Hardwired Personality + Life Experience = You

Steve Williamson, VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.
Monday, May 1, 2023
Hardwired Personality + Life Experience = You

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Studies have shown that our core psychology is largely fixed at birth, yet most people think the person they are today is very different than when they were young. Can both of these be true? Yes.

Personality Type

Take any personality test and your results will place you within one category or another. Are you a Blue-Banana-Leader-Interrogative type? An IKLM or a GBIC? Perhaps you're an Introverted Scorpio with Creative/Cognitive Tendencies.

How can these be true?

Can we lump 8+ billion people into just a few categories and call it good?

Picking on astrology for a moment, perhaps the most popular personality classification system in modern history, is it reasonable to think that every person on the planet, across all the myriad continents and cultures, can be grouped into 12 convenient classifications based solely on their date of birth?

What about life experience? If you are born to have a particular personality type, can your personality and demeanor, your preferences and aversions, change over time? Many of us feel we have some — or even many — differences as adults compared to the individuals we were at a younger age.

Can this nature vs nurture riddle be resolved once and for all?

Nature vs. Nurture

We believe it can, but it starts with a clarification. Get rid of the "vs" part of that statement, replace it with an “and", then you have a more realistic and accurate idea of what makes you "you."

Research by psychologists and psychometricians have determined that a large proportion of our core personality traits are shaped at or shortly after birth (it's hard to measure the personality of a newborn). Some traits take shape or evolve over time, such as the foods we like or the music we prefer. Our fundamental nature, however, is relatively static.

It's hard to measure the personality of a newborn.

The nurture aspect of our experience still has a part to play in how we are shaped as individuals. If you go through an intense emotional trauma or a particularly impactful event, those experiences will definitely play a part in guiding the way your responses to subsequent life events will manifest.

Here's an example.

If you go through a really tough break-up with someone who was emotionally abusive, you may take on some aversions to activities or other aspects of daily life that were going on at the time your relationship ended. Let's say you and your partner often went to see heavy metal bands play live, and then you discovered your partner was cheating on you with the drummer from Metallica. After that experience, you'll probably not be listening to Master of Puppets anytime soon. In fact, you may only listen to podcasts from NPR for the foreseeable future.

What about Psychometric Assessments?

There are two main points to consider when taking a personality test or psychometric assessment.

When you read your results, realize that their intent is to evaluate the deeper level fundamental aspects of your personality. These are the characteristics of your innate, unchanging nature that have been present since you were very young and likely will never change.

Your life experiences can alter or influence how your core personality is manifested, however. If you work in a field where creativity is shunned in favor of diligent yet boring repetition, the inherent creativity within you will likely be suppressed. It's still there and unchanged, but it is repressed and unable to shine free.

The second point has to do with the Core Values Index psychometric assessment and personality test in particular. Many personality tests attempt to put you into specific and narrow categories, while others such as Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI™) state that you possess a variety of different personality aspects.

The CVI, in contrast, reveals the specific ratio of four personality classifications — called core values — that dwell within your unchanging nature. When one or two core values are highly represented within your personality, the other two are proportionally lower.

In fact, there are several million different combinations or ratios of these core values that can exist within people. (That's more than twelve for those counting along at home.)

When you combine your personality's DNA as measured by the CVI with your life experiences, a picture is revealed that describes who you are in a highly accurate way.

Assessment Accuracy and Reliability

In case you're wondering, there is a handy way to calculate how accurate a psychometric assessment actually is. It's called repeat reliability. Essentially, if you take a personality test at age 20 and again at age 40, how similar will your results be? If the assessment is 100% reliable, your results will be identical despite the two decades of life experience that have transpired in between.

Which psychometric assessment has the best repeat reliability score of them all? The Core Values Index has been found in longitudinal studies to have a repeat reliability rating of 97.7%1. Nothing else even comes close.

MBTI struggles to get above 50% repeat reliability; a coin toss would be cheaper and equally as accurate — and you'd still have your coin afterward.

Core Values Index™ and CVI™ are trademarks of Taylor Protocols, Inc.


[1] Source: Seattle Research Partners, 2014

Go to eRep.com/core-values-index/ to learn more about the CVI or to take the Core Values Index assessment.

Employees hired with a CVI that closely matches a Top Performer Profile often outperform candidates hired without a TPP match by 200% or more. → Learn more

Steve Williamson

Steve Williamson

Innovator/Banker - VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.

Steve has a career in project management, software development and technical team leadership spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (ruckerworks.com), and when he isn't writing, he enjoys cycling, old-school table-top role-playing games, and buzzing around the virtual skies in his home-built flight simulator.

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