Why 5 Dynamics Is Not A Personality Test

Graphic of the words 'Assessment vs Personality'

The 5 Dynamics assessment was designed to evaluate individuals based on cognitive and behavioral theory, not personality theory. This is because personality is highly context-sensitive. For example, in some situations many people might be introverted, but in others they might not. This complicates the process of measuring validity and reliability.

While every assessment can be misused, personality assessments pose unique challenges. People tend to become especially defensive and closed when something so personal is addressed in an assessment.

Michael Sturm, the psychologist/psychometrician who developed 5 Dynamics, wanted to catalyze behavioral change to produce achievement and satisfaction. This was a reason why personality testing was deemed inappropriate. People are accustomed to evaluating others’ personality in terms of likes and dislikes, instead of their colleagues’ potential contributions to a task. In addition, people tend to enjoy those with personalities similar to their own, and avoid personalities that clash. In order to achieve change, people had to see that opposites were actually the most attractive. 5 Dynamics had to provide an objective basis for understanding the assessment feedback and empowering others to reevaluate their coworkers and themselves in a positive light. For all these reasons, Michael Sturm intentionally avoided personality theory in the construction and application of 5 Dynamics.

Michael Sturm, looked at the assessments in terms of inputs and outputs. He emphatically believed that the inputs should address issues that were externally observable and repeatable, and so subject to scientific method.

Ultimately, Sturm believed that 5 Dynamics’ Success/Satisfaction Cycle is what set it apart from others. Simply put, other tests and assessments “emphasize being stuck,” he said, while 5 Dynamics helps people “get their energy to flow.” Following the energy flow in the average human is like following the flow of a stream. In places where it is blocked, the flow stops. In places where it is clear, it moves rapidly and strongly. Acupuncturists, Sturm said, have been tapping into energy flow for centuries, utilizing an individual’s own energy to cure illnesses and overcome physical and mental setbacks. The subject of energy flow is a foreign concept to most Westerners.

Sturm believed that people are generally unaware of what drives their impulses, what forces rise up to shape the direction of their thinking and actions time and time again. Only when they are given some insight, can they work to draw on their innate strengths and avoid their inherent weaknesses. “I didn’t develop this to fix people. I developed this to set them free.”, Mike Sturm.

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