Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to top questions about how the Core Values Index™ psychometric assessment works, the difference between the free and upgraded/full CVI™, effective job searching methods, how to use the Happiness Index, and more!

  • What are the primary core value types?

    There are four primary core value types that are called Builder, Merchant, Innovator, and Banker. These represent power, love, wisdom, and knowledge, respectively. Everything about the CVI revolves around your unique combination of these four core energies.

  • What are the six contribution types?

    The six contribution types are calculated based on combinations of your four primary core values.

    Intuitive: Builder + Merchant
    Creative: Merchant + Innovator
    Cognitive: Innovator + Banker
    Practical: Banker + Builder
    Independent: Builder + Innovator
    Community: Banker + Merchant

    These contribution types, available only with a full CVI, give you expanded insight about yourself in those categories. Your full CVI report provides strategies for how you can best utilize your contribution types.

  • I get numerical scores with the full CVI. Why do the numbers matter?

    Simply knowing that you are an Innovator/Merchant, for example, isn't enough. The numerical scores provided with your full CVI report lets you know the relationship and proportions of each of the four core values that is unique to you. Are you a profound Innovator? Are your Banker and Builder energies in balance? Do you ever access your Merchant energy? Your scores will tell you!

    Your CVI scores will be allocated across the four core value types: Builder, Merchant, Innovator, and Banker. For each of those four, your score will be a value between 0 and 36, with the sum of all four being exactly 72.

    Scores for a core value energy below 12 indicate you rarely if ever spend any time within that energy. Scores above 25 are considered profound and indicate you spend the vast majority of your time in that energy.

  • Which core value energy is most common?

    After analyzing over 1 million CVIs, we have found that each of the four core value energies - Builder, Merchant, Innovator and Banker - are evenly represented. Roughly speaking, there is no core value energy that is more common than the others.

  • What is the rarest core value energy?

    We have analyzed over 1 million CVI assessments and discovered that all four core value energies - Builder, Merchant, Innovator and Banker - are evenly represented. Roughly speaking, there is no core value energy that is more rare than the others.

  • Is it possible to change your CVI profile?

    The short answer is no. You can change your behavior at will, of course, but you can't change how you are hardwired. Your core value profile is fixed and does not change over time. However, with practice and understanding of how the four core value energies operate, it is possible to act within any of them when needed. The lower your score in a particular core value energy, the more of a challenge it will be and the more uncomfortable it will feel.

  • What does it mean to have a profound CVI profile?

    When one of your four CVI scores is 25 or higher (out of a maximum of 36), that core value energy is considered to be profound. It is possible for someone to have more than one CVI scores above 25, but it is very rare. Having a profound core value profile means you operate within that primary core value energy the vast majority of the time.

  • What is a CVI conflict resolution strategy?

    Each core value energy within you has an associated fear that is sort of the opposite of its strength. Builders are all about power, so their greatest fear is being powerless; Innovators are all about wisdom, so their greatest fear is being foolish or unwise, etc. The conflict resolution strategy for each core value is how you react when that energy's fear is activated. For example, when a Builder feels powerless, their conflict resolution strategy is to intimidate. An Innovator's conflict resolution strategy is to interrogate. Bankers act with aloof judgment, and Merchants manipulate. Your full CVI report has very helpful information about your particular conflict resolution strategies.

  • Do I have an optimal learning style based on my CVI profile?

    Yes! Because the CVI defines how you see and emotionally connect with the world, it also influences how you learn. For example, Builders like to be hands-on and prefer to learn with methods that provide immediate feedback. Bankers like to soak up information and data. Be sure to read your full CVI report for insights about the optimal learning style for your profile.

  • Can the CVI help me find a satisfying job or career?

    Using the CVI to determine one's ideal job or career path is the single most common reason people take the assessment. It won't give you specific answers by naming particular occupations, but it will help you determine the kind of activities that will suit your particular personality profile. For example, Builders don't often enjoy jobs where they have to sit in place and analyze data for extended periods of time, but Bankers can really thrive in that kind of job. Merchants love connecting with other people and can feel restless in careers that involve a lot of isolation. Innovators are happiest with lots of problems to solve.

  • Do some CVI profiles gel or clash more than others?

    Although some energies can initially feel contrary to others, every core value profile can get along and even thrive with others with a degree of understanding and knowledge. First, read about your own CVI profile and learn how you see the world. Next, read about the other core value energies and with that knowledge you can learn what communication styles work best. Everyone has a part to play, and knowledge about the CVI makes us more effective working together.

  • Are certain CVI profiles more compatible than others?

    In general, those who share primary or secondary core value energies naturally get along better with each other than those who don't have those energies in common. It's about the commonality between energies that matters, not the energies themselves.

  • Are there any tricks to identify the likely CVI profile of other people?

