A study of undergraduates at Mercyhurst College found that students in the Intelligence Studies program were significantly more likely to prefer Intuition and Thinking, and slightly more likely to prefer Extraversion, when compared with the general population.
Overall, the most common personality type among freshman and sophomore intelligence students was INTJ, at 16.7% of students surveyed. National surveys have put the percentage of INTJs in the general population at 2.1%, indicating a significant overrepresentation of the INTJ type among underclassmen in the program. Among juniors and seniors, ESTJ and ISTJ were the most common types found, and the ENTJ type was overrepresented when compared to the general population.
Intelligence analysis is a dynamic field which involves gathering and refining crucial information for use in national security, law enforcement, and private business. According to the study's authors, the demonstrated personality preferences correspond with the competencies required by this occupation, particularly the pattern orientation of the Intuitive preference and the tendency toward logical, objective analysis associated with Thinking.
Information about personality type distribution in particular fields of study can inform recruitment and retention efforts as colleges are better able to understand the needs and talents of their student body.
The study was led by Stacy Gilchrist of the US Department of Homeland Security.