Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Author's Department


First Advisor

William G. Kirk


Psychologists generally consider personality to be a collection of characteristics and traits. These characteristics are manifested through two domains: affect (emotion) and cognition (thinking). Evidence has shown affect and cognition to be closely related.

Psychotherapy modalities can be categorized along a continuum, from highly rational and logical (cognitive) on one end, to highly affective on the other.

The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between cognitively and affectively oriented persons and irrational thoughts or ideas as defined by a highly rational therapy modality (Rational-Emotive Therapy) in an effort to determine a treatment of choice for these persons.

Two instruments were used in the present study. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a Jungian instrument consisting of four indices that determine personality type: Extraversion-Introversion, Sensation-Intuition, Judgment-Perception, and Thinking-Feeling. The Irrational Personality Trait Inventory (IPTI) is a self-report device that determines frequency and strength of irrational thoughts or ideas that a person possesses.

65 undergraduate students from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois and Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan were administered the MBTI and IPTI. Only the first two of the three parts of the IPTI were administered because of the length involved. All of the MBTI was administered, but only the Thinking-Feeling index was used in this study, since it was the affective/cognitive domains that were of interest.

The following hypotheses were offered: (1) A significant relationship exists between affect and irrational ideas, (2) A significant relationship exists between cognition and irrational ideas. In addition, the following null hypothesis was offered: There will be no significant differences between those subjects who prefer affective modes, as measured by the MBTI, and those who prefer cognitive modes in their frequency of irrational beliefs, as measured by the IPTI.

The MBTI and IPTI were scored for each subject. The raw scores of the Thinking scale of the MBTI were compared with the IPTI raw scores for all subjects by means of the Spearman Rank-Order Correlation test. The results indicated that a low, non-significant, negative relationship exists between the two tests. The raw scores of the Feeling scale were compared with the IPTI raw scores for all subjects by use of the Spearman. The results indicated that a low, nonsignificant, positive relationship exists between these two sets of scores. A t-test was made between IPTI scores for the group that was predominantly Thinking in preference and the IPTI scores for the group that was predominantly Feeling. The results of this t-test were also non-significant.

A number of possible explanations for the nature of the results were offered. These explanations involve the possible incompatibility of the two theories used in the study, differences in operational terms used, and the use of only the verbal self-report mode for measuring emotion employed by the IPTI.

Suggestions were also offered for further experimentation and research on this issue.

The results of the study were unable to provide an answer to the original research question posed, and so were unable to point to a treatment of choice based on specific personality types.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.