Date of Award

Spring 2003

Document Type




First Advisor

Lauri Fahlberg

Second Advisor

Lynette Zuroff

Third Advisor

Gloria Lambertz


The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in personality types among athletes and how personality plays a role in sport participation and selection. In this investigation of male and female varsity athletes, results from the Enneagram Personality Assessment and the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator Assessment (MBTI) were similar according to gender. According to the MBTI and Enneagram, no gender differences were found in athletes of four varsity sports at Carroll College. Results from the Enneagram Personality Assessment indicated that 94% of all athletes participating at Carroll College (male basketball, female basketball, male football and female volleyball players) received a personality score of “Eight,” which is considered “The Powerful, Dominating type.” Eight’s are usually considered to be self-confident, decisive, willful, and confrontational. The interpretation of the above results suggests the athlete (despite gender) is more outgoing, socially confident, socially aggressive, dominant, and a strong leader. They also have higher social adjustment, prestige, and social status. Moreover they are stronger competitors, less anxious, more emotionally stable, and less compulsive. Furthermore, athletes tend to have a greater tolerance for physical pain. The athletic personality type, regardless of gender, demonstrates that competitiveness will be propelling them forward long after they leave the game.