Imagine being able to confidently predict how someone is likely to behave, especially under pressure. Most temperament or psychometric assessments assume that people always neatly fit specific categories, but that’s not how the brain or real-world behaviour works. Instead, the NeuroSmart® Predictive Temperament Assessment takes into account unique response patterns that see individuals behaving similarly in one situation, but differently in another.
Temperament assessments, personality assessments & other psychometric assessments typically predict preferences & behaviours with the assumption that any of us can be identified as a single category, spot on a chart or ranking on a graph, and that we are stable and predictable according to their model. But, from years of testing & observation, we found that people’s behavioural patterns change according to the situation they find themselves in, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. And when it comes to recruitment, management, career planning & personal development, those changes really matter.
Traditional assessments work on the basis that temperaments have two inevitable sides – for example, under stress the driven person gets stubborn, the detailed person gets pedantic, & the peacemaker retreats. The problem is it’s usually not so simple – for example, under stress the peacemaker might become assertive, the driven person persuasive & the detailed person might retreat. This is because genetics and years of unique experiences drive synaptogenesis, the formation of unique connections between neurons that, among other things, shape the ways individuals feel, think and respond to any given situation or stimuli.
While the differences between seemingly-similar individuals can end up being quite different under pressure due to changes in brain chemical, region & network function, the behavioural patterns of each individual are mostly habitual & predictable. With repetition, the synaptogenesis that created neural connections is supported by myelination, the formation of a protective sheath around connections, making the habit more deeply embedded & resistant to change. This means that, for adults, although they may not neatly fit a conceptual model, past behaviours typically predict future behaviours.
Temperament assessments are based on the concept that the habitual behavioural or personality traits can allow individuals to be categorised & therefore better understood. While we don’t like the idea of generalising & oversimplification, there is a lot of evidence to support the view that people have relatively stable personalities & behavioural schemas. However, behaviours are responses, so judgements should not be about “right” or “wrong”, but about the fit between a) preferred responses to given environments, challenges & contexts; & b) the expected behaviours of an individual in that context. This application is where the real value of this assessment lies & why it is so useful for recruitment, career planning & self-development.
Some assessments describe people as one purely thing or another – but that is a false premise. For example, in some situations an individual can seem more extroverted, & in others more introverted – behaviour in a given moment is simply a response to the reward / risk sum subconsciously attached to a situation. If the mesolimbic dopamine pathway & the valuation network judge that being involved in a conversation is likely to be more rewarding than avoiding it, then the person will join the conversation, whereas if a conversation is likely to have a negative reward sum, they will avoid it. Rather than applying an arbitrary label, this assessment shows the prevalence & context you can expect for these co-existing behavioural opposites.
The NeuroSmart® Predictive Behavioural Temperament Assessment is underpinned by neurobiology. Specifically, it illustrates the influence of the fear response system on changes to mental capacity & consequent behavioural responses to stress, as well as incorporating core elements of brain development & the neuroscience of motivation. This grounding in solid science is why it has proven so accurate & reliable to become a core part of many clients’ recruitment & career development programs. View here.