    The best thing to do is share your experience with the CVI and encourage the other person to take the CVI as well. Even if they never share their profile with you, they will personally benefit from its profound insights about their own psychometric profile. Beyond that, the next best thing is to read The Core Values Handbook or Choices, both written by Lynn Ellsworth Taylor, the creator of the CVI. These books provide valuable information about the Core Values Index and after reading them, you will have the knowledge you need to more easily identify core value energies in other people.

  • Can I be successful in a job that doesn't seem to match my CVI profile?

    The CVI doesn't determine what you can or cannot do, it determines how much you'll enjoy the activity. With that in mind, how successful will you be in the long run working at a job that isn't aligned with your profile? It will feel like a struggle and your happiness will likely suffer - and your productivity will likely suffer, too.

  • How does the CVI compare to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)?

    The effectiveness and accuracy of psychometric assessments can best be measured by their repeat reliability score. Repeat reliability refers to how similar an assessment’s results are over time. If you take an assessment at age 25 and again at age 45 and get the same score both times, it has a repeat reliability of 100%. The Core Values Index (CVI) has the highest average repeat reliability score of any psychometric assessment on the market today, 97.7%, as determined in longitudinal studies. MBTI, in comparison, only has 50-70% repeat reliability.

  • The CVI has 4 energies. Does this mean that the population can be broken down into just 4 groups?

    There are four core value energies, called Builder, Merchant, Innovator, and Banker. Everyone's personality contains a specific combination or ratio of these energies, represented by scores between 0 (none) and 36 (maximum). Although every CVI profile scores sum to be exactly 72, it is the unique combination or relative presence of these energies that make up your personality. Instead of 4 personality types, there are actually tens of millions of different CVI profiles! An example CVI profile might be 27-Innovator, 17-Banker, 15-Builder, and 13-Merchant. This person's profile would commonly be referred to as an Innovator/Banker.

  • What emotions are represented by the four core value energies?

    We use the labels Builder, Merchant, Innovator, and Banker to represent the emotional energies of power, love, wisdom and knowledge, respectively. Each person has a unique combination or ratio of these energies within their psychometric profile, with millions of different combinations.

  • Does a person's CVI profile develop as they grow up?

    Evidence and research shows that a person's CVI profile is highly fixed from an extremely young age. Although experiences shape our personality to a great degree, the way we are psychometrically hardwired, as measured by the CVI, is largely fixed in place at birth.

  • What is the best resource to learn about the CVI in greater detail?

    We recommend two books, both written by the creator of the CVI, Lynn Ellsworth Taylor: Choices, and The Core Values Index Handbook. The Core Values Index Handbook is included with a full CVI at Choices is available as a $19.95 eBook or in paperback format.

  • What is the minimum age to take the CVI?

    Since the CVI asks the individual to choose between groups of words, the minimum appropriate age to take the CVI is limited by the individual's vocabulary. We suggest 13 years or older as a good starting point.

  • Can the CVI be used by teenagers to find the best career path?

    The Core Values Index psychometric assessment is highly appropriate for young people who want to understand how they are hardwired. This provides tremendous insight into what career path would most align with how they are hardwired. We strongly encourage all high school students to take the CVI and review their results with their parents or guidance counselor.

  • I'm in the middle of my career. Can the CVI help me?

    Many adults already established in their career use their CVI profile to better understand where they fit in their professional career. Sometimes it indicates the path they're on is in good alignment with their psychometric profile. Other times they discover a new path might be an appropriate consideration. Either way, the knowledge they gain about themselves and how they are hardwired is invaluable.

  • What is repeat reliability and how does it apply to the CVI?

    One of the best ways to measure the efficacy of a psychometric assessment is to measure its repeat reliability. Simply stated, if you take an assessment today and again in the future, a reliable assessment will yield very similar results regardless of the time lapsed between them. 100% would indicate a perfect repeat reliability rate. In the case of the CVI, it has been determined in longitudinal studies to have the highest repeat reliability rate of any psychometric assessment on the market today, 97.7%. No other psychometric assessment or personality test even comes close.

  • Are the free CVI and full CVI different assessments?

    No. Whether you take the free or full CVI, the assessment is the same, only the amount of information provided afterward is different.

  • Do my CVI results expire? Will I always have access to my CVI?

    Your CVI results do not expire, and we don't purge accounts or CVI results after a certain period of time. As long as you have access to the email account you used when you took the CVI assessment, you should always be able to access your CVI report.

  • Are CVI results based on large amounts of data, similar to how many AIs are trained?

    Your CVI results are based solely on your responses to the individual questions presented to you during your assessment using a proprietary algorithm developed through decades of painstaking research. Unlike many AIs using Large Language Models (LLM) and other methodologies, we do not collect and analyze data from other sources in order to produce results. This completely eliminates the "garbage in, garbage out" problems associated with the way many AIs are trained and developed.

  • Do children inherit their CVI profile from their parents?

    We have a great deal of evidence that shows there is no inheritability in the hardwired psychometric profiles between parents and their children. In fact, we've seen families with children raised in the same household possessing entirely different CVI profiles from each other and from their parents.