Tierney suffered a nasty mouth injury in the Scottish Cup final, and he will face England in World Cup qualifier on Sunday wearing a gumshield.
McGhee says that Tierney embodies the spirit of Pearce, who was nicknamed "Physcho" and earned a reputation for his passion on the pitch during his playing days.
McGhee said: "Stuart Pearce is a good example, a great comparison.
"That blood-on-the-face-and-head type of guy is Kieran. It's the way you expect him to be, with his determination and aggression.
"In time he'll be a player who, simply by playing against him, players will be intimidated. He might not intimidate people yet because they don't know him well enough.