Personality Types: Four, or Millions?

Steve Williamson, VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.
Monday, February 28, 2022
Personality Types: Four, or Millions?

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The Core Values Index™ psychometric assessment has four core value energies or personality types. They are called Builder, Merchant, Innovator and Banker. Is it possible for a personality assessment to reduce the entire human population down into just four basic types?

Unlike some other personality tests and psychometric assessments you may have heard of, the CVI is far from being so simplistic.

In CVI parlance, we refer to people who have completed the assessment by their primary and secondary core value energies. For example, I am an Innovator/Banker. This is because my scores are 27 points Innovator, 17 points Banker, 15 points Builder, and 13 points Merchant.


Unlike other assessments that describe you as a Watermelon-Creative-Blue-Interrogative type, or whatever parlance they use, the CVI has four possible core value energies but it goes way beyond that.

You are a complex and unique individual. You are the sum of your experiences which are truly unique, but you are also defined by a set of hardwired emotional characteristics. You have a specific personality DNA that was essentially formed at birth, an emotional profile that changes very little over the course of your entire lifetime (minus any extreme emotional trauma, of course).

It is this specific combination of experiences and hardwired emotional profile that makes you unique.

The Core Values Index psychometric assessment analyzes and measures your emotional profile. It describes your psychometric profile using a points system. These points, ranging from 0 (none) to 36 (maximum), represent how much of four personality types, or core value energies, exist within you.

There are literally millions of different CVI points profile combinations.

It is your specific ratio of these energies that make up your CVI profile.

For example, even though I describe myself as an Innovator/Banker, I am far more complex than that. Those are just the top two energies that comprise my psychometric profile, and it makes for easy communication when discussing my profile with others.

What are your CVI points?

When you take the Core Values Index and read your full report, you will see a graph that represents how much of each core value energy comprises your personality. As mentioned, these will be listed as a number of points per energy. They can range from 0 to 36. The total of your four core value energy points will be exactly 72. This means when you have a lot of points in one core value energy, one or more of the other energies will be correspondingly lower.

By way of example, someone who has an equal amount of each core values energy within them will have a profile of 18-18-18-18.

Any score 25 points or above is considered profound.

Scores 12 points or lower are rarely if ever accessed within your personality.

Aptitude vs. Profile

A common misconception about psychometrics is that they represent or somehow measure aptitude. This myth likely originates from the fact that the CVI and competing psychometric assessments are often used in hiring. Aptitude and emotional hardwiring are not the same thing, however, although they can inform a hiring decision.

When it comes to the myth of your psychometric profile being the same as aptitude, at least in terms of your CVI profile, this is not true, at least not directly.

Your CVI profile represents, in part, the kind of activities you prefer.

For example, a common trait among those with high or profound Innovator scores is they enjoy solving problems. That is a hallmark of Innovator energy.

Those with high Builder scores like to get things done and check them off lists. Bankers like to gather information and knowledge, and Merchants like to connect with others.

Your CVI profile also reflects the lens through which you see the world. It determines and describes how you like to communicate with others and how you like them to communicate with you. Your profile represents how you respond to conflict and stress. It even represents your preferred learning style.

But these are not directly the same thing as aptitude.

If you really enjoy doing something, you will likely become good at it.

It is this indirect connection — not causation — that ties your profile to aptitude.

Let's describe this path from emotional hardwiring to aptitude in the context of your Core Values Index psychometric profile.

If you have a high Merchant score in your CVI profile, your personality will be predominantly described and influenced by that energy. This means you will see the world through the lens of a Merchant.

Your secondary and tertiary, and even your minor core value energies inform and shape your primary core value. Your points spread will tell you how much influence they exert.

If you have a very low Innovator score, for example, engaging in activities that strongly appeal to Innovators will likely be something you will unconsciously or even consciously avoid, even to the point that those activities feel unpleasant. They won't feel natural.

This doesn't mean that those with lower Innovator scores can't solve problems. Not at all! It just means those types of activities won't be their preference.

Your CVI profile essentially represents where you're happiest and how you prefer to operate with the world around you.

The trick is to look at your total CVI profile and scores relative to each other.

What is the ratio of each of the four core value energies within you? Are you well-rounded, with nearly equal scores across all four? If so, you will likely be fairly adaptable and versatile in the things you enjoy from one day to the next, but you won't have a strong preference — or aversion — one way or another.

Do you have a profound score in one core value energy and correspondingly lower scores in the other three? You will likely enjoy engaging in one class of activities the majority of the time, and only occasionally engage in the others when needed.

Take the Core Values Index and read your full report. Look at your particular ratio of scores amongst the four core value energies. Reflect on how your particular profile aligns with your career and life choices. You may discover some profound insights into aspects of your life that have been great sources of joy and comfort, and areas that always felt like you were trying to nail gravy to a tree.

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.

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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 (, 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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