjoy creative problem solving exercises such as puzzles, brainteasers, and strategy board games.

A Rationalist prefers to acquire new information rather than spending time communicating he knows something. Therefore, he may fail to complete homework assignments. Rationalists may have difficulty in establishing priorities. Their drive for competency is attached to their inner standards for improvement, resulting in sometimes over-pressuring themselves. With such a hunger to know everything, they sometimes need to come to terms that they cannot learn everything. They may fail to develop necessary recreational pursuits.

This temperament is most prone to neglect subjects in areas they feel are unnecessary or not worth their time. They are especially impatient in required subjects that are not part of their major if they have little interest in them. Not all types enjoy the many levels of complexity that fascinate Rationalists and may become impatient with the detailed explanations of these students.

Tips for Rationalist Students:

  1. When dealing with detailed subjects step back and look at the big picture. Take notes on the details, and then look for the overall.
  2. Look for the rational reasons for studying non-major subjects. Look at these subjects as a challenge.
  3. Prioritize your studies. Remember, you can't learn everything about a particular subject. Work on developing realistic expectations.
  4. Take time each week for recreation, even if just a few minutes at a time.
  5. It might be difficult for you to engage in memorization and repetition. Recognize that these activities are sometimes necessary to succeed in school. Spend some time on memorization and then reward yourself by reading topics that provide intellectual stimulation.
  6. If you have instructor who you don't believe is competent, you are likely to be frustrated. Concentrate on learning what you can from him or her rather than what he or she doesn't know, and supplement your knowledge from the textbook and/or other outside sources. If you don't get your questions answered sufficiently by your instructor, consider it a challenge to find out the answers yourself from another source.
  7. If you don't understand why you are asked to do something and would like to know, ask your instructor outside of class for an explanation. Let them know that you are simply curious and that an understanding would help you to perform better.
  8. Seek out other classmates with whom you can discuss and exchange ideas and share insights.


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