Can there only be four types of people among 8 billion humans?
Many clever people have written many clever words about the scientific reliability of personality tests. Psychology Today claims that some of these “tests” are more scientific than others, especially those that place humans on a spectrum rather than into a type. This academically respected publisher claims that tests such as the Big Five Inventory and Revised NEO Personality Inventory can be deemed scientific. Others, such as Myers Briggs and DISC, are less accurate and oversimplify personality.
Even when reading the work of psychologists, we are permitted to question the conclusions they draw. It is a huge assumption that humans can be typed and categorised like the rest of the natural world. A scientific perspective can be challenged, and more humanist and spiritual models would claim it is nonsense even to claim that a test that knows people is scientific or not. There are 8 billion people in the world, individuals, all humans, though all distinct.
At Entelechy, we believe that there are traits that determine we are human beings. We have characteristics that bind us as a species. We call these Character Qualities. These 54 qualities are innate and are set at different levels within us. How trusting, collaborative, or empathetic we can be is shaped by a complex mixture of genetics, social and cultural context, and our current environment. Yet, the Character Quality is still there, waiting to be nurtured and evolved, so we can be better tomorrow than we are today.
54 Qualities versus 4 or 16 types does make us seem complex. Yet, human beings are complex. Individuals require something nuanced.
And we refine our view of the human even more.
We do not ask the question, “Is this you?”
We ask the question, “How much is this a strength of your Character?”
We have built this model to empower individuals to know and grow themselves. We don’t want to tell them the “truth” about who they are and leave them with no option but to adapt to this reality. We want to reflect back to them their human qualities and give them the tools to change this – to move the dials on the Character Qualities. An individual’s second Discover report will differ from the first; we have designed it that way.
If you like the idea of typing 8 billion people, we suggest there are 2,916 potential combinations of our Character Qualities as Strengths. Yet, this isn’t a fair reflection of our typing of people. We give people a five-point scale on which to determine their belief in these qualities as Strengths – a continuum of confidence in their ability to make the most of this trait within them. This means there are 14,580 potential types. This feels far more likely when referencing 8 billion individuals, but hard to design a website page selling these to you.
So, we don’t claim to offer you a type. Sorry, not sorry.
We offer insight reports for every individual, team leader, executive, HR leader, and L&D leader. Our Character Key will offer reflections, actions, and questions that help you come to your conclusions about the complexity of being human.
If you find our approach refreshingly honest and common sense, contact us to discuss how Discover might be for you.