Motivations and Fears of Four Personality Types

Steve Williamson, VP Digital Marketing and Content Creation, eRep, Inc.
Monday, February 13, 2023
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Motivations and Fears of Four Personality Types

Discover your personality's DNA with the Core Values Index psychometric assessment. → Learn more

Tags: #motivations #fears #psychology

When someone takes the Core Values Index™ psychometric assessment, they learn how much of four personality types — what we call core values — make up their overall personality. These core values determine what motivates you and what scares you.

Your Personality's DNA

Your CVI profile describes your innate, unchanging nature — your personality's DNA. This is how you are hardwired, essentially from birth. It is your particular ratio of these four core values, coupled with your life experiences, that make up who you are. It is what makes you unique.

Your CVI profile describes your innate, unchanging nature — your personality's DNA. This is how you are hardwired, essentially from birth.

The four core values represent distinct personality archetypes, and within you lies a particular blend of all four. When one of the four dominates your psychometric profile, the other three represent proportionally less of your personality.

In this article, we describe these four core value energies. After completing your CVI assessment — an easy process that takes only 8 minutes or so — look at your particular scores and see which of these four core values describes you most.

If you are one of the folks that have a relatively well-balanced CVI profile, you will likely recognize characteristics from all four core values within yourself. In that case, although one might have a slightly higher score than the others and is labeled 'primary', these other core value energies will not be too far away.

Each core value energy has associated with it a dominant motivator, and along with it, a greatest fear. You will notice as you read these descriptions that a person's greatest innate fear is represented as the inverse of their primary motivation.

In essence, what makes you the happiest can be your greatest fear when that happiness is missing or when you experience the opposite of that source of happiness.

Four Core Values

The four core value energies are called:

  • Builder
  • Merchant
  • Innovator
  • Banker

Those with Builder as their primary core value energy are take-charge kind of people. They have great faith in their ability to always know what to do.

Merchants are often the hub or center of community and group activities. They excel at getting everyone to pull together toward common goals.

When a problem needs to be solved, Innovators are typically the first to offer helpful solutions. Solving difficult problems and challenges is their bread and butter.

Bankers are the gatherers and keepers of knowledge and information. They seek information and share it with a strong sense of justice, and will aloofly withhold their knowledge from those they don't feel justly deserve to receive it.

Primary Motivations and Greatest Fears

Builders seek confirmation that they will always be able to handle any situation that comes up. They not only want to take charge and get things done, but they want to do so with great faith in themselves that they are always up for the challenge.

Because a Builder's primary motivation is to be the source of power and action in everything they do, their greatest fear is that they will be powerless and weakly unable to handle a challenge. This can shatter their sense of faith in their abilities.

Perhaps ironically, a Builder may avoid activities if they don't have that strong faith and self assurance that they can powerfully get things done.

Merchants want to feel better about themselves. They want to know that they are worthy of love, respect and admiration from others. They seldom like to do things in isolation because the praise and appreciation from others that fuels their energy would be absent.

This ties into a Merchant's greatest fear, that they will not be worthy of the love, respect and admiration of others. When others don't want to join in the Merchant's team-leading efforts — the sound of crickets is the worst thing a Merchant can hear — they feel deflated and unloved.

Innovators want to be the best at solving problems, including any challenges they face in their personal lives. They want to know that they will always have the wisest solution to any challenge. Nothing makes an Innovator happier than coming up with the best solution possible to problems, and they tend to be perfectionists in their effort to achieve that best solution.

Because Innovators want to be the greatest source of wisdom on the team, an Innovator's greatest fear is that they will be seen as unwise, or that they will be inadequate in their attempt to solve a problem. Being unable to solve a problem deflates an Innovator. Nothing makes them demotivated faster than being made to feel like their ability to solve problems is unwanted, or worse, inadequate.

Bankers want to know all the information they can find about themselves and about every other topic within their grasp. Few things make a Banker happier than knowing the answers to questions and having the complete data necessary when called upon.

What is the opposite of knowledge? Ignorance. A Banker's greatest fear is being ignorant. Having to say, "I don't know," is torturous to a Banker.


As you read these descriptions of what motivates and scares each core value energy, the amount of these descriptions within you is directly reflected by your CVI scores.

See The Score Matters: Get To Know Your Core Values Index Scores

Remember, as one score goes up, the other scores go down by a proportional amount. Those with profound primary scores in one core value energy — typically 25 points or higher — tend to have relatively small amounts of the other three core value energies within their personality, sometimes to the point of those energies only rarely (if ever) influencing their personality at all.

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

Go to 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 Creation, 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 (, 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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